Setting the course early: How children learn healthy eating habits
Soup pasper and fidget philipp: Centuries ago, writers dealt with the idiosyncratic eating behavior of our offspring. And even today, many parents are worried because their child wants to eat too much or too little or only sweets, chips and the like. Experts explain how eating behavior can be positively influenced even in infancy.
Small children with difficult eating behavior
Young children are often prone to difficult eating behavior, which can bring parents to the brink of despair. Some cannot get enough, others eat "like a sparrow". And for some, the menu seems to consist only of chocolate, gummy bears and chips. This has consequences: Overweight in children is widespread. In addition, many are prone to dangerous eating disorders. Experts recommend teaching young children how to eat healthy as early as baby.
Influence the eating habits of the offspring
Unfortunately, it has been shown time and again that children are often fed unhealthily. Infants in particular often consume too many calories and proteins.
But parents can set the course early and have a positive impact on their child's eating habits. For this, they should already respond to the hunger and satiety signals in babies.
"The child should decide how much he drinks and eats", writes the network "Healthy living".
"Infants can regulate their energy intake via hunger and satiety and adjust the consumption levels within limits to the physiological needs," it continues.
Portion information is only a guide
But how much should babies eat each day? Basically, you should feed "as needed". This applies not only to breastfeeding, but also to vials.
According to the experts, portion information on packages or jars can be seen as a guide. Infants are able to regulate their milk volume.
If parents only feed their offspring when they signal hunger, they will train the child's healthy eating behavior in the long term.
"Children should neither be forced to eat / drink nor be reassured with it," advises the network. "If a child does not want to eat or ends the meal early, no extra meals should be offered as a substitute."
Infants shouldn't have to drink the bottle. When they stop drinking, let go of the teat and turn their head away, it usually means that they have enough.
Do not always feed whining children immediately
The federal conference for educational counseling also recommends that children ideally get to know fixed meal times early on, reports the dpa news agency. The little ones should not be constantly offered something to eat by the parents.
Even healthy things should not always be available. For example, it is advised that children should not get their hands on a bun in the buggy, for example.
It should also be noted that eating often has to do with emotions. One should ask, for example, whether the baby really complains because it is hungry.
Crying children should not always be fed immediately. They are often just tired or want some attention. But if they get food instead, they link it together.
Parents should be role models
This also applies to the family's TV evening together - if there are chips every time, the little ones connect the positive togetherness with the meal.
According to experts, sweets and nibbles should not be banned in general, because that only makes them particularly appealing.
Parents can still shape their children's eating habits to a certain extent long after they have been infants by acting as role models and leading a healthy lifestyle.
According to experts, however, the influence already decreases sharply in school, as the adolescents orientate themselves more and more to the circle of friends. (ad)