Assoc. Prof. Dr. Çağla Gür, academic from the Faculty of Education, Department of Basic Education of Cyprus International University explained in the study conducted with her student Dilara Karabiber with 1100 parents, who have children between the ages of 3-6, they found that there were changes in the nutritional habits of children due to COVID-19 social isolation process.
According to the results of the research, Gür stated that 29% of children have a desire to eat something constantly at home, 14% of them have increased consumption of junk food and 14% of them have decrease in their appetite. Gür recalled that the habits and nutritional preferences developed by preschool children are important in terms of both development and immune system; and it is essential that parents should be very sensitive in this regard.
“Don't watch TV, use i-pad or mobile phone while eating”
Emphasizing the importance of having a certain meal order, eating at the same time, consuming nutritious foods in the process, Gür stated that the parents are role models for their children, parents’ diet and food choices affect children’s behavior. The use of devices such as television, i-pad, and mobile phone while eating, causes unconsciousness and prepares a ground for not realizing the taste of the food by children. This approach may cause the child to experience obesity problems in the future, said Gür.
“Children should eat at mealtime, not when they want”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gür pointed out that it is an unhealthy method to punish children when they do not eat or reward them with junk food: “children should eat at mealtimes, not whenever they want.”
It was found that 50% of the children do not prefer to eat vegetables in the aforementioned research and Gür emphasized that it is important to explain to parents the benefits of being a model for their children and the benefits of eating vegetables should be explained to the children.
It was expressed by Gür that children should be kept away from junk food and sugar-carbonated drinks: “If children chose not to eat or eat very little, they should not be given junk food after an hour; they should wait for the next meal time. Instead of foods such as chocolate, chips, biscuits, fruit should be preferred as snacks”.
News Date: May 17, 2020