Healthy, tasty child nutrition, a big secret? No: It is actually very easy to inspire little kids.
Here we reveal the 10 golden rules for healthy child nutrition.
Rule 1: Drink Properly and Sufficiently
Small children should drink about 1 liter a day, school children up to 1.5 liters. It is best to offer a drink in between and with every meal.
The best thirst quenchers are still water, mineral water and unsweetened herbal or fruit teas. Every now and then a glass of pure fruit juice can be a taste experience, but the juice is not suitable as a permanent drink, because it contains too much fructose. You can, however, dilute the juice with water in a ratio of 1: 1 to create a spritzer. Soft drinks and fruit drinks are bombs of sugar and calories, and cola also contains harmful caffeine.
Rule 2: Avoid Ready Meals
When time is running out, ready meals and fast food are often a blessing. However, they should not become a permanent remedy for haste, because most ready meals contain too many additives and calories and not enough high-quality ingredients, but instead flavorings and flavor enhancers. These shape children’s tastes early on industrial products. Your child cannot discover what natural food tastes like. Therefore, it is better to cook yourself from fresh ingredients regularly. This is the only way to create distinctive family favorite dishes that your children will still rave about for decades to come.
Rule 3: Lots of Fruits and Vegetables
There is nothing healthier than fresh fruit and vegetables for children. This is not only due to the many vitamins and minerals but also due to the secondary plant substances. These are color, fragrance and aroma substances in the plants that the body absolutely needs. A handful of fruits and vegetables should, therefore, be put on the plate five times a day.
Rule 4: Five Meals
Children have smaller energy stores and therefore need five balanced meals a day. This is the only way they have enough strength to play, run around, learn and grow. The breakfast is particularly important because it ends the fasting night and fills the memory. A muesli made from whole grain flakes with milk and fruit is better than sugary flakes.
Afternoon: Especially the afternoon becomes a candy trap. If the gaps between meals are too large, the children will snack through the day with unhealthy things. A glass of milk and a portion of chopped fruit prevent this in good time.
Rule 5: Fish Weekly
Fish is our main source of iodine. According to the KiGGS study, the supply situation with this trace element has improved, but it is not yet optimal. Fish also provides a lot of healthy fatty acids and should, therefore, be served once a week.
The practically boneless fish fillet is ideal for children. And because that is also under the (fat) fish stick breading, fish in this popular form is still consumed much better than no fish at all.
Rule 6: Regular Wholegrain Cereals
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends that cereal products should be served on the table every day. Because the most valuable components are in the seedling and in the outer layers, bread and pasta made from wholemeal flour are the healthiest. It is best to get your child used to the whole grain variant at an early stage because to get used to it later, a lot of tact is required. The dark color, the stronger taste, and the harder consistency are then not so popular with many children. Switching too quickly can also cause bloating.
Rule 7: Milk Products
Dairy products contain a lot of calcium for strong bones and teeth. To meet the increased needs of children, a quarter to a half liter of milk per day is enough (depending on age). Children up to the age of ten should drink pasteurized milk, the consumer advice center recommends. Unwanted germs may be present in raw milk. If your child does not like cow’s milk, offer yogurt, butter or thick milk. Cheese can also replace milk.
Rule 8: No Meat and Sausage Every Day
Meat and sausages are important and healthy for children’s nutrition. However, there are restrictions: two to three small meat meals a week are enough, otherwise there are too many animal fats on the plate. A small, lean piece of meat and a large portion of vegetables and potatoes, rice or pasta offer the best nutrient mix.
Beware of sausage cuts: Heavily cured and smoked goods can contain harmful substances. Some varieties also contain completely unnecessary flavorings. Every now and then a slice of sausage on the bun is completely okay. On the other hand, you should not give your child a Viennese sausage while driving through the supermarket because in the long run, it is simply too fat.
Rule 9: Prefer High-quality Fats
Vegetable fats contain the best combination of healthy fatty acids. Cold-pressed, unrefined oils are perfect for salads, but they are too good for cooking. Refined oils such as sunflower, olive or rapeseed oil are sufficient. The best spreadable fats are butter and uncured margarine. This is because valuable fatty acids are lost during fat hardening, and the trans fatty acids that are controversial among scientists are formed.
Rule 10: No Sweets Every Day
Opinions differ on the subject of sweets: children love them – nutrition-conscious parents would love to cut them off their menu, because they make you fat, make holes in your teeth and have little to offer in terms of health. Nevertheless, a basic ban is not a good idea, because then sweets become even more interesting.
Better: set certain snack times, for example after lunch, and then offer a small amount. However, you should also allow exceptions on special occasions.