Parents Feed Their Kids Junk Food - Then Lie About It

14/08/2014 17:02 | Updated 20 May 2015

Boy eating a cheeseburger

Parents spend an average of £26 a month feeding their children fast food, pizza and burgers – and then lie to other parents for fear of being judged.

Hands up if you're guilty as charged.

Yep, me too. We-ell, we want to appear holier than thou, don't we?

But perhaps we should stop giving ourselves such a hard time and make a full confession.

After all, as long as it's balanced with some fresh fruit and veg, junk food is a Good Enough Parent's shortcut solution to a whole host of domestic stresses, such as time-saving and combating pester power ('Da-ad, can we have pizza for tea?' Just bung it in the oven).

In this latest survey, from, more than a third of children under 10 were found to be eating junk food every day (my half-term kids are munching on sausage rolls as I type – so sue me).

But a fifth of parents said they regularly lie to others about how much pizza, chocolate and crisps their children are eating to avoid being judged by their peers or seen as 'cheap'.

And 25 per cent said they lied because they felt guilty about the amount of junk food their children are eating. ("Yes, son, you can have a biscuit. I'm trying to write an article about kids eating junk food. Leave me alone.")

Despite giving their children junk food on an almost daily basis, 48 per cent of parents admitted their children were overweight and 35 per cent said they thought their child's junk food consumption is out of control.

Takeaway pizza was the junk food children were most likely to eat. This was followed by chocolate, which 26 per cent of parents said their children ate regularly, while 17 per cent of parents said their children consumed food from fast food chains most often.

Discount website,, analysed the shopping habits of 1,426 parents who had at least one child aged 10 or under. This revealed that the average spend per child was £26 every month.

George Charles, of VoucherCodesPro, said: "Parents may be lying about how much junk food they feed their kids because they're worried about looking 'cheap' but that couldn't be further from the truth."

Next week's survey: Why parents feel so guilty for reading surveys about feeling so guilty about being rubbish parents.

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