Healthy nutrition for children: the infographics

Content of the article

It is important that school children eat healthy. Not really a surprise, but many children only get an unhealthy snack or no snack at all at school. Something must change here urgently! The info. diagram of explains, how a healthy nutrition should look for school children, supplies descriptive examples and suggestions for prescriptions. Developed the Infografik in co-operation with the German society for nutrition registered association. (DGE) and IN FORM, an initiative of the Federal Government for healthy nutrition and more movement.

Actually, parents know.

98 percent of all parents stated in a Forsa survey for the DAK that a balanced diet is important to them when it comes to the health of their children. So far so good.

. but the reality is different.

First-graders should actually eat 200 grams of fruit and vegetables a day. But girls actually eat only 150 grams of fruit and boys only 148 grams of fruit a day, as the DGE nutrition report shows. The situation with vegetables is even worse: With girls only 93 gram comes daily on the table, with boys even only 90 gram!

One of the consequences of this unhealthy diet is that more and more children are overweight! Whereas in 1999 an average of 10 percent of primary school children were considered to be overweight, today the figure is between 15 and 16 percent. This is shown by the KiGGS health study of the Robert Koch Institute.

The info. diagram explains therefore descriptively, what a balanced and healthy nutrition means for school children. According to the aid nutrition pyramid, the daily diet for children – and also for adults – should look like this:

– 1 portion sweets and sugar – 2 portions fats and oils – 3 portions animal food – 4 portions cereals, noodles & potatoes – 5 portions fruits & vegetables

One portion is always about as much as fits into one hand. Accordingly, this is a larger amount with adults than with a schoolchild. The infographics show examples for a primary school child, but of course the information is individually different:

– A portion of fruit & vegetables corresponds for example to an apple or 1-2 hands full of chopped carrots – A portion of grain, noodles or potatoes corresponds in about a slice of wholemeal bread or 2 large potatoes – A portion of animal food is – depending on size – in about 2 slices of cheese or 2 slices of sausage – A portion of fats and oils corresponds in about a tablespoon of rapeseed oil or a tablespoon of butter – A portion of sweets means for a primary school child in about 10 gummi bears or 2 pieces of chocolate

And of course it also means: Don’t forget to drink!

Primary school children should drink at least one liter of water or unsweetened tea a day. This corresponds to about 6 glasses. But also here many children have to catch up: 59% of the girls drink too little and 48% of the boys consume less than one litre a day. Drinking is important! The consequences of too little fluid can also be quickly noticed by schoolchildren:

– Fatigue and lack of concentration – Limited physical capacity – Frequent headaches – Problems with bowel movements (constipation) – Tendency to urinary tract infections

Parents should therefore always give their children drinks at school. Mineral water and unsweetened tea are best.

Breakfast: the power source

A healthy and balanced diet begins as soon as you get up. Because a healthy breakfast is the ideal power source for a long school day. But here, too, German schoolchildren have some catching up to do: 31 percent of schoolchildren rarely or never eat breakfast. A simple but healthy breakfast is ready in the twinkling of an eye: a slice of wholemeal bread with cream cheese, garnished with a large slice of tomato. A cup of unsweetened tea with it – done!

Big break: the perfect school sandwich

It is particularly important that school children can replenish their energy stores with a snack during breaks. The info graphic shows all the components that a healthy sandwich needs:

– Whole grain bread or rolls – Thinly spread with butter, margarine or cream cheese – Topped with semi-hard cheese with max. 50 % fat in dry matter, such as butter cheese, Camembert, Gouda or Tilsiter – Or with low-fat sausage such as turkey breast, ham or salmon ham – Served with fresh vegetables and herbs, such as salad leaves, radishes, cucumber, tomato, cress, parsley or chives

A healthy snack between meals also includes a fruit and vegetable tin. Parents can give their children, for example, mini tomatoes, carrots, kohlrabi or radishes. Of course, fruit is also a must, such as grapes, mandarins, raspberries or cherries, or finely chopped pineapple, apple, kiwi, peach or melon. For variety there are also nuts or dried fruit from time to time.

A whole day at school

Around 54 percent of all schools in Germany are all-day schools – so lunch also falls during school time. Most schools have a canteen or other facilities. However, according to a survey, 44 percent of pupils do not take advantage of the food on offer at their school. But for all of Germany’s approximately 2.3 million all-day students, the following applies: They need a healthy lunch! That could look like this, for example:

Prima pasta salad for 4 people 250 g noodles 12 cherry tomatoes 100 g cheese, or ½ cucumber 4 small carrots 5 tbsp vegetable oil 3 tbsp vinegar 2 tsp mustard 6 pinches iodized salt 3 pinches pepper 1/2 bunch chives

Healthy finale: snack in between and dinner

Even after school, children need a balanced diet to replenish their energy stores. A yoghurt or fruit pot, for example, is suitable for in between meals. Mix unsweetened muesli with natural yoghurt and add diced fruit. Or how about the following recipe?

Blackberry-Banana-Shake40 g Blackberries 25 g Banana 125 ml milk some honey & lemon juice

Dinner can look like this:

Paprika-zucchini-potato pan for 4 persons 520 g potatoes 8 ml olive oil iodized salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, parsley 400 ml vegetable stock 600 g peppers 160 g onions 400 g zucchini 160 g feta

Preparation: Put the potatoes cut into slices in a greased casserole dish, season with the spices and herbs and add the vegetable stock. Cook at 150°C dry heat for approx. 20 minutes in a combi steamer and for approx. 30 minutes in the oven. Add the pepper strips, onion cubes and halved zucchini slices and cook for a further 25 minutes. When the potatoes are soft, add the crumbled feta to the mixture and cook for about 3 minutes.

Healthy nutrition for children – recipes, tips & more

These recipes are healthy examples – but of course the menu should be varied and the children should enjoy the food again and again. More healthy recipes for schoolchildren and tips and tricks for cooking for children can be found in our special on healthy nutrition for children.

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Christina Cherry
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