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“We Don’t Snack”: the routine behavior of feeding children and 10 o’clock and 4 o’clock

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineMeeting abstract

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number7 Suppl.
Number of pages2
Pages (from-to)S12-S13
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date30/06/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventSNEB 2016 Annual Conference Proceedings — 49th Annual Conference: Next Practice in Nutrition Education - San Diego, United States
Duration: 30/07/20162/08/2016


ConferenceSNEB 2016 Annual Conference Proceedings — 49th Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego



Toddlers and preschool children depend on caregivers to determine the timing of food intake and to make healthy choices on their behalf. Little is known about caregiver experiences, attitudes and perceptions towards the consumption of foods and beverages in-between meals by toddlers and preschool children (1-5 years) and how experiences, attitudes and perceptions may differ according to cultural practices.

Design, Setting, and Participants

In-depth, in-home interviews (n=17) were conducted with caregivers (14 = female, 3 = male, ages = 20-46y, low to high income) in Switzerland. The model, “Food Choice Process over the Life Course”, was used as a theoretical framework. The interviews explored experiences, attitudes and perceptions about the provision of foods and beverages to children (1-5y).


Interview transcripts underwent a thematic analysis and key themes were developed from the data.


A key theme identified described the rules and routines about the consumption of calories from foods and/or beverages in-between meals. Toddlers and preschoolers were systematically fed at 10 a.m. and 4p.m. by all participants. However, when questioned specifically about snacking behavior, participants reported they did not engage in snacking.

Conclusions and Implications

The routine feeding of toddlers and preschoolers at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., by this group of caregivers, was not perceived as snacking. Snacking was described by participants to involve the consumption of specific food items such as candy, salty snacks and foods perceived as warranting restriction. Findings may have implications for collection of dietary intake data and for education of caregivers about the selection of healthy foods and beverages for consumption in-between meals.


Nestec S.A.