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Return to school during coronavirus prompts parents to feed kids healthier meals, study claims


The new school year has motivated parents to get their kids to eat healthier, a new survey suggests.

A study of 2,000 parents of school-aged kids found that seven in 10 American parents are piling on the fruits, veggies and other healthy mealtime options for little ones after months in quarantine, when Americans stocked up on processed foods like cereals, canned soups and macaroni and cheese.

The study, from OnePoll in partnership with New York-based food brand Sabra and as reported by South West News Service, found that 73% of caregivers surveyed said they’d be limiting their kids’ sugar intake. And  79% of participants said they’re doing this by stocking up pantries with healthy foods and snacks.

73% of caregivers surveyed said they’d be limiting their kids’ sugar intake. (iStock)

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC BOOST COMFORT FOOD SALES 

The study suggests that parents are potentially making up for feeding little ones junk food while in quarantine. Indeed, four in 10 parents said they stepped up preparing better-for-you foods as a way to make up for feeding their kids comfort foods during the pandemic.

“With so many kids learning in a home or hybrid model, busy parents are concerned about providing a steady stream of healthy meals and snacks,” Jason Levin, Sabra CMO, said in a statement.

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The good news is that the quarantine seems to have boosted Americans’ desire to cook meals from scratch at home, which could potentially result in more fresh foods and less processed meals for kids.

A separate study of 1,000 participants from food and beverage communication firm Hunter found that more than half (54%) of Americans aged 18 to 73 reported cooking more at home during the  coronavirus pandemic, while 43% reported baking more, with 51% saying they will continue to do more of it throughout the year.

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