How lockdown has made children feel

9 March 2021
As part of its ongoing study of the impact of Covid-19 on families, the Food Foundation asked children about things that made them happy or worried.

Children between the ages of seven and 17 were asked two questions:

  1. Can you tell us three things that you worry about at the moment?
  2. Can you tell us three things that make you feel happy / that you enjoy doing at the moment?

Of the 1,308 responses, 255 children reported no worries while 170 reported they had nothing to be happy about. From the others, the biggest concern was around catching Covid-19.

Older children in particular told the survey they were worried about the impact of lockdown on their education. Some citing ‘missing out on my education and GCSEs’ and ‘if I’m learning well enough at home’ as concerns. Another common worry was not being able to see friends and family.

Lots of children were worried about their parents’ income and food security. Some contextual responses included ‘mum’s job and she only eats a little’ and ‘not having enough food at home’.

For some positivity, responses to the second question included ‘all of the family have time for each other’ and something everybody can rally behind in ‘being able to sleep more has made me feel happy’.

The ongoing pandemic is shining a light on the inequality and food insecurity prevalent in our society. The Government must learn lessons from this past year and work to protect those children who are ‘worried about not having enough food in the house’. A good place to start would be with a review of free school meals.