"Kid tested, mother approved" is a sales slogan used to indicate that a product is either tasty or exciting enough to interest children while still being nutritious or safe enough to appease their parents. It is officially the slogan of Kix cereal and appears in print and broadcast advertising for the product. Unofficially, most often on the internet, it has been used to describe other products as well.

Why draw this comparison?

Because it works. It is human nature for children and parents to be wary of the other's instinctive choices. Rarely does a child beg for extra helpings of spinach. Equally rare is the parent who insists on additional servings of dessert every night. The notion of a food product that simultaneously meets the approval of both young children and their parents defies these concepts. It must be some kind of miracle product! Wherever do I get such a thing?

Kix

Kix cereal has been produced by General Mills since 1937. While its original claim to fame was that it could stay crisper in milk than non-puffed cereal, the push towards healthier cereals for children took the world by storm in the 1960s. Frosted Flakes was known as "Sugar Frosted Flakes" until the mere mention of sugar became verboten. General Mills wanted to be able to aim their cereals at both kids and their parents and somehow please both.

The natural solution seemed to be to emphasize just how much both groups would like it. To this day, the slogan is displayed prominently on cereal boxes.

Kix's use of the slogan has been satirized widely, including by those who mockingly praise General Mills for testing the cereal on children rather than animals. There is clearly no army of schoolchildren in a lab somewhere testing various stages of Kix cereal, nor is there a review board comprised of mothers.

The general "loved-by-parents-and-kids" angle was also seen in TV ads for Life cereal. The ones with Mikey.

Why "Kid tested, mother approved?" Don't dads take an interest in what their kids eat?

Yes, of course they do. The decision to use mothers as a reference was likely marketing-based. It is quite probable that the advertising team that came up with the slogan thought referring to mothers would help boxes fly off the shelves. One must remember that the slogan was devised in the 1960s, when there was a greater expectation for women to undertake many of the household duties.

A more appropriate slogan for the 21st century might be "Kid tested, parent approved."

General use

Google "Kid tested, mother approved," and you may be surprised to see that most of the initial results have nothing to do with the cereal that made the phrase famous. (My favourite of the more modern references is a blog entry wherein someone explains just how much her mother liked her new nosering.) The phrase has become so embedded in Western culture that the first page of Google results has nothing to do with the product that spawned it. Isn't that funny? 

You could argue that E2 is also kid tested and mother approved. Just think of how many moms have accounts here. Moreover, think of how many parent-child combinations have accounts here. 


Resources:
www.saidshe.net/archives/ 2007/01/25/tested-mother-approved/
www.kotaku.com/gaming/top/ the-ds-ziplock-kid-tested-mother-approved-192709.php
www.amazon.com/ Healthy-Baby-Meal-Planner-Child-Approved/dp/0743274040
www.generalmills.com/corporate/ brands/product_image.aspx?catID=50&itemID=754
www.everythreeweekly.com/archive/show_story/145
www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Kix

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