Kraft wants parents to call salad dressing “frosting.”

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Ranch dressing gets turned into “frosting” thanks to a new squeeze bottle. Photo via Kraft

Every parent is aware of the power of little white lies.

They help you win battles over screen time. They squash arguments about stopping at a favorite store. Kraft is now banking on the power of the untruth to help parents get kids excited about salad.

Earlier this month, the multibillion-dollar food corporation introduced Salad “Frosting,” a slim, sleek, artfully decorated package.

But inside this “frosting” tube is ranch dressing. Now packaged with the hope that the connection to a sugary confection will convince skeptical children to chow down on salads and veggies with more excitement.

“Innocent lies parents tell their kids help alleviate the pressures of everyday parenting, and if it gets kids to eat their greens, so be it,” Sergio Eleuterio, head of marketing for Kraft, said in a statement.

But tricking kids into eating veggies may help in the long run.

After all, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says most children (adults, too) don’t eat nearly the recommended weekly or daily amount for fruits and vegetables.

Add to that the fact that 14 percent of preschool-aged children (ages 2 to 5) are obese, and it’s easy to understand why parents will take just about any measure — yes, even odd rebranding moments — to help feed their kids better food.

“Kids will eat anything with frosting, right?” the company said in their statement.

Can kids absorb the shock to the system and still manage to eat more salad, dip more carrots, and enjoy more edamame? Kraft is counting on it.

“Sometimes an innocent, smart lie is just the only way,” the company wrote.

Nutritionists may be a little conflicted over tricking kids with salad “frosting.”

The ranch dressing in Kraft’s Salad “Frosting” is no different than their Classic sauce. A 2-tablespoon serving has 110 calories, 11 grams of fat, 290 milligrams of sodium, and 1 gram sugar.

Compare that to actual frosting: Wilton’s Icing Pouch, for example, has more calories (150) in the same serving size, but it also has 6 grams of fat, 10 milligrams of sodium, and 24 grams of sugar.

The numbers point out something nutritionists don’t particularly like about the new Kraft product: It’s not exactly healthy.

“In general, I would not recommend this product, especially if the child is already accepting a variety of vegetables in their diet. Ranch dressing tends to be low in nutrients but high in calories,” said Summer Yule, MS, RDN, a nutrition communications specialist. “There are better options for veggie dips and salad dressings, such as hummus or olive oil and vinegar combos.”

On the other hand, says Julie Upton, MS, RD, co-founder of Appetite for Health, if ranch dressing is what it takes to get your kids trying new varieties of veggies, it’s not the worst thing in the world.

“If Kraft wants to help get kids excited about eating more veggies by packaging ranch dressing in a frosting package, I think it can’t hurt,” Upton said.

“There are studies that show when you give children veggies with a dip or ranch dressing, they eat significantly more veggies. I would encourage parents to keep the dressing in check so that kids start to like the natural taste of veggies rather than drowning veggies in dressing,” she said.

Parents everywhere have been finding and crafting ways to sneak veggies into their kids’ diets long before you and your kid were having this fight.

Don’t be discouraged if you find yourself battling the smallest humans in your house over eating a few strawberries or diving fork first into tender cauliflower. You’re not alone.

Whether you’re sneaking spinach into banana-rich smoothies, carrots into delicately sweet muffins, or even broccoli under a light drizzle of salad “frosting,” it’s all in an honorable effort to help your kids eat more of the nutrients they need to grow stronger and healthier, and lay the foundation of a lifetime of healthy habits and good eating practices.