One in three mums dread their children going to friends' houses - because they know they'll be fed junk food and sweets, say researchers.
Researchers found millions of mums worry that allowing their child to have tea with a classmate or playgroup pal means they will miss out on something healthy. Instead, they are likely come home having been served up fatty fast or frozen food, fizzy drinks, cake and ice cream.
In fact, the study revealed as many as one in three mums reported their children coming home feeling sick from the amount of junk they consumed. And as many as one in five have gone so far as to stop their children seeing certain friends outside of school to avoid landing invites to their house for tea.
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, Paul Wheeler 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 g breakfast before they leave the house because they are worried about what they will eat for the rest of the day.”
22% 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% 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.
But despite the reservations only one in ten parents mums admit they have built up the courage to confront a fellow parent on the subject. 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% have banned their kids from other people's homes because they haven't fed their child appropriate food.
One in 10 parents said their child had arrived home having been allowed to drink energy drinks while 15% have been shocked to hear that they have been fed microwaveable ready meals.
22% of parents said their child had been fed fast food for dinner while one in ten said their child had been given a Pot Noodle. Nearly a third had picked up their child only to discover they had been given a takeaway for dinner with 8 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.
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