Deakin University

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Australian parents' and children's food-related interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-09, 02:07 authored by Janandani NanayakkaraJanandani Nanayakkara, Gail Kathryn BoddyGail Kathryn Boddy, Gozde Aydin, K T Kombanda, C Larsson, Tony WorsleyTony Worsley, Claire MargerisonClaire Margerison, Alison BoothAlison Booth
Purpose: During the COVID-19 pandemic people worldwide in the same household spent more time together and school children engaged in remote learning throughout extended lockdowns and restrictions. The present study aimed to explore parents' perceptions of their involvement and enjoyment in food-related interactions with their children during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-associated lockdowns/restrictions and changes in their children's food intake, especially children's lunches during the remote learning period. Design/methodology/approach: Data from parents (n = 136) were collected via an online survey in 2020. Parents' responses to closed-ended questions were analysed via descriptive statistics and open-ended responses were analysed thematically. Findings: Most parents (62%) reported that they interacted more with their school-aged (5–17 years) children about food during COVID-19 compared to pre-pandemic times. These interactions included cooking, menu planning, eating, conversations around food, and gardening. Most parents (74%) prepared meals with their children during the pandemic and most of them (89%) reported that they enjoyed it. Most parents (n = 91 out of 121) perceived that their children's lunches during remote learning were different to when attending school in person and these changes included eating hot and home-cooked food and more elaborate meals. Originality/value: This study sheds important insights into a sample of Australian parents' food-related interactions with their school-aged children during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns and parents' observations and perceptions of changes in the children's food intake during the remote learning period.



British Food Journal