Continuous snacking: US kids eat 4.1 snacks a day, while teens eat 3.8 snacks a day, says NPD Group

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Meal

According to NHANES data, the percentage of energy derived from snacks in the American diet increased from 12% in the late 1970s to 24% in 2009/10
According to NHANES data, the percentage of energy derived from snacks in the American diet increased from 12% in the late 1970s to 24% in 2009/10
American children aged 6-12 consume 4.1 snacks daily while teens aged 13 to 17 consume 3.8 snacks daily, according to new research from NPD Group.

NPD’s SnackTrack data, which tracks snacking occasions in- and away-from-home, also reveals that 90% of school snacks are brought from home.

For 6 to12 year-olds - an age where parents often choose the foods their children eat - fresh fruit, fruit cups/applesauce, potato chips, meal kits, and yogurt are the top school snacks.

Teens, meanwhile - who tend to make their own food choices - snack on gum, fresh fruit, potato chips, chocolate bars/candy bars, and granola bars at school. 

The bottom line is that we don’t want to prepare foods more often

For both age groups, sandwiches are still the top school lunch entrée and are included in two-thirds of school brown bag lunches, according to NPD Group.

 “Snack foods are increasingly becoming a part of the lunch bag carried by children to school, just like snack foods are becoming part of main meals for all of us​,” said NPD chief industry analyst Harry Balzer.

 “The bottom line is that we don’t want to prepare foods more often. We don’t even want to make more sandwiches for our kid’s lunch bag, even though sandwiches are still the number one lunch bag item carried by a kid. 

“Instead we are loading the kids’ lunch bag with easy-to-prepare snack products to be eaten at lunchtime.”

Click here​ to read more about what National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data tells us about snacking habits in America.

Related topics: Snacks, Markets, Trendspotter

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