If you have started to eat yourself healthy, then you know that it is not always easy and sometimes requires a lot of planning. However, you probably think that it will be even more complicated if you also want to eat healthy children. However, healthy eating is not that demanding for children if you follow a few basic rules. We want to bring light into the dark!
How do you teach healthy food to children?
As you can already see from the question, our contribution is not only about giving you dishes, but we also want to show you an opportunity how you can make the nutrition of children as simple and healthy as possible. The simplest and yet most challenging task is to be a good role model. So if you live a healthy diet, that’s half the battle. It is therefore only a natural consequence that your children want to eat the same things as you do. This in turn can save you a lot of stress and time. But it also means that you are open to new products and recipes, because this is the only way you can get your children to try new things again and again. To give you a better overview, here are our 7 tips to help you establish a healthy diet for your children:
- Lots of fruit and vegetables
- Rich carbohydrates
- Regularly milk and milk products, cheese, as well as meat, fish and eggs
- Economical handling of high-fat foods
- Divide sweets – small daily portions
- Water as an ideal standard drink
- Letting children help in the kitchen
Variety and patience are two criteria that go hand in hand and you should definitely consider in a healthy child nutrition. A varied and balanced diet requires that you offer your child the widest possible variety of foods and encourage him or her to try them out. However, learning to eat is a complex process and new foods often take longer to be liked. In addition, taste buds change throughout your life. So if a year ago you found cauliflower to be a maximum punishment, you may have discovered a new favourite vegetable today. That’s why it makes sense for you and your children to keep trying out new culinary things and discovering new things together. So don’t give up too quickly and don’t stress yourself!
A healthy children’s diet: All day long
As an adult, you may tend to portion your food so that you know how much you have consumed. However, this is not necessarily optimal for children. Children need a lot of energy when they grow up. Growth takes its toll, as do all the new things they have to learn every day. That’s why children should always be able to eat their fill of healthy things. This also includes snacks.
A healthy day starts with a healthy breakfast. Here you can bring fruit and vegetables into play. Even if cornflakes or packaged cereals are a quick alternative, in reality they are not an alternative. And then in combination with a breakfast juice or orange juice, you get a considerable amount of sugar. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate breakfast, but it should definitely consist of wholesome ingredients. Here are a few ideas for you:
- Yoghurt with cereal flakes and berries
- A slice of tomato or cucumber on a wholemeal bread with cheese
- A milkshake with a fresh banana
We continue with a healthy snack in the morning. Especially for small children who are still at home or in kindergarten, fruit and vegetables cut into slices or slices are suitable. A second breakfast of this kind during the break is also important for school children, as it provides them with new energy but at the same time does not make them tired. However, there may be another component in school children, such as
- Wholemeal bread with cheese or sausage
- Muesli or bar, both sugar-free at best
- Yoghurt with dried fruits
Lunch is healthiest when it’s home-cooked. Of course, this is probably not always possible with the ready-to-eat meals in the daycare center and school time. However, if the daily schedule allows it, then you should definitely prefer to cook yourself (pre)as it is free of a lot of fat, sugar and flavourings. Also here applies: it does not have to be complex at all. Many dishes can be prepared in up to 30 minutes with just a few fresh ingredients:
The afternoon offers another healthy snack. At this point it can get really tricky, and for you! While you may often be inclined to have sweet things to eat in the afternoon, such as cakes or biscuits, you should try to snack healthily with your child and yourself in mind. Now and then a cookie is not a problem, but it should not become a habit. So here are a few alternatives for you:
- Vegetable sticks with quark or hummus
- Fresh fruit
- Homemade smoothie
Dinner is in the family. A dinner together is a nice occasion to sit, eat and tell each other about the day. If there was already something warm to eat at lunchtime, then the classic evening meal is enough. Wholemeal bread with raw vegetables, perhaps a colourful salad, boiled eggs or a little fish such as smoked salmon. Here again a few ideas:
As you can see, healthy child nutrition is not really complicated, but it requires good and forward-looking planning. We have also provided for this for you with the KoRo meal planner. And you can find more recipe ideas for you and your children in our Food Journal!
And last but not least, here are a few tricks for everyday life:
We know that everyday life with children cannot necessarily be planned, which is why we have summarized a few survival tips:
- Shopping and planning food together reduces the time spent and involves the children.
- Rules must be followed by all.
- You should try to get the kids involved in the cooking. Adding the sauce to the salad also makes your child proud.
- Snacking is fine if you take care of small portions and exceptions remain something special.
- Dresses up food pretty together. Colourful food makes you want more and doesn’t mean a lot of extra work. Fruit and vegetables are available in almost all colours.
- Sometimes a wish concert is something special. You should let your children have a say when it’s possible.
- You should always have some healthy snacks in stock so you don’t get into an uncomfortable situation. This may take some time to prepare, but will save you money and nerves.
- You should try something new with your children. Make a cooking evening together where you can try out new recipes and help the children.