Why a healthy diet is so important

Children want to eat what they like, which is mainly sweets or fatty food. Fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, feature at the very bottom of the popularity scale. But even if it is not always easy for parents to encourage their children to eat healthily: a balanced diet is essential for an optimal development. Five reasons why it is worth giving your children a healthy diet from a young age.

The foundation for healthy eating habits are laid early on in life. A study conducted by the Dortmund Research Institute for Children’s Nutrition (FKE) has shown that the food and nutrient patterns remain stable after the second year of life. In other words, the chance of bringing up children to develop healthy eating habits is never as good as in this period of life. For that reason, it is particularly important to have a positive influence on children’s preferences as early as possible with various taste experiences. A varied diet as early as the supplementary diet phase can have a lasting impact on increasing the acceptance of healthy food. Parents play a key role in the implementation: their function as role models allows them to have a decisive impact on the eating habits of their children in this early phase. If the parents look forward to a portion of fresh vegetables, their children will soon drop their resistance to a food that may be unpopular or unusual.

As children need more or less time to get to know a new taste, parents need one thing more than anything else: persistence! They should not give up too soon and keep offering new foods, even if they are initially rejected. In studies on the eating habits of babies, Dr Maier-Nöth has been able to show that it takes up to 8 attempts before children accept a new taste. Small portions are already enough to get a child used to the taste, and even for the long term: nearly all babies still liked the vegetables they had originally rejected after 9 months. And 2/3 of the children even liked them at the age of 6.

So whereas a broad range of natural and fresh foods should be introduced already at an early age, caution must be applied for industrially made food products. They are often seasoned or feature flavouring agents and can have a negative impact on children’s taste preferences. You will get used to the strongly sweetened and flavoured banana curd if that is all you eat as a baby. Home-made yoghurt with fresh fruits is simply tasteless by comparison.

Food is the fuel of the body. A lack of nutrients has negative consequences: you feel limp and tired, you cannot concentrate and are irritable. A balanced diet is particularly important for children, as children grow 8 cm on average a year after the first year. That is why their need for nutrients is several times higher than that of adults. For the growth and a healthy development, however, the body needs the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and mineral nutrients. As for adults, the main part of the diet should consist of vegetable foods and healthy drinks for children. Animal products, by contrast, such as meat or eggs, should be on the menu to a moderate degree only and fatty and sugary foods to a small degree. If the ratio of these three components is right, occasional small indulgences like a piece of chocolate or ice cream are fine.

Food is the fuel of the body. A lack of nutrients has negative consequences: you feel limp and tired, you cannot concentrate and are irritable. A balanced diet is particularly important for children, as children grow 8 cm on average a year after the first year. That is why their need for nutrients is several times higher than that of adults. For the growth and a healthy development, however, the body needs the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and mineral nutrients. As for adults, the main part of the diet should consist of vegetable foods and healthy drinks for children. Animal products, by contrast, such as meat or eggs, should be on the menu to a moderate degree only and fatty and sugary foods to a small degree. If the ratio of these three components is right, occasional small indulgences like a piece of chocolate or ice cream are fine.nung.

Too much fast food not only causes depression. Scientists even assume that a bad diet can have a negative effect on one’s mental performance. According to a scientific study, children whose diet was too sweet or fatty at the age of three had a slightly diminished IQ at the eight of eight compared to children who ate salad, rice, noodles, fish and fruit above all. It is therefore particularly important during early childhood for children to get all important nutrients. A lack of iron or iodine, for instance from the excessive consumption of ready meals, can result in permanent damage. Irritability, nervousness and a lack of concentration are the consequences.

Although it is not possible to influence the IQ via the diet in the short term. However, the cognitive performance of children can indeed be positively influenced at school. For instance if they eat a healthy breakfast in the morning.

In the first 1,000 days of life, that is from conception until the end of the second year, the course is set. The diet in this period largely decides on the later risk of suffering from obesity, diabetes or high blood pressure. The development of eating habits during infancy is of particular significance here. The more varied a child has learnt to eat, the better it is supplied with all vital nutrients. This is the basis for an optimal physical and mental development.

But, what is more, various epidemiological studies have shown that the diet during infancy also plays a role in the development of allergies. Contrary to previous assumptions, early contact with potential allergens trains the yet immature immune system of the child and thereby prevents later excessive malfunctions. The more varied a child’s diet is, the better it is protected against allegens.