I came across an interesting article on the notion that food for kids should be different and "fun".
"...fun food works to clearly carve out and validate the cultural category of childhood by affirming that certain foods are specifically for them, that adult fare does not fulfill children’s particular culinary needs. The culinary “need” here is not about nutrients; it is about fun. Children’s packaged supermarket foods suggest that fun is imperative to the consumption experience. Adult fare (...) bears scant resemblance to the colorful, bizarre and interactive eatertainment found in child-oriented packaged foodstuffs." -- Charlene Elliot, "Eatertainment and the (re)classification of children's foods" Food, Culture, and Society 13:4.
In other words, the marketers are working hard to sell everyone on the idea that kids' food should be different from adult food, and that the point is entertainment rather than, oh, taste or nutrition. Elliot gives a few reasons to be concerned about this trend; I'm daunted at the task of how to teach Mae to continue to rely on her own hunger cues in the face of such advertising, marketing, and social pressures.
I've always found marketers' promises of "fun" to be often empty-- guess I have to try to help Mae notice this on her own, too, when the time comes.