Kids are far more open to trying new things at snack time than parents estimate; 65% of kids either “love” or at least “like healthy snacks”
Londonderry, NH, March 7, 2019 – Stonyfield Organic, the country’s leading organic yogurt maker and the #1 kids brand in organic yogurt, is hoping to bring parents and kids to the table to find common ground when it comes to food. In a survey1 of kids ages 5-11 and their parents, Stonyfield uncovered that snack time presents a great opportunity to build healthy food habits for all meal times. Both parents and kids say snack time is the easiest food occasion to agree upon and that’s good news since 75% percent of kids surveyed say they have 2-3 snacks a day.
While it may sometimes feel like kids only want unhealthy foods, the majority are actually open to healthy choices. Although only a quarter of kids said they “love” healthy snacks, it’s important to note that a full 40% said they “like heathy snacks” and only 1% said that healthy snacks are “gross”! Kids are savvy about their snacks too. In fact, when shown a list of food items and asked which they considered healthy, the majority of kids did correctly distinguish the healthy choices from the less healthy ones. Most (67%) chose all of the healthy items and did not incorrectly choose any less healthy ones.2
While parents (61%) and kids (82%) agree that mom is the primary decision maker when it comes to picking out snacks, they disagree on how big of a role kids should have in this choice. Remarkably, 67% of kids think they should have the power to choose their own snack without the help of an adult.
As a mom of three young kids with snacking opinions of their own, Vanessa Lachey, TV host and actress, explains that her snack selection philosophy is all about give and take. “I love that my kids have opinions about their food and they are especially excited about picking their snacks. I use that enthusiasm as an opportunity to talk to them about making healthy choices, balancing treats with goodness and listening to their bodies to know when they are hungry – themes and lessons that extend far beyond the snack aisle.”
Vanessa shared her top tips for finding common ground with kids here:
- Try New Things: Kids are more adventurous than I think we sometimes give them credit. Packing a lunch or afternoon snack each day, it’s easy to get into a rut, but I try to introduce at least one new food each week.
- Don’t Give Up: Kids’ tastes are always changing. One day Camden will say he hates a certain food but when I reintroduce it a few weeks later, he’s a fan. I try not to get too bummed if something doesn’t hit the mark the first time.
- Give them Some Control: Putting myself in my kids’ shoes, you bet I can imagine how frustrating it would be not to have control over food choices. So before we take trips to the grocery store together, I let Camden and Brooklyn know they can each pick three things that we agree upon together. It’s amazing for starting a discussion about what helps fuel our bodies and is a good choice – and of course still tastes great!
Adventure in the Grocery Aisles
When purchasing snacks for their kids, the majority of parents (68%) tend to stick with “a few classics” they know their kids like. If parents are doing so because they think kids can be unadventurous when it comes to trying new things, they should think again. Most kids (53%) said they “love trying new snacks,” demonstrating an openness to trying new things that parents can embrace and extend to other meal times.
As Vanessa shares, one of the best ways to teach kids about healthy choices is by involving them in the shopping process. Seventy-nine percent of the kids surveyed said they learn about the types of snacks they like when shopping with a parent or grown-up, making this a great time to start a natural dialogue with kids about smart food choices.
1 Research conducted by Touchstone Research, Inc. on behalf of Stonyfield Organic Jan. 18, 2019 – Jan. 24, 2019. 1,010 parents and 1,010 children 5-11 years old participated.
2 Child selected fruits, vegetables, and yogurt and did not select chips or cookies.