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NPD: More Meals Eaten at Home, Kids’ Influence Heftiest at Breakfast

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — The NPD Group, a consumer market research company, has confirmed that more meals are still being eaten at home, and has shown kids influence what they eat for breakfast, but not what they eat for dinner.

A recently released NPD report indicates 31% of kids ages 2 to 17 have a big say in what they eat for breakfast. Nearly a quarter, 24%, in the same age group have influence over what they eat for lunch at home, and a whopping 46% influence the choice of at-home snacks. When it comes to dinner, however, only 3% had any influence on choices.

“That doesn’t surprise me, “ Harry Balzer, NPD Group’s chief industry analyst, told SN.

Read more: Meal Deals Need to Be Rejuvenated

“I do think more family members are party to the discussion of what’s going to be eaten at home for any meal or snack, but dinner is an occasion in which the family usually sits down together. It’s less individualized than breakfast.”

Balzer said the hefty influence children have on what they eat for breakfast probably is associated with manufacturers targeting children with marketing of cereal.

“But for dinner, there has to be more of a communal decision since that meal usually brings people together.”

The recent NPD report shows children eating 43 more meals a year at home than they did a decade ago, and that reflects the fact that families are eating out in restaurants less often, researchers said.

“Actually, everybody is eating more meals at home. We’ve been economically strapped,” Balzer said.

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