Fruits and vegetables as a healthier snack throughout the day among families with older children: Findings from a survey of parent-child dyads

Teresa M. Smith, Courtney Pinard, Carmen Byker Shanks, Holly Wethington, Heidi M. Blanck, Amy L. Yaroch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Most U.S. youth fail to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables (FV) however many consume too many calories as added sugars and solid fats, often as snacks. The aim of this study was to assess factors associated with serving FV as snacks and with meals using parent-child dyads. A cross-sectional sample of U.S. children aged 9 to 18, and their caregiver/parent (. n=. 1522) were part of a Consumer Panel of households for the 2008 YouthStyles mail survey. Chi-square test of independence and multivariable logistic regression were used to assess associations between serving patterns of FV as snacks with variations in serving patterns, and covariates including dietary habits. Most parents (72%) reported serving FV at meals and as snacks. Fruit was most frequently served as a snack during the day (52%) and vegetables were most frequently served as a snack during the day (22%) but rarely in the morning. Significant differences in child FV intake existed among FV as a snack serving patterns by parents. Compared to children whose parents served FV only at meals, children whose parents reported serving FV as snacks in addition to meals were significantly more likely to have consumed FV the day before (using a previous day screener), P<. 0.05. Contributing to the growing collection of literature describing parent-child dyad dietary behaviors, these findings suggest promoting FV access and intake throughout the day, not only at meals, by including serving as snacks, may increase FV intake among older children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-139
Number of pages4
JournalEating Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015



  • Adolescents
  • ConsumerStyles
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Older children
  • Snacking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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