Nutrition for kindergarten and school children

Nutrition for kindergarten and school children

By: Jutta Kamensky – Consumer Service Bavaria

Eating healthy has not been child’s play for a long time. Numerous foods and a lot of information flood the market. The children’s health situation in Germany clearly shows the importance of one conscious nutrition from the start is.

But what is actually the "Best for the child“And how is it implemented in everyday life?

In this post you will find

What Hänschen doesn’t learn.

In Germany, according to the KiGGS study, 15 percent of 3 to 17 year old children are considered overweight, 6.3 percent of them are pathologically overweight. Obese children often become obese adults. The earlier the children put too much weight on the scale, the higher this risk. Obesity causes physical, mental and physical problems.
Like adults, children eat too fat, too sweet and too little fruit and vegetables. A third of all six to 14 year olds do not eat breakfast in front of the school and only every second pupil has a lunch break. Malnutrition and malnutrition are possible causes of lack of concentration, fatigue and poor performance at school. Eating habits are learned in childhood and mostly continue to be practiced in adulthood. It is therefore essential to have healthy eating habits from good role models, e.g. to learn to parents.

Eat for tomorrow’s health as a child

A balanced diet can prevent the diseases that many adults suffer from in childhood. The so-called civilization diseases such as Heart attack, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis and tooth decay occur less frequently in healthy people.

A guide to what children need

A balanced and needs-based diet is crucial for children’s development, health and performance. The food pyramid is a good and simple guide to what and how much children should eat. This system makes it easier to choose and decide what is on the table today.

Copyright: Federal Center for Nutrition, Idea: S. Mannhardt

The food pyramid shows exactly the amounts in which the individual food groups should be consumed. One block corresponds to exactly one serving of this food group per day. A unit of measure is a handful, a glass or a slice.

This is how children should eat and drink

A healthy diet for children essentially follows 3 rules:

  1. Plenty of plant-based foods and sugar-free drinks
  2. Moderately animal foods
  3. Economical high-fat foods and sweets

That’s one child a day

  • 6 servings of drinks: drinking and mineral water, unsweetened fruit and herbal teas and fruit juice spritzer with 1 part of juice, 3 parts of water per day. Milk and cocoa are not suitable to quench your thirst. They belong to the group of nutrient-rich foods. Drinks meet the high fluid needs of children and are part of every meal.

5 servings of fruit, vegetables, including 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables, salad and raw food. Salad and raw food provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals. Children often raise their noses when vegetables are served cooked. For small vegetable muffle, the vegetables are offered raw for nibbling or hidden in pasta sauces or pureed soups. Every now and then a glass of fruit juice replaces a portion of fruit.

4 servings of bread, cereals and side dishes. Bread, rolls, cereals, potatoes, pasta and rice contain starch, fiber, vitamins and minerals. This gives the muscles and brain the necessary energy. Whole wheat flour is more valuable than white flour, so-called extract flour, and is therefore preferable. Whole grain bread made from fine wholemeal flour is what children usually prefer to eat rather than coarse grains.

3 servings of milk and milk products. They contain the important mineral calcium for bones and teeth and high-quality protein for growth. Children should drink ¼ to ½ liter of milk every day, depending on their age. If the child rejects pure milk, yogurt, curd cheese or mixed milk drinks with fresh fruits are a good alternative. Hidden in pudding or semolina pudding, milk is often more accepted than “solo”.

1 serving of meat, fish, egg or sausage. These foods are considered good suppliers of iron, B vitamins and high quality protein, but unfortunately also of fat. Lean sausages such as Cooked ham or poultry sausage should therefore be preferred over high-fat goods. Once a week, the fish has a permanent place in the menu. Sea fish such as cod, saithe and redfish contain a lot of iodine. High-fat fish brings important omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is very popular with breading and fried in fat. It also tastes steamed with sauce or with vegetables.

Foam kiss bun – an example
for a "extra"

    2 small portions of cooking fat and spreadable fat benefit the body due to their high content of fat-soluble vitamins and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Vegetable oils and fats such as rapeseed and olive oil have a more favorable nutrient composition than the animal representatives. Spread the bread thinly with butter or margarine and use fat sparingly when cooking.

  • 1 serving of sweets is allowed and is considered an "extra", including fat snacks or sweetened drinks.
    A lot of sugar and fat in these foods provide unnecessary calories and damage your teeth. The daily amount of "extras" fits in one hand and could e.g. a foam kiss, a handful of gummy bears, 1 piece of cake or a chocolate bar. Coke, soda and other soft drinks are also classified in this food group due to their high sugar content – so they should be consumed with caution.
  • Food quantities for kindergarten and school children per day

    Age 4-6 years 7-9 years 10-12 years
    calories (Kcal / day) 1450 1800 2150
    beverages ml / day 800 900 1000
    Bread, cereal flakes g / day 180 200 250
    Potatoes, pasta, rice g / day 180 220 270
    vegetables g / day 210 225 250
    fruit g / day 200 220 250
    Dairy products ml (g) / day 350 400 400
    Meat, sausage g / day 150 160 200
    fish g / week 50 75 90
    eggs Unit / week 2 2 2-3
    Oil, margarine, butter g / day 25 30 35
    sweet kcal / day 140 180 210
    Source: AID 2009 and 2011

    Eating every 3 hours

    Children have a high energy requirement due to growth and a lot of exercise. To avoid tiredness and a drop in concentration, they need constant replenishment. Five meals should be spread evenly throughout the day: breakfast, sandwiches, lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner. It makes little difference whether lunch or dinner is the warm meal.

