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September 9, 2010

Parents not so healthy when buying food for the kids

mom shopping for healthy kids snacksAre you one of those parents who caves when your kids beg for the Oreo cookies or sugary fruit snacks shaped like Dora the Explorer?

You're not alone.

New research shows many parents let their desire to buy healthy foods fall to the wayside when they grocery shop for the kids.

Their preference to buy healthy foods is about 50 percent less when they're buying for the kids as opposed to for themselves, according to the study by the University of Iowa.

Study author Irwin Levin said parents are likely giving in to their kids demands at the grocery store.

The study was published in the September issue of the Journal of Consumer Behavoir. 

It looked at 43 7-year-old children and at least one parent, usually the mother. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

So next time, you're in the grocery store resist your kids' demands. Or leave them at home.

Posted by Andrea Walker at 7:00 AM | | Comments (1)


The best answer to this is to leave the kids at home. :) However, taking kids to the grocery is a good learning experience in budgeting and especially making healthy food choices. When we get to the store & my kids start begging for junk food, I don't just tell them no, I take the opportunity to teach them WHY they can't have it. Something simple like "Because I love you very much. I want you to grow up big & strong but these are not grow foods." works reasonably well with small children; with older children you can even get into reading labels: "If you can find a treat for yourself that has no HFCS, aspartame, or MSG then I'll purchase it for you." And of course I occasionally give in & treat them with a "contraband" food so they know I'm not a total food nazi. ;)

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.

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