Parents encourage kids' healthy eating through interactive snacking
Posted by Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor -- Packaging Digest, 6/24/2013 9:09:33 AM
From the moment that classroom doors swing open in June, floods of school children instantly flee to the nearest park, pool or video game. But it's not just tots and teens scrambling to adjust to summer schedules—parents feel the heat as well. Not only are they challenged with keeping their kids busy and productive during the summer months, they must also find creative ways to source their nutrition in the absence of traditional meal occasions. With rising childhood and teen obesity rates, instilling healthy snacking habits at a young age is more important now than ever.
Research suggests that children primarily choose what to eat for breakfast, while lunch and dinner meals are controlled by Moms. During the summer months, this dynamic shifts considerably once school hours are substituted with a chaotic assortment of activities and an abundance of idle time. For parents, it's vital to find ways to incorporate healthy snacking habits that kids will learn to perpetuate on their own accord. Unfortunately, fruits and veggies are not the first things that come to mind for most kids with cravings, so parents and marketers must be tactical when positioning healthy snacking products.
A recent study conducted by the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University found that offering a dip alongside fruits and vegetables can encourage kids to eat foods they would normally push aside. During the study, only 31 percent of kids would eat the vegetable by itself, while 64 percent willingly consumed the vegetable when it was paired with a flavored dip.
For brands like Ready Pac Foods Inc., their product offerings are already ahead of the curve. "At Ready Pac, we're familiar with this summer challenge because we're parents, too!" says Tristan Simpson, director of marketing and corporate communications at Ready Pac. "The most fool-proof way to inspire our kids' intake of fruits and veggies is by introducing snacks that are easy, taste amazing and satisfy both sweet and savory cravings. Whether you're a concerned parent or a hungry kid, Ready Snax ticks every box."
Kids' snacking has increased drastically the past 30 years—at least 75 percent of children and teens snack in between meals, according to Mintel. Although nutritional snacks are consumed by most children, it's at a significantly lower frequency than sweet, salty or savory snacks. Innovation in kid-friendly snack foods has declined 16 percent from 2008 to 2012, wherein dairy, fruits and vegetable product launches were the only segments to experience growth (Mintel). Snack brands hankering new consumer groups would be wise to fall in line with Ready Snax, as kid-positioned snack foods are ripe for innovation.
• Apples & Cheese with Caramel Dip
• Apples, Granola & Yogurt
• Pepperoni, Cheese & Flat Bread
• Turkey, Cheese & Crackers
• Veggie, Cheese & Pretzel
• Veggies & Cheese with Ranch Dip
• Veggies, Hummus & Sunflower Seeds
For complete information on ingredients in each Ready Pac Ready Snax and to view the nutrition label, visit www.readypac.com/product-category/simply-snacks/.
Source: Ready Pac