Every year, World Food Day comes around to remind us of the importance of taking steps towards eliminating world hunger. But while it’s easy to assume that hunger results only from insufficient food, there is another increasingly common type of hunger that is equally in need of addressing.
‘Hidden hunger’ arises when people are eating sufficient calories but not getting sufficient nutrients (such as vitamins, minerals and essential fats. It is an issue that is increasingly affecting children, and is a consequence of young people’s ever changing relationships with food.
According to one study by the Chilean Blueberries Committee , 7 in 10 mums (69 per cent around the country) feel their child is developing an unhealthy relationship with food. They also found that the average child only eats three of their five a day, and 88 per cent of Mums struggle to come up with a healthy meal plans and find child-friendly recipes.
The problem correlates with worrying findings that half of young children can't use cutlery, implying an over-reliance on fast, convenient meals and the likely demise of the family meal, which is an essential part of developing a healthy attitude towards eating.
In the next week, we’ll be looking at some potential solutions to hidden hunger, including recipes and mealtime tips.
Step 1: Involvement
One thing which is proven to help improve children’s attitudes to food is involvement in food preparation from an early age. Disney’s Simple Family cookbook features 100 recipes inspired by Disney characters, making it a good starting point for teaching basic cooking skills and food knowledge.
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Food and agriculture organisation