Healthy nutrition for children: the infographic

It is important that school children eat healthily. Not really a surprise, but many children only get an unhealthy or no snack at school. Something has to change urgently here! The infographic explains what a healthy diet for schoolchildren should look like, provides clear examples and suggestions for recipes. The infographic was created in cooperation with the German Society for Nutrition eV (DGE) and IN FORM, an initiative of the Federal Government for healthy eating and more exercise.

Actually, parents know …

In a Forsa survey for DAK, 98 percent of all parents stated that a balanced diet is important to them when it comes to their children’s health. So far so good.

… but reality looks different.

First graders should actually eat 200 grams of fruit and vegetables each day. In fact, girls only eat 150 grams of fruit and boys only 148 grams of fruit a day, as the DGE nutrition report shows. Things look even worse for vegetables: for girls, only 93 grams are served daily, for boys, only 90 grams!

One of the consequences of this unhealthy diet: more and more children are overweight! While an average of 10 percent of elementary school students were considered overweight in 1999, today it is between 15 and 16 percent. This is shown by the KiGGS health study by the Robert Koch Institute.

The infographic therefore clearly explains what a balanced and healthy diet means for schoolchildren. According to the aid food pyramid, the daily menu for children – and also for adults – should look like this:

• 1 portion of sweets and sugar
• 2 portions of fats and oils
• 3 portions of animal food
• 4 portions of cereals, pasta & potatoes
• 5 portions of fruit & vegetables

A serving is always about as much as fits in one hand. Accordingly, this is a larger amount in adults than in a school child. The infographic shows examples of a primary school child, but of course the information is individually different:

• A serving of fruit and vegetables for example corresponds with an apple or 1-2 handfuls of chopped carrots
• A serving of cereal, pasta or potatoes is roughly equivalent to a slice of wholemeal bread or 2 large potatoes
• A serving of animal food are – depending on size – in about 2 slices of cheese or 2 slices of sausage
• A serving of fats and oils corresponds to about a tablespoon with rapeseed oil or a tablespoon of butter
• For a primary school child, a serving of sweets means about 10 gummy bears or 2 pieces of chocolate

In addition, of course, do not forget to drink!

Elementary school children should drink at least one liter of water or unsweetened tea a day. That corresponds to about 6 glasses. But here too, many children have a lot of catching up to do: 59% of the girls drink too little and 48% of the boys consume less than one liter a day. Drinking is important! The consequences of insufficient fluid can also be quickly noticed by school children:

• Fatigue and lack of concentration
• Reduced physical performance
• Frequent headaches
• Problems with bowel movements (constipation)
• Tendency to urinary tract infections

Parents should always give their children drinks to school. Best mineral water and unsweetened tea.

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