    Meals at home complement the out-of-home catering

    For children who get a warm meal in kindergarten or school, eating at home should be seen as a supplement in terms of nutritional values. According to the food pyramid, the dishes at home complete the individual building blocks that are already covered. During the day e.g. offered little fresh, an evening salad or raw food would be ideal for nibbling. If there was vegetarian at lunchtime, sausage bread, turkey escalope or fish are allowed on the table in the evening.

    The breakfast: with verve in the day

    Breakfast and sandwich bread together cover a third of the total energy requirement. Those who have breakfast every day replenish the carbohydrate stores in the morning that have emptied during the night and are more productive in the morning. Breakfast and sandwich bread should complement each other in the composition. For example, muesli with fruit in the morning and cheese sandwich with strips of pepper during the break.

    Tips for small breakfast muffle

    • Wake children up a few minutes early so they have enough time to eat
    • Children should drink at least a glass of juice, milk or cocoa and take a larger lunch with them
    • Children like company. Have breakfast with the whole family.
    • If you are in a hurry in the morning, set the table the night before and prepare the lunch.
    • Variety stimulates the appetite. Enrich the breakfast table with muesli, bread with cheese, sausage, jam or curd cheese, fresh fruit or vegetable sticks.
    • Let your child decide what and how much they want to take to school.

    Tips for the break

    A good break bread always consists of at least four components:

    A colorfully laid table with fruit and vegetables to nibble on,
    Bread skewers, cereal.
    Enlarged view

    Sweets, cakes, sugared fruit drinks or sticky granola bars do not belong in the lunch box.

    Important: The eye eats too. According to the motto "colorful is healthy" and "Color makes you hungry" make the break bread so appealing that it is a real pleasure to bite into it.

    Recipes for a crisp snack

    Pausenbrot skewers

    Ingredients for 4 skewers:
    2 slices of whole grain bread
    50 g cream cheese
    100 g sliced ​​cheese in one piece (Gouda or butter cheese)
    1 tangerine
    8 grapes
    1 small red pepper or a piece of cucumber
    4 shish kebabs

    Spread bread with cream cheese. Cut each slice into 6 pieces. Cut the cheese into cubes. Peel the tangerine and cut it into pieces. Wash the grapes. Wash the peppers or cucumber and cut into cubes or slices. Alternately skewer bread, cheese, tangerines, grapes and vegetables.

    traffic light bread

    Ingredients for 2 loaves:
    2 slices of whole grain bread
    1 tbsp tomato paste
    2 slices of cooked ham
    1 small piece of cucumber
    1 yellow pepper
    1 banana

    Spread bread with tomato paste and top with ham. Peel the cucumber and cut into thin slices. Wash the peppers and cut them into rings. Top the bread with paprika and cucumber. It tastes like B. a banana very tasty.

    So eating is fun for everyone

    All parents sometimes have fun at the dining table. Children also have their own taste and do not fully understand the parents’ nutritional rules. When it comes to eating and drinking, children want to have a say and participate.

    Children like:

    • A pleasant table atmosphere
    • Have a say and participate in the purchase and preparation of the dishes
    • Not always having to eat everything
    • Eat with others
    • Prefer to hear alternatives rather than prohibitions
    • Be praised for good eating behavior

    Parents should nevertheless set clear goals and limits and take their responsibility seriously as a role model. Good nutrition education promotes child independence and healthy eating habits – also for the future.

    Photo credit:
    122383836 Children’s main course © san_ta –
    139772660 © pololia – Child with kiwi slices –
    87837091 Children’s break bread © nata_vkusidey –
    Colorful bar, chocolate buns © Jutta Kamensky

    more on the subject

    VIS items

    Literature and further links

    • Federal Center for Nutrition: The best food for children
    • Fitkid – the healthy eating campaign for daycare centers of the DGE e.V..
    • State initiative for conscious child nutrition in Baden-Württemberg
    • Networking school catering Bavaria
    • Child and Adolescent Health Survey KiGGS
    • Child health portal of the BZgA:

    The Free State of Bavaria provides you with independent, science-based information on consumer protection on this website.
    Unfortunately, we cannot offer individual legal information and personal advice. We are also not allowed to warn companies that are anti-competitive themselves.
    If you still have questions about your specific situation, please contact the contact persons listed under Service.

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