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New publication explores price and taste as barriers to parental provision of healthy snacks

November 22, 2021

In this recently published paper, Associate Professor, Sara Folta, PhD, along with other current and former Tufts affiliated scientists explore the possible effectiveness of healthy snack interventions by parental provision among children from the Healthy Kids Out of School (HKOS) Project. The authors note that parents face major barriers to providing their children with healthier snacks, including perceptions of high cost and lack of child acceptance. They surveyed parents to learn how much of a discount would influence their purchase of a vegetable snack, and also asked children in focus groups how to increase the appeal of vegetable snacks. Most (70%) of parents said they would purchase the vegetable snack without a discount, but among those who did not, a mean discount of approximately 30% would shift parents to purchasing the snack. In the focus groups, children said that the appeal of vegetable snacks was influenced by how they were prepared and presented and the child’s familiarity with the vegetables and ability to choose among them. Importantly, this research is fundamental to informing interventions aimed at improving healthy snacks by parental provision.