The way to a family’s heart is through the kids!

The way to a family’s heart is through the kids!

38 million U.S. families spend a combined $ 2.7 trillion a year. Now, more than ever, parents ask kids’ input on where the money goes. Kids today weigh in on just about everything, after the bills and the mortgage – more than a trillion dollars!

They are even more influential when it comes to family dining. Mom and Dad may narrow down the choices but kids make or influence the final pick more than two thirds of the time. Now THAT is powerful! It is clear. If you are going to win with families, you have to win with kids.

It is no surprise that kids crave laughter and silliness, but look below the surface and you can see the Kid Truths that motivate their choices. Kids love nerd-appeal – they feel for underdogs. Thing about Taylor Swift’s shy, nerdy persona in a world of pop starts! Kids use creativity and imagination to figure out the world around them. LEGO is so well-loved because it gives kids the freedom to create. Kids want to feel some independence and control. The parents in their favorite books and shows are often peripheral characters if they exist at all. Kids are social-they love their friends and sidekick characters. What would Spongebob Squarepants do without his best friend Patrick? Super-powers and magic give kids hope and inspire confidence. Harry Potter might have seemed ordinary at first, but he was able to save the world!

Kids matter. So what matters to kids? Here are the top responses from a recent kid survey.

1. “The things I love the most are playing, my family, and our pets.”
Playing is the best thing about being a kid. Family is the most important thing in a kid’s life. A pet is a kid’s most prized possession.

2. “When I grow up, I want to be rich. Or a pro athlete, or a vet…or a doctor, teacher, or chef!”
The # 1 wish is to be rich or have lots of money. Most kids want to work one of these top 5 jobs.

3. “Being a kid is great, but I still worry about stuff.”
54% say bullying is their top concern, followed by school violence, poverty, homelessness and war.

4. “I’d love to hang out with Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber.”
President Obama made it to third on this list.

So what are kids’ favorite books, magazines and TV channels?

1. Books:
– Diary of a Wimpy Kid
– Junie B. Jones

2. Magazines:
– Lego Magazine
– American Girl

3. Channels:
– Disney Channel
– Nickelodeon

4. TV character:
– Spongebob Squarepants: “I love fast food, sandwiches for lunch, pizza for dinner, and chocolate.”

Did you know that:
– 42% of kids like fast food?
– 32% want sandwich lunches?
– 20% like pizza for dinner followed by chicken or pasta?
– 88% say chocolate is a favorite flavor, followed by buttered popcorn and strawberry

Short attention span means kids can’t get enough of a good thing. Kids want brands they can watch on TV, play with on the iPad and snuggle with at bedtime. Kids don’t just want parent permission – they want to earn parent approval. Kids and parents both want to be able to collaborate and agree on decisions.

Family Time is important. Parents see dining out as a way to make their kids feel special, and when families go out to eat together, there’s is 111% increase in average checks across all restaurants. Kids take comfort in the familiar, but love brands that surprise and delight them. A memorable and exceptional kids’ program that’s fun for the whole family can bring them back to you again and again!

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