If McDonalds can brain wash my child, then I can too!

Mr Meat & Potatoes tries McDonalds

Mr Meat & Potatoes isn't sure about the pancake

The power of marketing is interesting, isn’t it? No one markets to kids better than all the fast food chains. They are awe-inspiringly good at it. Last week we went to McDonalds. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that this was our first family outing there. I don’t mean to be one of those condemning food-snob parents, but it’s just one of those things that I’ve found quite easy to avoid (my kids are still young). But after a trip to a museum, the nearest, easiest (and most fun) food choice was Maccas. So we went.

Following the rule that it’s best to eat the specialties of the house, I skipped all the healthy options and got good old HappyMeals with burgers and fries. I know they offer apple slices and salads, but I’m suspicious of apple that doesn’t turn brown and non-wilting lettuce. Just give me the junk.

Perhaps I should be quite satisfied that the kids didn’t really like it. The chips were a huge hit (all that salt could make snot quite tasty) but the burgers were ‘weird’ with Mr Meat and Potatoes insisting on calling them ‘pancakes’.

Most interesting though, was the supreme McDonalds talent of seducing my children with cardboard and plastic. The cheap red and yellow boxes were the biggest hit of the day. We had to take them home and they are now lovingly filled with broken bits of car and draft letters to Santa. And the plastic toy, which does nothing except click and count to 9, is amongst the most revered treasures they own.

I guess the lesson is not underestimate the joy of a pretty dinner – if McDonalds can tempt my kids with a cheap packaging, then I can lure them with a range of cute stuff too.

Collection of cute bowls

A bowl for every meal - just some of my collection

Whenever possible, serve food to kids using colourful bowls and plates. Fun cutlery, chopsticks, whatever it takes to make it interesting and worth trying. Half the battle is won once the first bite goes in.

My crockery collection is embarrassingly big, way beyond the usual IKEA kids plates that furnish all family kitchens. But I still don’t mind an online browse. The best range I’ve found locally is www.urbanbaby.com.au. Check out some of their gorgeous (and useful) products…

products from urbanbaby

Surely your kids would eat off these?

Good luck and happy eating…

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