Research

1: Ask(interview)

I interviewed tow mothers: Nancy and Yuki. They are both my neighbors and young mothers (about 30), Nancy’s daughter is 2 years old and 2 month. Yuki is from Japan, her daughter is 1 years old and 5 month. I also interviewed a senior Phd student in my department: Zaoyang. He just got married last month. So I am thinking he can be interested in topics about children’s snacking.

Question for two mothers

1: Could you tell me the recent experience of your child taking snacks?

2: What kinds of snacks she like? What kinds of snacks she don’t like?

3: Why does she prefer ….. rather than…?

4: When do your child snack?

5: What do your child usually eat for meals? Do they like their meals?

6: Tell me recent experience of you and your child shop grocery together.

7: What’s the doctor’s advice toward health of your child or good food for your child?

8: Tell me experience of not allowing child to eat snacks.

Summary for interview with mothers

Yuki’s daughter love milk and fruit-flavored Yogurt very much. Meanwhile, she dislikes cheese and also was not a fan of chocolate. Her mother guesses that daughter doesn’t like chocolate and some kinds of cookies because they are too sweet. One interesting fact is that she likes yogurt with strawberry favor while she refuses to have fresh strawberry. Since sometimes Yuki are too busy to make dinner or lunch on time, she feeds daughter soft cookies and tender dinner rolls. Snacks also help to keep energy for her daughter when the family go to park for the whole afternoon on weekend. Her doctor says that children in this age should eat more soft foods since their teeth are not so strong, meanwhile fruits and grains are very healthy for children’s health if they are not allergy to them. So Yuki feeds daughter small pieces of banana and avocado. Also fruit juice and grains are often provided to her meals.

“I feel it is more tiring to be a mom than to work in a company.”

“She preferred Yoplait than Chobani, even though she is so small, she know the difference .”

Nancy’s daughter loves sweet snacks so much. She loves chocolate, different candies and cookies. Small animals such as rabbits and dogs always attracts her eyes, so as animal shaped snacks. Once they go to supermarket together and her daughter was deeply fall in love with the rabbits-shaped candies while her mom thought she already had too much candies. But finally mom surrendered because daughter was so disappointed and almost cried. It’s always difficult to make her eat meals for lunches and dinners, but mom still try to make food attractive for her. Nancy preferred to prepare fresh fruit rather than fruit chips. Also she prepared cheese and yogurt for snacks.

“I feel like I have to be stricter about sweets at home.”

“I think it’s important that she has nutritious lunch and healthy snacks.”

Question for graduate student Zaoyang

1: When did you have snacks last time? What did you eat?

2: What kind of snacks do you like?

3: Why do you think ….aren’t healthy?

4: If you want to make nutritious snacks yourself, what will you make?

5: Tell me your snacking experience in the childhood.

6: What kind of snacks will you provide with your future child?

Zaoyang usually has snacks at night because he easily gets hungry at that time. Snacks are including Onion rings, corn chips, cookies and energy bars. He think that onion rings and corn chips are not very healthy and nutritious because they contain food preservatives. But he can’t resist the temptation to buy some. Actually each time he reads the ingredient of snacks closely and try tries to pick up snacks with more nutrition. For his future children, he will provide fresh vegetables, fruits and organic cookies to children just as what he ate in his childhood.

“ I will not buy them if snacks seem contain much artificial flavors.”

“ I feel kind of guilty when I eat unhealthy food.”

2: Observation

When I interviewed with Yuki, her daughter showed great interest in my pen, and she kept drawing in the paper. I found her very interesting so I observed her. Actually she could only say a single word such as mom and dad. So she most expressed herself by body language or screaming and crying. It was about 2 hours after dinner, little girl asked for snacks. Firstly mom put her in her seat and gave her some small cereals to eat, she seemed more interested in playing cereals rather than eating them. The cereals were small round pieces in a bowl, she used spoon to stir them (I think she is kind of imitating cooking behavior of adults) and held some pieces in her small hands. The most interesting things happed, she fed the little animals pattern in the table by hand, put pieces of cereal in their month. At that time I realized that children indeed imitate adults’ behaviors. And even though she showed not so much interest in eating cereals, she finally put some into her mouth when she was playing with them. Situation was totally different when she ate yogurt, she used spoon to eat it happily and quietly haha.

(I should have take more picture during the process, but I forgot:( So, I only got this picture after snacking time…)

whole package of cereals that Yuki’s child played with(you can also see her little body)

3: Experience

I went to small target in dinkytown to buy snacks for myself. I tried to buy more nutritious and healthy snacks. Actually I felt it was the most serious experience of buying snacks. I almost studied every kind in the snacks area.( I were so lucky since it’s a small target) Inspired by Zaoyang, I also read the ingredient on the package. I preferred the snacks whose packages wrote “whole grain”, “natural flavor”, “organic” I felt they are more nutritious and healthy.

Meanwhile, since I loved chips so much, I picked one that advertise that it contains less fat than competence.

Besides, I really appreciated notice on the package to tell me how much I need to ensure nutrition for one day.

It was fantastic when snacks contain small packages and each package contain exactly what I need for one day, just like the raw almonds below. I tried to find similar snacks in target but failed:(

I also saw many gluten- free foods, it’s really good for people who are allergy to gluten. But I didn’t buy any since I am not allergy to gluten and I think I need vitamins, minerals, and fiber in wheat.

4: Major Insight

1: When it comes to children’s snacks, we should take individual difference as an important factor to consider.(Interviews)

2: Children tend to imitate adults daily lives, so even cooking and feeding can be good games to them.(observation)

3: In order to make children eat nutritious food that they don’t like, we can change their packages, make food into different shape or mix them with their favorite food.(Interview and observation)

4: Eye-popping packages can attract children’s attention.(interview)

5: Parents want to insure that children take healthy food such as nuts, milk, whole grain, fresh fruits. Snacks that are organic, only natural flavor added or less fat contained are more likely to be chosen by parents to ensure kids get good snacks.(interview and experience)

6: Get kids involved with grocery shopping can help to prepare their food.(interview and experience)

7: Advertisement on the package gives first impression whether this snack is healthy or not. (experience)

8: small package with one day’s content is very convenient. (experience)

9: Children can’t resist attempt to eat junk food, sometimes parents easily give up instead of insisting healthy snacks for them.(interview)

10: Childhood food allergies are important for people who provide children’s snacks.

6: Problem statement:

1: I think there is still lack of eye-popping packages for nutritious snacks.

2: Many kinds of children’s cookies are all sweet, while there are a part of children who are not crazy about sweet things.

3: I think it will be good if packages( or maybe instructions) can provide recommendation for amount each day to ensure daily nutrition.

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