Healthy nutrition for children – what you have to consider?
Healthy eating for children is more important than ever. Parents are usually aware of this, but it is difficult to put it into practice.
Because most kids are fond of sweet and prefer French fries, burgers and co as main course instead of vegetable pan and salad.
Since the little ones move less and less due to computers and smartphones, the importance of healthy child nutrition is important even bigger than ever.
You are what you eat – It is now assumed that many more diseases can be attributed to the diet than previously thought. And as parents, you are ultimately responsible for the offspring. That is precisely why it is so important to set the course right from the start and lay the foundations for healthy nutrition in childhood. But – what can a good child nutrition plan look like? And: healthy eating also works in kindergarten?
Healthy nutrition for children: parents as role models
With this whole topic, one should not forget that parents are very important role models for their children. If the parents eat mostly unhealthy food, it is not surprising that the children do the same. That is why parents should lead by example when it comes to healthy child nutrition. So it is a matter of course for the child to eat healthy. In any case, it can’t be prevented that later, when it gets older, it will try this and that completely unhealthy dish with its friends. But at least the basics are then laid.
What actually means healthy eating in children?
Exactly the same as with adults: lots of vegetables and fruits in combination with low fat and sugar, plus high-quality carbohydrates from whole grains, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans), nuts, seeds and rice, as well as potatoes. Healthy eating in children is often so difficult because experience has shown that children are very spotty and prefer sweets. Many parents are almost in despair if the child simply rejects everything that seems healthy. But here, too, there are some options so that the child can get his daily vitamin ration.
By the way, meat does not necessarily have to be on the menu in children. Quite the contrary: According to current knowledge, it is even healthier to do without meat and processed meat products if it is ensured that the child otherwise feeds a varied diet. There are no nutrients that are not available in a plant-based diet. You can safely leave out salami, ham, schnitzel and bear sausage.
- If the child does not get any fish, care should be taken to get the important omega-3 fatty acids from hemp or linseed oil, but this is also not a problem.
- Lentils and legumes, like some other plant foods, are even significantly richer in iron than meat.
- There is often a prejudice: everything that is healthy does not taste good. But that’s not true, because children love fruits and vegetables, you just have to serve them in a visually appealing way.
Fat and sugar traps
The problem with today’s diet is almost always too much sugar and fat. An alarmingly large number of children are overweight – an important reason for healthy childhood nutrition because overweight is a risk factor for many other diseases. In addition, overweight children often have a hard time getting rid of the kilos they have too much as adults.
Therefore, the consumption of sugar and fat should be reduced as much as possible. Of course, this is easier said than done for children. Nevertheless, much is just a matter of getting used to. It doesn’t always have to be industrial sugar! Bananas are also sweet. This can be used to conjure up a delicious chocolate dish with a little unsweetened cocoa powder. Children love fruit – you just have to offer it to them again and again. In general, everything that is sugared should be on the table as rarely as possible. A look at the list of ingredients often helps if it is a finished product.
As for fats: hardened fats are just as unfavorable as animal fats (except omega 3 in fish). Unfortunately we eat too much of it. Recommended fats are – if at all – only cold-pressed vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil, linseed oil and olive oil and these should also be used sparingly. A lot of fat is hidden in cheese and sausage. Instead of the cream sauce, a tomato sauce should be served, which tastes good for almost all kids anyway.
Fast food no thanks – better serve freshly cooked
It goes without saying: Fast food should only be on the program for the little ones in exceptional cases. A healthy diet for children means freshly cooked and not French fries or Chicken Mc Nuggets, even if they taste good. It is very clear here: exceptions mean the rule!
The best thing is always freshly cooked and it doesn’t have to take long. Healthy children’s dishes can also be on the table in 15 minutes:
- Whole grain pasta with various (vegetable) sauces, for example, which are so pureed that the vegetables are no longer recognizable.
- Incidentally, it can also be helpful to prepare the food together with the kids if there is enough time. Then it is much better eaten.
- Smoothies and homemade ice cream
In addition, it is often difficult to put healthy children’s dishes on the table or, if you are working, to implement healthy nutrition for the children. Nevertheless, there are a few tricks and tips on how even the little ones can get their nutrient ration.
For example in the form of smoothies. If these are nice and colorful and taste sweet, they are usually also drunk. A certain degree of sweetness can be achieved by adding a banana. There are also other high-quality ingredients such as nutmeg and other fruit – a real vitamin bomb is already available to the offspring.
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