Although a majority of parents agree with the importance of healthy food during childhood, only a third are confident that they are doing a good job shaping their child’s eating habits, a survey on children’s health in the US has said.
While a little more than half of parents believe their children eat mostly healthy, only one in six rate their children’s diets as very nutritious, the researchers said.
“Most parents understand that they should provide healthy food for their children, but the reality of work schedules, children’s activities and different food preferences can make meal preparation a hectic and frustrating experience,” Sarah Clark from the University of Michigan, said in a statement.
The results also showed that nearly one in five parents do not think it important to limit junk food in kids or to make children learn to eat different foods.
Sixteen percent believe it is somewhat/not important to limit sugary drinks, while 13 percent say it is somewhat/not important that their child eats fruits and vegetables every day.
In addition, parents also reported a number of challenges in getting their children to eat a healthy diet. Common challenges are that healthy food costs too much (70 percent), that children do not like healthy food (60 per cent) and that healthy food is not convenient (52 per cent).
Nearly half of parents (48 per cent) find it hard to tell which foods are really healthy and 23 percent of parents say that healthy food is not available where they shop — challenges more prominent among parents with lower education and income levels.
The survey is based on responses from 1,767 parents who had at least one child age 4-18 years.