One in three cooped-up parents struggle to cope in the winter months and are counting down the days until summer, according to new research.

From the difficulty of entertaining kids indoors to the battles with the elements out of the home, the study of 2,000 parents examined the extent to which the winter season impacts American families.

Results showed many moms and dads felt the decline in weather had a real impact not just on mood and energy levels but even on the quality of the family’s diet while stuck inside for long periods.

In fact, more than half (56 percent) of the families studied reported overindulging in junk foods regularly over the winter.

The research was conducted by market researchers OnePoll and commissioned by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

Parents also reported spending an additional $470 on average battling the winter blues to keep their family warm and entertained through the cold months.

Over a typical 60-year adult lifetime, that adds up to $30,000 – all in service of boosting spirits until summer comes again.

And, with cabin fever setting in for many, 73 percent of parents say that they try to hibernate in the winter months, dreaming of beaches, summer fruits and warm breezes.

What do parents long for most in the winter months? In addition to spending more time outside, over half of parents specifically miss grilling – and another four in ten (42 percent) miss eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) said, “The winter months have their charms, but it really can be difficult for families to stay as active as they’d like – or eat as healthfully.

“Parents told us loud and clear that during the colder months, they need regular pick-me-ups, from buying warm, snuggly clothes and subscribing to new streaming services to whipping up treats in the kitchen.”

“Thanks to the sunny southern hemisphere, fresh blueberries are available all year long, offering the same quality, taste and nutritious boost. Snacking on and cooking with fresh blueberries can add a pop of color and sweetness to any winter day.”

Timely advice, since parents shared that the most popular ways to beat the blues start in the kitchen: drinking warm beverages like coffee, tea and hot cocoa (61 percent) and eating comfort foods (60 percent).

In fact, almost the same percentage of parents (56 percent) said that their families overindulge in junk food and comfort foods. Four in ten said that they struggle to eat as healthily as they do in the summer months. More fresh fruits and vegetables, like blueberries, can help them meet in the middle.

The study also revealed plenty of other reasons to long for summer. In winter, the average parent stays at home three times to nurse a sick child and deals with car trouble or engine failure twice. Thanks to the weather, they also have to cancel an average of four social events as well as handle four different incidents where a member of the family slips in the ice or snow.

Two-thirds of parents associate blueberries with summer, and the same number wish they could eat more in the winter.


BY THE NUMBERS: WINTER WOES FOR AMERICAN FAMILIES


  • 6 x Wet socks
  • 5 x Cabin fever
  • 4 x Slipping on snow/ice
  • 4 x Getting snowed in/cancelled plans
  • 4 x Weather affecting kid’s school schedule
  • 4 x Get soaked in the weather
  • 4 x Tread in a puddle
  • 3 x Taking kids to ER or doctor
  • 3 x Staying home from work with a sick kid
  • 3 x Power outage
  • 3 x Umbrella breaks or goes inside out
  • 6 x Kids misbehaving because their indoors too much

This survey of 2000 US parents with children ages 16 or less was conducted between December 19, 2016, and December 22, 2016, by market researchers OnePoll and commissioned by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.

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