Child Food Insecurity Effects of Food Insecurity to Children in Australia

Child food insecurity has sneaky effects on your kid’s health and development. It increases the risks for poor health, iron deficiency, hospitalization, depression, anxiety, and attention deficit disorder. Food insecurity also makes children more prone to aggression and violence. 

But what exactly is food insecurity? Being food-insecure means not having access to adequate amounts of safe and healthy food due to a lack of money or other resources. And it is higher among single-parent families

Effects of Child Food Insecurity 

Research on food insecurity makes one pause for thought, the numbers are only half of the story. If you talk to children who are experiencing this situation, your heart will bleed. 

Many of these kids are aware that they are not alone. They know that there are others who don’t have enough food. Still, it does not keep them from feeling scared of going hungry. 

Child food insecurity is traumatic. It’s a painful, anxiety-inducing experience that no child should go through. 

Reports on food insecurity make one pause for thought, but the numbers are only half of the story. If you talk to children who are experiencing this situation, your heart will bleed. 

Many of these kids are aware that they are not alone. They know that there are others who don’t have enough food. Still, it does not keep them from feeling scared of going hungry. 

Child food insecurity is traumatic. It’s a painful, anxiety-inducing experience that no child should go through. 

Food insecurity is one of the reasons children miss school. It can also cause emotional and behavioural issues, especially among teenagers. 

Solutions to Child Food Insecurity 

To ensure food security, we need to take care of four key components.  

Physical availability of food 

There are about 2.2 billion children on Earth. How do we make sure they have enough food on their stomach? We must produce enough food for these 2.2 billion children. It’s not just about quantity, but also about the quality and diversity of food. Improving food availability means we must improve our farming systems into sustainable and productive ones. We must manage our natural resources well and put policies that can enhance productivity. 

Economic access to food 

The second factor that contributes to child food insecurity is economic access to food. This means that even if we produce enough food if families do not have the financial capacity to purchase food, there will still be food insecurity. 

About 50 to 80 per cent of a poor family’s income is spent on food. If food prices continue to soar, these families will not be able to afford enough food. We must, therefore, find a solution against high food prices. 

Policies such as reduction of import taxes, tax exemption for producers, and governmental purchase are just a few ways the government can help increase food production and stabilize food prices. Reducing input costs can also help small farmers improve their production. 

Helping families, especially single parents, improve their financial health through policies is also an important contributor to food security. Child-related tax provisions, support for health care, nutrition assistance programs, housing programs, access to affordable childcare and education are just a few of the policies that can help address child food insecurity. 

Food utilization 

The third component has to do with sanitation. Are families able to prepare the food at home? Do they have access to clean water for cooking? 

The government can help improve food utilization by providing families access to clean water and upholding food laws and regulations. They must ensure that producers and the food service industries are providing healthy and clean food to the public. 

Stability of the above components 

A short period of food insecurity can have a significant impact on children. Children must remain food secure at all times. 

Factors that can cause short-term food insecurity include a change in employment status, a temporary rise in food prices, or a bad season when farmers don’t produce enough food. 

Social nets play a crucial role during such periods. The government must be able to support single-parent families through transitory food insecurity. 

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