Through Dr Pepper Snapple Group's Let's Play initiative, the company has provided 10 million kids the opportunity to get active and play through building or improving playgrounds and providing sports equipment grants. And as a leading provider of 100 percent juice and applesauce, our Mott's brand has played a strong role in children's nutrition for years, providing choices and options that support the company’s commitment to helping its consumers achieve balance in their lives. This mission now extends further with the launch of Mott's Teachable Tastes, an initiative geared toward teaching children about healthy eating.
Many families intend to adopt healthier eating habits, but menu planning, children's resistance, and a lack of resources often prevent these changes. The Mott's Teachable Tastes microsite employs a combination of educational videos, family recipes (with segmented screens for adults and children), and nutrition resources to provide a simple but resourceful tool for smarter meal choices.
When researching the challenges around healthy eating with leading nutritionists, some common trends emerged that, well-intentioned as they often are, create roadblocks for parents. Teachable Tastes points out that offering backup meals or snacks for fussy eaters makes them more likely to refuse food; pairing a new food with two familiar ones is presented as a way of easing the transition. The program also points out that dessert "bribes" shift focus from healthy foods to treats, which may do more harm than good. Engaging your child in the excitement of a new menu item is preferable.
Teachable Tastes stresses patience with new food introduction. Children often need up to 15 exposures to new foods before they warm to them. The program suggests marrying a familiar base—like pizza—with new food items, such as vegetable toppings, to encourage experimentation and discussion. Another smart pointer? Offering multiple options that parents are happy with, so your child gets a choice among different healthy foods. A change as simple as switching "What would you like for dinner?" to "Should we have chicken tacos or grilled fish?" eases the pressure on adults and kids alike.
To help facilitate smart choices, the Teachable Tastes site offers 20 starter recipes designed to give children greater variety in food texture, aroma, flavor, and appearance. One example: a "Beef and Mac Casserole" combining familiar tastes like macaroni and ground beef with new accents such as bell peppers and mushrooms. Another recipe focuses on appearance. A "Favorite Rainbow Veggie Kabob" shows families the beauty of using vegetables for color and contrast as a meal showpiece.
The Mott's Teachable Tastes program is designed to be simple and actionable, but organizers are aware that parents may require additional resources for long-term success. The website links to established experts such as Jill Castle, Lemond Nutrition and Fearless Feeding to help families learn even more about smart decision making regarding home nutrition.
As family diets and preferences evolve, Mott's and DPS look to continuously engage with their consumers to continue a conversation around family nutrition. As part of our commitment to provide both more information and healthier options for our customers, the Teachable Tastes program's focus on health and wellness is one of many ways the company looks to help them achieve the right balance in their lives.