Six in 10 families say their children have been snacking on more unhealthy foods since pandemic began, according to poll

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19th January 2022 16:57 - Food

Six in 10 families say their children have been snacking on more unhealthy foods since pandemic began: A survey of families has found that during the pandemic, 58% report their child has been eating more unhealthy foods, with 64% saying they 'often' worry about how healthy their child's snacks are. 

The survey by Netmums and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) found that a quarter of parents worry 'all of the time' about the types of snacks their children eat and how healthy they are, and almost half the respondents polled (48%) said they find it difficult to refuse their child when they ask for snacks.

When asked about the types of snacks they most frequently give to their children, crisps were the most popular response (71%), followed by fruit (70%) and chocolate (66%). Yoghurt was also a popular choice (64%), as were sweets (53%), cereal bars (41%), popcorn (40%) and cake bars (38%). The survey found that healthier snacks such as cut vegetables were less popular, with just a quarter saying they give their child veg sticks to snack on (26%). 

The survey also asked families what the greatest barrier was to their child eating more healthily, with the top answer given being 'their fussy eating habits' with two-fifths of parents having this experience (40%), A 'lack of time for food shopping' (34%) and being 'pestered for unhealthy snacks' (34%) were reasons given by around a third of families, while other barriers included 'not enough choices which appeal to my child' (27%) and a 'lack of time with my children due to work/school' (24%). Just under a fifth of respondents said they have a 'lack of time for meal and snack preparation', while just 11% said they do not experience any barriers to their child's healthy eating.

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