Breakfast & Snacks at First Step

First Step Social Marketing Survey June 2011


The Survey

In June 2011, an informal survey which gathered information on people’s current breakfast and snacking habits took place at First Step community project. Fifty-nine people took part in the survey of which 53 people were previous or current users of First Step Services

  • 38 people were survey at the First Step 21st Birthday Gala on 4th June 2011
  • A further 21 First Step users were surveyed when they attended First Step groups in the 3 weeks following the Gala



The findings showed some differences in eating habits between children and adults, particularly in relation to breakfast.

It revealed that 52% of adults had breakfast seven days a week compared to 88% of children.

27% of the adults surveyed ate breakfast three times a week or less with 3% not eating breakfast at all. Only 2% of children had breakfast less than three times a week and there were no reports of children missing a breakfast.

The survey findings taken at the First Step Gala suggested that the frequency and type of food consumed appeared to vary at weekends compared to week days. This was more noticeable with adults. On the day of the Gala, which was a Saturday,   people were asked if they had had breakfast that day. 71% of adults and 100% of children reported eating breakfast.  Anecdotal evidence from the researchers, reported a change in type of food described by people when asked about a typical breakfast meal. Pancakes, Croissants and fry-ups were described as weekend treats for breakfast.

Findings from those surveyed on a weekday revealed that frequency of adults consuming breakfast was slightly higher at 76% and remained the same for children (100%).

The most popular breakfast food for both adults and children was cereal, followed by porridge and then toast. Fourteen different types of cereal were named by parents with slightly less for children although the popular brands for children were typically sweeter varieties such as Coco Pops, Shreddies, Frosties, Cheerios and Cocowheels.

Croissants, pancakes, eggs, fruit, yogurt and cereal bars were other food items that featured on both parents and children’s typical breakfast foods. A cooked breakfast of some variety was more common in the adults’ responses.


In relation to snacking, there were also some small differences. 15% of adults reported not snacking on the previous day compared to 3% of children. The children not having a snack were not old enough to eat solid foods. Adults described slightly less snacks in a day than the responses for children.

The range of snack consumed by adults and children was relatively similar for example, crisps, chocolate, biscuits and fruit. Fruit appeared to be a popular snack choice with children but was often described alongside other snacks, such as, “apple and crisps” or “chocolate and fruit”. Cereal bars were also a frequent snack choice for children.

The survey provided a useful insight into the breakfast and snacking habits of First Step users. Caution should be taken in interpreting or applying this data out with this context.


Report produced by

Morag Nicholson, Senior Health Promotion Specialist

July 2010

(Revised November 2011)