MOUTHS TO FEED: Emma McAllister with children Finn, 5, Ruby, 7, and Cohen, 9.
MOUTHS TO FEED: Emma McAllister with children Finn, 5, Ruby, 7, and Cohen, 9. Alistair Brightman

Our kids ‘best fed’ in state

NEW data suggests our children may be among the best-fed kids in the state.

Suncorp Bank figures show our region's parents are the biggest spenders in Queensland when it comes to their children's food and drinks.

Parents in the central Queensland region, which includes Gladstone, spend about $317 on food every month for each child, which is almost $40 more than the state average.

Danny and Steph Burns, who usually shop at Woolworths at Kirkwood, said they spent between $150 and $200 a week on a general shop.

Mrs Burns said school lunches and baby formula took out a fair chunk of their weekly shopping budget.

"I've got a seven-year-old boy who eats like there is no tomorrow," she said.

Mr Burns said you could save money by buying unhealthy and pre-packaged food.

"It can be cheap if you buy rubbish but for us it gets pricey because we try to buy fresh fruit and vegetables," Mr Burns said.

Mrs Burns said her seven-year old usually took a sandwich, one small packet of chips, an apple, yoghurt and a popper to school each day.

Suncorp Bank's Cost of Kids report also revealed our parents splurged on their kids' holidays, with parents spending about $78 every month for each child, which is the highest in the state.

Suncorp Bank regional manager Tom Troy, who covers the Gladstone region, said geography could be the reason why parents in the region were the state's biggest spenders on children's holidays.

He said in other areas of the state, many parents saved up all year to go on a big holiday, but those living in CQ were more likely to go away more regularly, especially on weekends.

"The cost is driven up when the frequency increases," he said.

Mr Troy admitted he was surprised to learn parents in the region spent the most on food in the state.

He said it could come down to limited competition between supermarket chains and higher transport costs, meaning cheaper groceries were not as common.

Parents in CQ could also spend more on takeaway and eating out, Mr Troy said.

The data, collected through surveys, showed parents in our region were also Queensland's biggest spenders on a child's health care ($53 each month per child), utilities ($91) and communications and technology ($57).

The Cost of Kids report showed the average child in the central Queensland region cost a total of $1340 a month, which was about $20 less than the state average.



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