Parents are surrendering to their fussy eaters

Is it better to eat junk than nothing at all?

July 28 2016

Half of all parents will regularly give their kids something to eat that is not nutritious simply because they think it’s better than ‘eating nothing at all’.

A new survey of Australian parents of kids aged 2-12 has revealed the majority of parents are dealing with fussy eaters on a day to day basis, with 51% 'regularly' or 'sometimes’ giving their kids food that is not nutritionally ideal just so they will eat. Forty-four per cent of parents agreed with the statement that 'it's better they eat something than nothing'.   

In the first national Swisse Kids Health Report, Australian parents were also asked to list their main dietary concerns, with 45% of parents surveyed saying they are 'extremely' or 'very' concerned about the amount of sugar in their kid’s diet and a further one-third (32%) ‘moderately’ concerned.

So what are Australian kids favourite foods? Surprisingly, fruit was the number one choice (56%) which was (unsurprisingly) followed by ice cream and chips (both 53%), chocolate (52%), chicken (51%), cheese (48%) and lollies (38%).

On the ‘black-list’ was vegetables which was voted the least liked food for children (43%), followed by fish (30%) and meat (20%).

What makes our kids like a particular food but not others? The survey suggests that 30% of fussy eaters dislike particular tastes, textures, smells and colours of food while around one-quarter (26%) simply don't like vegetables and some fruits.

Parents of fussy eaters are more likely to give their children vitamins (52 per cent compared to 46 per cent of all parents) because they think this will help with ‘overall health improvement.’  

The Swisse Kids Health Report was commissioned by Swisse and conducted by StollzNow Research and Insight Advisory in May 2016.