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Most parents say children far more willing to eat healthy foods now than when they were kids

NEW YORK — Put away the chicken nuggets and grab some broccoli, moms and dads. A new study finds 69 percent of parents say they want their kids to eat more plant-based foods. Surprisingly, even more parents (72%) say their children are a lot more open-minded when it comes to trying new foods than they were at the same age.

A new poll of 2,005 parents of school-aged children (5-17 years-old) finds kids are more open to trying new things in general than their parents were as kids. The study, conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Sabra, aimed to discover how kids and parents approach healthy eating. Researchers reveal 85 percent of parents want to provide better snack options for their children than they had as kids.

The push for parents to offer healthy snacks may stem from the simple fact that 76 percent of adults feel they snacked on way too much junk food as kids. The good news is three in four parents have found success as grown-ups; saying their kids have a much healthier diet than they did.

Parents are also fulfilling their kids’ dining desires by choosing snacks they already know their kids will like. Unfortunately, two in five respondents say they simply don’t have the time to provide healthy snacks for their kids.

No time to eat healthily?

Sixty-three percent of adults go on to say they wish providing healthy snacks was less time-consuming. Another 57 percent still struggle to find snacks that are “better for them” and that kids would want to eat. Nearly half the poll (45%) admit to avoiding giving their children healthy snacks over fears their kids won’t enjoy them.

“While kids can still be selective, they are really open to trying new things so long as the choices offered taste great,” says Jason Levine, CMO for Sabra, in a statement.

While kids are now more open-minded when it comes to trying new food, sometimes they still need a little coaxing. Seven in 10 parents say they will get their kids to try a new snack if they “dare” them.

Kids Trying New ThingsSixty-three percent say their kids really enjoy eating plant-based foods. Sixty-two percent of parents add their kids actually like vegetables that they themselves still despise to this day. This list includes spinach (20%,) green beans (19%), apples (19%), and tomatoes (18%).

Is meat on the way out of our collective diet?

So what is motivating kids to opt for better foods and snacks, aside from parents daring them? Over a third (34%) say their children are genuinely curious about plant-based foods. Another 74 percent say their kids want to eat more plant-based because it’s better for the planet. Over a quarter (27%) add their kids have embraced vegetarianism and another 23 percent are raising flexitarian children — who prioritize plant-based foods.

“Busy parents have been challenged when it comes to finding great-tasting snacks they feel really proud of giving their kids,” Levine adds. “But with a little planning and smart choices, incorporating more plant-based foods into your kids’ meals can be as simple as it is delicious.”