National

Mothers concerned about preparing children's meals during summer vacation, survey reports

by Hinano Kobayashi

Contributing Writer

Some 60 percent of mothers with children who attend elementary school are worried about being able to give them proper meals during the summer vacation, according to a survey by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.

The survey, which polled 400 mothers during June and July, found that they are particularly concerned about whether they can provide their children with a balanced diet during the summer, when there are no school lunches provided.

Since school lunches are carefully coordinated by nutritionists to include major nutrients and are offered at a low cost, more than 80 percent said they are also concerned about the increased burden and expense of making meals themselves.

While over 90 percent say that making nutritionally balanced food is of utmost importance, 47.8 percent said the likelihood of their children eating ice cream and drinking juice goes up during the summer vacation.

One respondent pointed out that children tend to avoid eating food they don’t like when eating at home.

Preparing meals can be stressful, especially for working mothers.

To maintain balanced meals, 55 percent think they need to serve more vegetables, but only 40.3 percent said they actually do so.

Nutritionist Terumi Kobata suggests adding toppings, such as cheese, canned tuna and boiled eggs, to simple noodle and bread dishes, as well as making curry rice with a variety of meat and vegetables.