Children will munch through a whopping 28 snacks a week, Soreen finds

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A study of children aged between four and 11 revealed that the average youngster will enjoy four snacks a day, with 41% more likely to graze in the afternoon.

However, between 10am and 11am 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 2pm and 4pm – the afterschool slump.

It also emerged that 56% of mums and dads 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 crisps.

And despite nearly half of children nibbling on 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, 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 so important to choose the right snacks in order to fuel children throughout the day and give them an energy boost at that crucial after school 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.

“With school, homework, clubs and weekly activities, it’s important children gain the right energy sources to not only keep them going physically, but to give them the brain power they need throughout the school day.”

The study also found that 47 per cent are concerned about their children’s snacking habits in general, with more than half of these worrying it’s not healthy.

A further 46 per cent 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 per cent believe their child will snack more on weekdays during school time compared to the weekends.

Whilst, almost four in 10 said the moment they come home from school is typically the moment they want to curb their appetite.

In a bid to stave off hunger on the go, the average parent will carry two snacks wherever they go.

But this could be causing kids to eat their parents out of house and home, with mums and dads spending £46 a month on snacks alone – with one in 20 spending more than £100 every month.

As a result, more than half worry about the amount they spend on their youngster’s snacking habit.

The study also found a fifth would describe their child as a ‘grazer’, but 42 per cent reckon their youngsters are just as likely to snack as they are to eat three square meals a day.

A further three in 10 admitted – if given the choice – their youngster would much rather have an unhealthy snack, like crisps or biscuits, over a healthy one.

This leads to 48 per cent picking tasty snacks that they know their little one will enjoy, but 52 per cent still choose foods based on how healthy they are.

Three in 10 look for something which will give kids the energy they need, and a fifth are driven by whether the snack is allowed in school lunchboxes.

Simester added: “It’s difficult when all kids want is something tasty to eat, but you – as a parent – want them to eat something healthy.

“However, there are snacks, such as Soreen Lunchbox Loaves, available that offer that healthy balance, as well as being a tasty treat that kids will love and school compliant, to provide the perfect solution for children’s snacking requirements.

“For example, by swapping a standard cake bar for a Soreen Lunchbox Loaf can cut a child’s sugar intake by 50%, as well as having over 70% less fat than the average cake bar.

“Soreen Lunchbox Loaves also come in multiple flavours including, malt, strawberry, banana and apple, making for not only a healthier swap but a super tasty treat-like snack, which is why they are such a big hit with children and families.”