Fruit Ranks No. 1 Snack Choice for Kids in NPD Study

Americans are becoming more health conscious when it comes to their kids' snacks, according to recent survey results released by the market research firm NPD Group.

As discussed in feature story in Wednesday's USA Today, the popularity of serving cookies as a children's snack is on the decline. Fruit is now the number one snack item parents give to children under the age of six, leading researchers to believe that parents are taking childhood nutrition more seriously.

New data shows that cookies, which held the top spot the last time snack data was collected in 1987, are now ranked number two, after fruit. The NPD Group, which tracks national eating trends, based its findings on two-week long food and beverage journals filled out by mothers across the country. From 1985 to 1987, 500 Moms participated while 600 took part in the 2005-2007 survey.

"We are very encouraged by these new, independent survey results," said Elizabeth Pivonka, president/c.e.o. for the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), the nonprofit entity behind the Fruits & Veggies-More Matters health initiative. "This seems to indicate Fruits & Veggies-More Matters messages are being heard and put into action by Moms across the nation."

Carbonated soft drinks held the number six spot in popularity in 1987, but didn't make the top 10 this year. Cake has also dropped off the list. Meanwhile popcorn, which did not appear on the list in 1987, is now ranked number six. Popcorn is considered a whole-grain snack.

"We hope that the trend of healthier snacking for kids continues and we want to help parents make sure it does," said Pivonka. "The Fruits & Veggies-More Matters website can be a valuable resource for them by providing tips for adding more fruits and vegetables to their families' meals. The website also features advice on getting kids to try a new fruit or vegetable and recipes for kid friendly dishes, many of which kids can prepare for themselves, along with others that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less."
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