Nutrition is a basic human need. For parents, the diet of their child's birth is a big topic: is it enough to drink? Does it get all the nutrients? Is it too greasy? Is it too thin? Parents should listen to their gut and their children's feelings. Because children still have a natural sense of satiety and healthy eating behaviors, and that's about it. The Liechtenstein Red Cross Mother and Father Counseling Center is trying to provide just that to parents in counseling centers. "Our goal is to put pressure on parents that their child has to eat textbooks," says Gertrud Gantenbein of Mother and Father Advice. Because every child is and eats differently. One already takes porridge in the fourth month of life, the other does not like it even at eight months, and the other eats finger foods rather than porridge. Physical well-being affects emotional well-being and vice versa. When your stomach hurts and hunger bothers you, your baby relies on sensitive, responsive parents.
Enjoying and time at the family table
Eating habits children learn at home. A comfortable and relaxed atmosphere at the dining table is very important. Because it promotes well-being and enjoyment and has a significant impact on eating habits, as studies show. "Therefore, stressful situations at the dining table should be avoided," Gantenbein explains. Eating together, telling stories, laughing – it increases your appetite and boosts your family life. Therefore, sufficient time should be provided for main meals. "Unfortunately, we notice that the classic family table is getting smaller," Gantenbein says. This is mainly about changing society. Often times are simply missing. Therefore, parents should plan to take at least one meal a day as a family – for example, it could be breakfast.
Do not enjoy food
Basically, children eat with pleasure and all the senses. "The joy of eating should not be taken from children," explains the mother and father counselor. To avoid this, it is important to follow a basic rule: parents decide what comes on the table, the child decides how much to eat. Children should not be persuaded to eat a plate. Small portions are more appealing to children and, if necessary, can be supplemented independently, which many children like to do.
From the outset, it is important to provide children with as much food as possible so that they can learn about diversity. It also ensures you get the nutrients you need, it encourages food acceptance and shapes taste preferences, which are often maintained throughout life, are positive.
Until a few years ago, experts recommended avoiding certain foods, such as gluten or fish, assuming they could prevent allergies. However, recent research shows that it has no preventative effect on the development of an allergy. On the contrary: Adapted to age, a varied diet in the first year of life protects against allergies.
Include children in shopping or cooking Children are reluctant to reject new foods. Because her taste is still completely unknown. "Then you can try to animate them," says Gertrud Gantenbein. For example, one might say, "Just try with the tip of your tongue" or "Try out how spinach feels and sounds when you chew it." Under no circumstances should children be forced to eat. Even adults don't like everything.
If a child refuses food, they may try it later. Involving children in shopping or cooking can strengthen their relationship with food. And also very important: role model of parents. "If parents don't eat the vegetables themselves, they can't expect it from the kids," Gantenbein says.
Rituals at the dining table are popular
In childhood, nutrition education also comes. Some rules need to be laid down because children need structures. For example, washing your hands before eating, wishing or praying "An Guata". "Rituals at the dining table are very popular with young children." Plus, it doesn't make sense to serve your child with something else if they haven't eaten much. Parents worry quickly if their children do not eat "nice" food. But it is normal for them to eat once more and once less. Snacks such as bars or biscuits should not be given between. Because it satisfies hunger and affects the next meal. Fruits, vegetables, raw foods or large appetite cereals are the better choices.
Exercise and fresh air are just as important
Not only healthy food is important for health, but also free movement that pleases all the senses. To develop a good sense of body, children should move inside and out every day. Daylight and fresh air are essential for physical and psychological well-being. "In particular, early childhood digital media is not ideal, because it attracts attention without the urge to move into accommodation," Gertrud Gantenbein points out. (Manu)