It really is the little things that mean the most — at least when it comes to scoring a parenting “win,” according to new research.
From getting their children to eat their vegetables easily or keeping them occupied and quiet while grocery shopping, a study of 2,000 parents of children aged 2–18 examined the little things parents find satisfying and empowering.
Some of the top parenting wins, however, were focused on just how much parents go above and beyond to keep their kids happy and healthy.
Half of parents said having their child actually request a healthy snack was a parenting win, and 53% said another win was finding them enjoying a healthy snack.
These wins could arguably be the most satisfying for parents too, as 55% of parents surveyed agreed getting their child to eat healthy food is difficult.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Pirate’s Booty for National Snack Food Month in February, the survey also looked at the top tips and hacks parents use to assist them in scoring those parentings wins.
Fifty-five percent of respondents said they’ve employed the “stealth health” technique to help them maintain a well-rounded and nutritious diet for their children.
It turns out, chicken nuggets may be the key to stealth health.
Twenty-two percent of parents surveyed said they’ve told their children vegetables were chicken nuggets to help them persuade the little ones to eat them and 21% said they’ve told their children all meat is chicken nuggets to give them a boost to eat it.
Another 21% of parents polled really dedicate themselves to stealth health — by pureeing, dicing or even grating vegetables to sneak them into a plate undetected.
Creativity is also key for parents — from slipping spinach into brownies or placing veggies underneath the cheese in pizza. One respondent even share they mix powdered baby food into mac n’ cheese to keep their kids eating their veggies.
The most successful tip to keep their kids eating healthy, however, is simply allowing them to lend a hand in the kitchen (37%).
“Nutritional guidance for kids follows the same basic fundamental principles as adult nutrition, however it can be hard to convince kids to make nutritious choices sometimes because they aren’t thinking about the benefit of healthy foods the way adults do,” said Danielle Merket, Brand Manager Pirate’s Booty.
“One of the biggest things we hear from parents is that they are trying to find ways of getting positive nutrition and real food ingredients into their kid’s diets while still giving them snacks they love and ask for.”
Another parenting hack employed by 24% of respondents is buying snacks that have packaging with characters their children like to boost the likelihood they will eat them.
This checks out too, as 81% of parents polled said their child is more likely to request a snack with fun packaging or a character they know on it.
“The best healthy snacks you can give your family are the ones they will actually eat,” Merket said. “Fresh foods are always the top choice, but sometimes parents are looking for convenient options.
“Items like our new Pirate’s Booty Sea Salt Veggie Sticks and Mixed Berry Fruit Sticks have a half cup of veggies in every serving — so it’s an easy way to supplement the fresh vegetables and fruits you give to your family.”
TOP 10 THINGS PARENTS CONSIDER A WIN
1. Getting your child to eat their vegetables easily
2. Keeping your child occupied and quiet while grocery shopping
3. Getting your child to finish a meal without whining
4. Having your child enjoy a healthy snack
5. Having your child request a healthy snack or meal
6. Keeping your child occupied and quiet on a long car ride
7. Getting your child to finish their homework
8. Getting your child to bed without any tantrums
9. Successfully bathing your child without any tantrums
10. Successfully distracting your child while passing the toy aisle so they wouldn’t beg for a new toy
TOP 10 HACKS PARENTS USE TO MAINTAIN A NUTRITIOUS DIET FOR THEIR FAMILY
1. Allowing your child to help cook meals so they will be more likely to eat them
2. Letting your child pick their own healthy snacks
3. Letting your child pick a few meals for the family to have each week
4. Only letting your child eat dessert if they’ve finished their vegetables
5. Switching the packaging from an unhealthy snack to a healthy snack
6. Bribing your child with a treat to get them to finish their dinner
7. Letting your child put a little ketchup on things they don’t like so they will eat them
8. Using the “one more bite” rule over and over to get your child to finish their meal
9. Buying snacks with characters your child likes on the packaging so they would be more likely to eat it
10. Making faces with the food so your child will be entertained and be more likely to eat it
>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<
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