Food Price Volatility and the Worrying Trend in Children's Snacking in Indonesia

Rachma Indah Nurbani
Food & Nutrition
Jawa Barat, Kalimantan Selatan, Indonesia
Externally Published Content, November, 2015, Final
Source: IDS Bulletin 46(6), November 2015, Pages 90–97


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Abstract

Rising food prices, increasing urbanisation, rising numbers of working women and reduced time for care has led to more children eating more pre-prepared and instant food in Indonesia. Besides the durability of much packaged food, its price is also less volatile and often cheaper than fresh food. The rising consumption of pre-prepared and instant food is a worrying trend for Indonesia because this newly middle income country faces a problem of hidden hunger. Among households who took part in the Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility study, we found widespread concerns about the quality, nutritional value and safety of snacks and other instant foods eaten by children. We also heard about the effect on children’s relations with their elders. This article looks at links between food prices and changing food habits and argues that children’s snacking, while appearing micro, is creating macro-dynamics related to nutrition security and social wellbeing.