A study of children aged between 4 and 11 revealed that the average youngster will enjoy four snacks a day, with 41% more likely to indulge in the afternoon.
However, 10-11 a.m. proved to be the most popular hour with 42% snacking between these times, as well as another peak occurring in appetite between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., the study by Soreen found.
It also emerged that 56% of parents worry about what snacks to feed their kids, with 56% turning to biscuits to keep their children satisfied while 52% usually hand over a packet of chips.
And despite nearly half of children enjoying an apple to keep hunger at bay, parents admitted their youngster is more likely to enjoy a chocolate bar.
Mark Simester, managing director of Soreen (a company that produces malt-based snacks) said: “Our research has shown that snacking is part of children’s daily routine. However, due to the volume of snacks consumed daily and weekly, it’s important to choose the right snacks in order to fuel children throughout the day and give them an energy boost at that crucial afterschool time. We know children love the taste of biscuits and crisps, but these foods don’t necessarily have the right nutritional balance, satisfy their hunger or act as fuel, like other healthy and tasty snacks can, to keep little ones going.”
The study also found that 47% of parents are concerned about their children’s snacking habits in general, with more than half of them worrying it’s not healthy.
A further 46% of cautious parents are afraid their youngster eats too much, while four in 10 think little ones might not be getting the right nutritional balance. It also emerged that 19% believe their child will snack more on weekdays during school time compared to the weekends.
In a bid to stave off hunger on the go, the average parent will carry two snacks wherever they go, thus spending GBP46 a month on snacks alone – with one in 20 spending more than GBP100 every month. As a result, more than half worry about the amount they spend on their youngster’s snacking habit, Soreen also concludes.