Loaves And Fishes: Nutrition’s Impact On Children

Originally published on Positively Naperville.

Since the onset of COVID-19, food insecurity has increased dramatically. The U.S. Food Security Scale states that one in five families with children under the age of six struggles to provide enough food to lead active, healthy lives and are food insecure. Currently, 64% of clients that receive food at Loaves & Fishes are families with children.

Nutrition is vital during this pandemic because it provides both physical and mental health benefits. Healthy foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, fill the body with essential vitamins and minerals for a strong immune system and can reduce stress and anxiety. Early childhood health and proper development depend on a well-balanced nutritious diet. Research from Children’s HealthWatch has shown that young children, under age four in food-insecure households, are at increased risk for hospitalizations, developmental delays, iron deficiency, and poor health.