CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A new study says as kids get older their snacks tend go way down in nutritional value.
Researchers say snacks for younger children improved their overall diet quality score. While for older children, each snack lowered theirs.
"Snack time used to be pretty easy, I would get him some crackers or little carrots, he really likes broccoli, we'll set that out," said Jennifer Webb.
Webb and her 2-year-old son Cohen were playing at the park Thursday.
Webb said Cohen's snack time has evolved over the past few months.
"Now, he'll kind of toss the carrots aside, toss the broccoli aside; because he knows there's peanut butter or cookies or something, a little bit sweeter that he prefers to eat now," said Webb.
This new study says younger children generally eat snacks their parents provide them, often times making their nutritional value higher.
Then as the kids become teenagers, making their own choices, they tend to choose those less healthy foods.
"This morning he woke up and over the monitor the first thing he said was cake, I want cake," said Webb. "What about oatmeal?"
"I want cake!"
The study says the average American kid snacks three times a day, and those snacks are an important part of their daily calorie intake.
"They always want junk food, they're kids," said preschool teacher Jenny Slatton.
Teachers at the University School for Young Children say they work to make sure kids are eating the healthier choices.
"We usually have a fruit for vegetable and a grain and water," said preschool teacher Byron Henderson.
"When they're younger like this they don't have that many options so when we tell them it's a banana for snack, they're going to eat a banana," said Slatton.
They say those lessons at a young age are important.
"They just think they should be able to eat the cookies and the sweets because they taste so good, so we talk about how what tastes good isn't always what's good for us," said Henderson.
"It’s always good to instill that when they're younger now that way when they do get older they can hopefully make those better decisions," said Slatton.
They also talk about eating in moderation.