Inside their bubbles: Are kids at home growing up happy and healthy amid pandemic?

It’s not hard to imagine how hard and puzzling it has been for the young ones being stuck at home during pandemic..

MANILA, Philippines (First published on Friday, Aug. 13) — Ever since the pandemic began, we’ve all read and heard the challenges and adjustments we’ve faced, but how about our children?

It’s not hard to imagine how doubly hard and puzzling it has been for the young ones. They continue to stay at home with little to no access to open spaces and playgrounds, as well as be isolated from their friends and young cousins.

“Filipinos are culturally ‘touchy-feely.’ It’s natural to beso, mano and hug as forms of greeting and showing care and respect. When the pandemic suddenly came, it was really a challenge for Filipino children to change their way of life without warning,” said Dr. Vanessa Kathleen Cainghug, Resident Child Psychiatrist at The Medical City, in an exclusive interview with

Dr. Cainghug noted sudden lifestyle changes that kids had to cope with: online learning, lack of face-to-face interaction, inability to celebrate milestones and even not being able to exercise and play outside.

Filipinos are culturally ‘touchy-feely.’ It’s natural to beso, mano and hug as forms of greeting and showing care and respect.
Phioto by jcomp /

As a result of these, many kids resorted to playing with their gadgets, eating more junk food, and staying up late. Worse, Dr. Cainghug observed that some kids started lagging in their online studies.

But even as Filipino children continue to live inside their bubbles in this pandemic, parents must cultivate a home and an environment wherein their kids can grow up happy and healthy!

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Dr. Cainghug advised that parents can try creative activities that don’t just include gadgets.

“Parents should let their kids get involved in more light and practical activities at home, like organizing parts of the house, cooking exciting dishes, taking care of pets,” she said.

For older kids, the child psychiatrist recommends delegating simple tasks such as following health protocols, as well as entrusting them with important roles to boost their self-esteem and self-worth.

Good gut feeling

Better gut health is the key to stronger immunity.
Photo by tirachardz /

Apart from lifestyle adjustments, parents, moms especially, must be more mindful of their kid’s diet, according to Dr. Jennifer Olay, pediatric gastroenterologist at Philippine Children's Medical Center.

“Apart from putting attention to their child’s activity, parents should continue to provide healthy food and milk, especially for 3-year-olds and above because these are the periods of rapid growth and development,” she said.

Granted this was harder to do in the beginning of the pandemic, these days we have more options of acquiring healthy foods from online grocery platforms as well as online “palengke.”

To meet their nutritional demands, varied meals should be introduced for better gut health. Dr. Olay explains that better gut health is the key to stronger immunity.

“The gut does not only includes digestion and absorption as its function but also plays a major role in immunity. The digestive system is considered the center of immunity because almost 80% of antibody-producing cells that help fight infection are present in the gut!” she said.

“Therefore, it is important to maintain good gut health because it helps in proper digestion and absorption of nutrients and also helps provides strong immunity and resistance as well as a healthy gut microbiota,” she added.

Part of maintaining a strong gut for your kids of course has to do with age-appropriate milk. Dr. Olay emphasizes that moms are should be careful and meticulous in choosing milk that’s right for their kids.

“It should not only deliver the basic nutrition that milk provides, but also additional components like probiotics which could help improve gut health and provide gut comfort, meaning there is less colic and better bowel movement,” she shared.

Grow healthy and happy

NESTOGROW is an age-appropriate milk drink that has essential nutrients and helps provide Grow Healthy and Happy benefits for kids. It contains Vitamins A and D, DHA, protein, and minerals such as calcium and iron. Best of all, it contains L. comfortis probiotics that help provide them with good digestive health.

With a balanced diet, NESTOGROW is here to support moms to help their kids grow up safe, happy and healthy!

While staying at home, moms can also look for happy activities to keep their kids productive and entertained all while they’re learning. NESTOGROW also has some activities lined up for your kids to try and enjoy when you go to this link.

When it comes to giving your kids the Grow Healthy and Happy Benefits, choose NESTOGROW!


For more information, visit

NESTOGROW® 4 is not a breastmilk substitute but a milk drink suited for healthy children above 3 years old.


ASC Reference No.: N106P063021NS

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