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One in three mums dread their children going to friends’ houses for tea – because they know they’ll be fed junk food and sweets, it emerged yesterday.
Researchers found millions of mums worry that allowing their child to eat with a classmate or playgroup pal means they will miss out on healthy food and instead come home having been served up fatty, fast or frozen food, fizzy drinks, cake and ice cream.
As many as one in three mums have experienced their children arriving home feeling sick from the sheer amount of junk they consumed at the friend’s house, the report found.
It also emerged as many as one in five parents has gone so far as to stop their children seeing certain friends outside of school to avoid landing invites to their house for tea.
Yesterday a spokeswoman for Kellogg’s who commissioned the research in to the attitudes of 2,000 parents to mark the launch of their new range of Mini Max cereal, said: ”It’s the nightmare of many parent – a loss of control over their kids.
”Now it seems British parents are quite literally sick with fear about losing grip on their kid’s diets when they’re not around.
“One of the big things parents say to us they worry about is the portions their children are given; sure a small bowl of ice cream is fine but a massive portion is another question.
“What our study does show is that the majority of parents said they make sure their children have a good breakfast before they leave the house because they are worried about what they will eat for the rest of the day.”
The study questioned 2,000 parents on their attitudes towards allowing them to eat outside of the family home.
It found more than one in five parents are aware their children is regularly fed fast food at friends house while one in ten said their child had arrived home having been allowed to drink caffeine or glucose packed energy drinks.
While 15 per cent said they hated the fact their kids were always fed microwaveable ready meals.
One in ten said their child had been given a Pot Noodle round a mate’s house..
But despite the reservations only one in ten mums admitted they had built up the courage to confront a fellow parent on the subject.
The study also found twenty two per cent said they feel like breakfast is the only meal of the day where they have control over what their children eat.
It isn’t just friend’s homes either with 27 per cent of parents saying that they dread their children visiting their grandparents because they know they will be spoilt and given more sweets and treats than they would have been allowed at home.
Dads by comparison were much more likely to tackle another parent or relative about what they have allowed their child to eat.
Two thirds of the parents surveyed said they always make sure they feed their children’s friends healthy snacks and dinners and 17 per cent have banned their kids from other people’s homes because they haven’t fed their child appropriate food.
Nearly one third had picked up their child only to discover they had been given a takeaway for dinner with eight per cent saying they were unhappy after their child was given a kebab.
Nearly two thirds said that their children knew what food was healthy and unhealthy and normally make good choices when it comes to what they eat when they were at home.
Lorraine Miller, 29 from Coventry, who has three children, Eve, 5, Jake, 4 and George 1 says the older children regularly return from friends’ houses hyper.
Lorraine said: ”My older two kids often come back from friend’s homes or parties feeling sick or overly excited after overdoing it with crisps, sweets or biscuits. They both eat very healthily at home so often aren’t used to it – there have been numerous times where they have come home and said they don’t feel well or been sick.
”Some parents seem to cook more convenience food and give more sweets and treats than I would and it does make me think twice about letting them go around to other people’s houses. But I would never say anything to the other mums. I don’t think it would be taken the right way.
”My oldest child Eve is five now and she has started to understand that if she overdoes it with ice cream and junk food then she feels unwell.
”Breakfast is the only meal a day I have complete control over and I always make sure I try and give them a good start to the day before they go to school and at weekends.
”The kids normally have a packed lunch which I make sure is healthy but they have school dinners on a Tuesday because I work.
”I prefer having control over what they are eating and their portion sizes as much as I can.”
It's the nightmare of many parent - a loss of control over their kids. Now it seems British parents are quite literally sick with fear about losing grip on their kid's diets when they're not around.Spokeswoman for Kellogg's