Health

Proper nutrition as a source of energy for children and adolescents - The right mix for a healthy diet basically consists of the balanced composition of animal and plant foods.

And even though we've written separate pages on food and health, overall health starts with food.

How to recognize malnutrition?

Optimal energy generation consists largely of carbohydrates (50–55 percent) such as cereals, vegetables, potatoes and fruit. Only a small amount of fat (maximum 30 percent) from vegetable fats and oils and only a small amount from animal and vegetable protein (10-15 percent) is necessary.

If a natural balance is achieved here, the child is well looked after and does not need any supplements.

Health
Health through healthy eating - Image by Jerzy Górecki from Pixabay

Does the child eat one-sidedly, such as purely vegetarian, without milk, with too much meat, with sweets and pastries or mostly sweets, then a lack of fatty acids, trace elements and vitamins can adjust.

If predominantly one flavor is preferred, for example salty, sweet, sour, this dulls the natural taste sensation. Therefore, it is important to get children used to eating at least a snack from any food.

How often to eat and how much?

A healthy and optimal diet ensures 3-5 meal times throughout the day. At least one warm meal should be included. The stomach feels good when hunger does not arise. Fruit and vegetables, some bread or pastries are ideal as a snack. Potatoes, brown rice, pasta, vegetables or salad are advisable for hot meals. Alternately offer small fish and meat side dishes. Still water, fruit and herbal tea is cheap as a drink.

Sugaring beverages should be avoided because fruit juices already contain 10 percent sugar. Milk has a variety of important ingredients such as As calcium, phosphorus, protein, zinc, iodine and vitamin B2 and B1, which are particularly important in the growth phase. If you are allergic to milk, seek advice from a nutritionist.

Eating is a matter of nature

Adults often measure their child's food intake according to their own eating habits. It is therefore important to ensure that children are not served adult portions. The body usually gets what it needs. It is normal for children not to eat the same amount every day.

Depending on age, type of being, physique and physical activity, the diet should be adjusted individually. Quiet and petite children would be overwhelmed with large amounts of meat and fat, and instead need light food, since their metabolism can do this better. Pre-cooked vegetables and warm food are best distributed in small quantities throughout the day.

Rules and rituals when eating can promote enjoyment

A few simple food rituals are important to make your stomach feel good. Because a healthy digestion begins at the first bite. For eating we need above all time and rest. Therefore, a short break before and after the meal is important. Distraction such as radio, TV, reading or excited conversation should be avoided. And as with the big ones: "The eye eats with you."

The sweet extra is allowed

The preference for the sweet taste is probably innate, because breast milk already tastes sweet. A total ban on sweets will be difficult to enforce. Even the food pyramid has given the treats a place, which form a group of tolerated foods under the heading "Extras". In principle, sweets are not prohibited.

However, the Research Institute for Child Nutrition (FKE) recommends not consuming more than 10 percent of the daily energy intake in the form of “extras”. For 7-9 year old children, for example, this is around 180 kcal or the equivalent of around 45 grams of sugar or 20 grams of fat.

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