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    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Appetite. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Appetite, 108, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.11.003

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“We don't snack”: attitudes and perceptions about eating in-between meals amongst caregivers of young children

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Appetite
Volume108
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)483-490
Publication statusPublished
Early online date3/11/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Objective

Little is known about caregiver attitudes and perceptions towards snacking by toddlers and preschool children outside of the U.S. This qualitative study examined caregiver attitudes and perceptions towards the provision of both foods and beverages in-between meals, along with what constitutes a snack, or snacking occasion, amongst Swiss caregivers.

Study design, setting and participants

This qualitative study used in-depth, in-home interviews (n = 17) conducted with caregivers (16 = female, 3 = male, ages = 20-46y, low to high income). The “Food Choice Process Model” was used as a theoretical framework. Interviews explored experiences, attitudes and perceptions about the provision of foods and beverages to children in-between meals (1-5y). Interview transcripts underwent a thematic analysis and key themes were developed from the data.

Results

Five key themes were identified; 1) Timing is everything, 2) Location + food type = snacking, 3) Snacks are junk 4) Snacks are small 5) Not in front of the children. The time at which young children were fed, the location, the food type and the portion size delineated how caregivers conceptualised snacking. Feeding children at 10am and 4pm was not viewed as snacking, nor was providing milk before bedtime.

Conclusions and Implications

Eating in-between meals and snacking may be perceived by caregivers as different concepts and vary according to culture, contexts, time of day, food type and location. Findings highlight some agreement with similar studies conducted in the U.S. but also provide new insights into how the consumption of foods and beverages in-between meals may vary between geographic settings. Findings indicate opportunities for better defining “snacking” within nutrition study design and how this may inform dietary intake data interpretation.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Appetite. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Appetite, 108, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.11.003