Source: Hindustan Times
Stress that parents have experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic has a negative effect on the eating habits of their children. When stay-at-home mandates were ordered and the school went virtual at the onset of the pandemic, many parents suddenly had to juggle multiple roles such as caregiver, employee and educator.
Parents do not have the time, energy or emotional capacity to engage in optimal feeding behaviours, so they resort to maladaptive feeding behaviours such as using food as a reward or pressuring their kids to eat.
As a result, their children are not able to self-regulate what or how much food they are putting into their bodies, which could have harmful consequences in the long run.
The stress doesn't just go away. Many parents are still feeling uneasy and a parent who is overwhelmed and experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety may not pay attention to or acknowledge their children's cues of hunger and fullness.
To ensure children are optimizing their eating habits in the event of another public health emergency or natural disaster, the policymakers or nonprofit organizations interested in improving outcomes for children and parents should provide support systems to help parents manage their daily stressors.
Also read: Congenital Heart Disease in Kids