- Multiple factors influence mental well-being, including nutrition.
- A recent study found that eating more fruits and vegetables was linked to better mental well-being among children.
- On the other hand, children who skipped meals were more likely to have lower well-being scores.
Although well-being among adults and children is similar, it is not exactly the same for both groups. Children are still growing, and multiple factors need to be taken into account when evaluating children’s health.
One area of interest is the association between nutrition and children’s mental well-being. A new study, which appears in the journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, suggests that children who eat more fruits and vegetables are more likely to have a better sense of mental well-being than those who eat less.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide the following definition of what it means for children to be mentally healthy:
“Being mentally healthy during childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems. Mentally healthy children have a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in school, and in their communities.”
Psychologist and well-being consultant Lee Chambers further explained the impact of children’s mental well-being to Medical News Today:
“Mental well-being in children plays a vital role in more than their health outcomes. Positive mental well-being is influenced by a variety of factors, and, in turn, impacts a range of outcomes, from education to health [and from] friendships to decision making.”
Chambers continues, “It also provides the platform to develop resilience, cope with stressors, and become rounded and healthy adults. It is also pivotal in their ability to be safe and for healthy relationships.”
“In an increasingly dynamic and uncertain world, mental well-being provides the foundations for children to build upon, to explore and learn, to play and have fun, and to navigate the challenges and adversity that come with being human.”