If children do not eat properly, parents are often helpless
"No, I don't eat my soup!" - We all know how the story of Soup Caspar continues. But what if the boy was not stubborn at all, but had a special gift? Ten to 15 percent of the population perceive tastes particularly intensely. They are so-called super buttons - a challenge, especially at a young age.
"A spoonful of peas can be a pain for a super taster - or super taster in German," explains graduate oecotrophologist Christoph Bier. He is the head of the Saarland day care center and school catering network in the Ministry of Environment and Consumer Protection, so he knows a lot about children's eating habits and how they develop. The probably genetically determined phenomenon Supertaster describes people who have an above-average number of taste receptors. Accordingly, they perceive tastes more intensely than others.
"In particular, bitter foods such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and the like are difficult to bear for childlike super palate palates," explains Bier. "Although these children also get used to other flavors as they grow up, the steps towards it are often only small in toddler and kindergarten age." Neophobia: You are afraid to try new foods.
The rejection of certain foods is often misunderstood as a protest: "From our nutritional consultations, we know that parents often despair of their children's eating habits," explains Marie-Louise Conen, health promotion consultant at the IKK Südwest.
Christoph Bier advises patience and serenity: “Eating behavior should never be sanctioned or rewarded. Parents and educators should act particularly carefully during this time and always offer new tastes over a long period of time. A new taste may have to be tasted ten to 15 times before it is accepted. ”
Combined with a super palate, the neophobia phase quickly becomes a challenge: “These children have a gift: they perceive the finest nuances, everything tastes insanely intense, not just bitter substances, but also all other flavors. Trying three forks of a new dish is sometimes actually impossible for a child. If a compulsion arises when trying it, it can break a lot and have a lasting negative impact on the child's eating behavior. ”
Knowledge of the super button genes already helps many parents and promotes understanding of the negative behavior when eating. But how do you realize that your child is a super button? Test sticks and questionnaires can be found on the Internet. Oecotrophologe Bier appeals above all to the empathy and observation skills of parents and educators and recommends that children's taste sensations be taken seriously: “Likes and dislikes develop over a very long period of time. This begins in the womb and is never really completed. It is a lifelong socio-cultural learning process.
Habits become stronger with age. However, the first years of life are crucial. During this time, people go through different phases, which are sometimes more, sometimes less strenuous for everyone involved. Under no circumstances should children - regardless of whether they are super buttons or not - be forced to eat any kind of food. Nor should you reward them for eating food. And more than that, you mustn't reward them with certain foods. Promising dessert when the child eats the spinach is nonsensical and counterproductive.
The dessert is thereby upgraded and the spinach devalued. On the other hand, you have to constantly encourage children to add new tastes to their repertoire. This balancing act is very difficult, but is always rewarded with astonishing success stories - for children and parents. And ultimately, the children also learn the eating behavior from their role models! "
Just eat better!
Nutrition seems more complicated than ever today. The oversupply of trend diets and lifestyle forms of nutrition leaves many people at a loss. The IKK Südwest will switch on the light in the pantry until autumn 2018. The IKK nutrition experts want to show that healthy eating is also possible without stress and want to provide people in the region with a good dose of knowledge about nutrition. The message: just eat better! On the specially set up website www.iss-einfach-besser.de, those interested can find a buffet full of information on the health and social importance of nutrition, favorite recipes of employees and insured persons of the IKK Südwest, competitions and tips on nutritional questions that the IKK offers in various branches and offers by phone.
It tastes good. easy. Well.
A healthy diet in childhood and adolescence lays the foundation for a conscious handling of food. This is exactly what the cooperation project between the Obesity Network Saar, the network point day care and school catering and the IKK Südwest is about. The project is based on the cookbook of the same name "tastes good. Good." The aim is to bring fresh and healthy cooking closer to schoolchildren as part of several teaching units and to gradually do without finished products.
The name says it all: "Schmeckt.einfach.gut." Contains numerous delicious recipes that, thanks to the modular structure of the book, are suitable for both professional chefs and beginners. This concept is intended to attract Saarland students to the pots. Trained speakers use the cookbook in the participating schools to show how you can consciously prepare healthy meals with little effort. (sb, pm)