What influences mothers’ snack choices for their children aged 2–7?

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing intake of energy dense snacks by children is one of the factors contributing to childhood overweight. Mothers are mainly responsible for the foods their young children consume. Therefore, this study aims to describe snack choices and the related considerations of mothers with young children in the home environment. The possibility that snack choices and considerations are related to maternal education, childbirth order, and age groups of the children was also investigated. A food and motivation diary study with 136 Dutch mothers of young children aged 2–7 years was conducted for 13 days. Mothers reported every snack they gave to their child. Fruits, cookies and candy were the most frequently provided snacks; healthiness of the snack and child preference were the most used considerations. Considerations were grouped in six overall categories: health-related, influence of the child, habit-related, strategies, external influence and other considerations. Higher educated mothers and mothers of first children showed more health-conscious behavior. Lower educated mothers more often justified their (unhealthy) snack choice. Next to insight into the number and type of snacks provided, the empirical findings in this study provide new understanding of the considerations of mothers while providing a snack to their young children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-20
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Child dietary behavior
  • Diary
  • First child
  • Food choice
  • Healthy snack
  • Maternal education

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