Issue addressed: Child obesity is a global issue, with rates highest among disadvantaged groups. Overconsumption of treats is a contributor to children's weight problems. The objective of this study was to explore low socioeconomic parents' beliefs and behaviours relating to their provision of treat foods for their overweight or obese children. Methods: Qualitative methods were used to collect data; these included introspections, interviews and focus groups. A total of 37 parents of overweight or obese children aged between 5 and 9 years took part in the 12-month study. Results: Most parents provided their children with treats on a daily basis. Factors affecting parents' provision of treats included parents' desire to control their children's behaviour, to demonstrate love and affection, and to address deprivation beliefs. Conclusion: There is considerable scope for improving these parents' treating behaviours by understanding the relevant factors underpinning their situations and choices. So what?: The findings provide an indication of the kinds of health promotion interventions that may be needed to assist in addressing treating behaviours among disadvantaged parents with overweight or obese children.