A new life for families, is it healthier?

A new life for families

While those of us with children continue to juggle work and home schooling (I suspect I’m learning more, fronted adverbials, who knew), it’s very easy to find yourself cocooned in your bubble unaware of how the world around us is changing. Netmums conducted a survey last week to document exactly how it is changing for parents and it makes for very interesting reading. 

With over two-thirds of parents engaging in homeschooling, there has been a huge increase in purchasing of resources such as crafts, books, outdoor games, and tech, showing most are trying to make life as positive as possible. Regular exercise also seems to be key and while there is some worry regarding finances and potential loss of jobs, it is the uptake in hobbies that piqued my interest. 

The statistic that really caught my eye was that 80% of the 1,500 parents polled say their children are eating more healthily or as healthily before the lockdown with 66% cooking more from scratch. I myself have managed to engage my eldest son in the kitchen where previously he hasn’t shown any interest. 

Two thirds more cooking from scratch is a statistic that any government, educational or marketing body tackling obesity could have only dreamed about 6 months ago. There is such strong evidence that shows when children are involved in cooking healthy meals from scratch, it establishes habits that stay with them into adulthood, and with 33% of 11-year-olds in the UK being obese, could this new trend be the turning point needed? Never has the NHS been under so much pressure and with obesity being listed as one of the conditions hindering recovery from Covid-19, healthy eating has taken on new meaning. 

Though social distancing and face masks look like they are here to stay until a vaccine is found, the lockdown may only be weeks from ending. Is that too soon for the cooking habits to become established? Or will the enthusiasm wane as the supermarket queues dwindle and we see a return to convenience foods once again? 

I compared the current situation recently to my own upbringing where milk, bread and vegetables were delivered weekly, everything was made from scratch and restaurants and convenience foods weren’t on my radar. And while I do miss eating in a lovely restaurant, I’m enjoying creating in the kitchen and would implore anyone out there with simple, tasty, recipes to flood every media avenue possible to continue to encourage this trend. When lockdown has passed, I hope we can retain some of the simpler pleasures it has helped us to rediscover.