Nutrition Education: Children need role models

ASE
Posted on by Barbara H. Kozak

Based on the genetic and physiological foundations, a loving nutrition education determines the eating habits of children. The role model function of parents is just as important as natural development steps.

As early as the tenth week of pregnancy, the unborn child develops first taste buds on the tongue and in the oral mucosa. From the 13th week, the taste buds mature, so that the fetus begins to process taste impressions. The amniotic fluid tastes of the food consumed by the mother. So it can be explained that taste preferences are already shaped in the womb – quasi innate, if not anchored in the genetic code.

Taste embossing thus begins in the womb and is thus the basis of health care. This process continues during breastfeeding. For mother’s milk also takes on the taste of the food consumed by the nursing mother. Breastfed children have considerably better starting possibilities for feeding on the family table than bottle children, whose milk tastes the same every day due to the variations in the milk taste.

  • Taste develops throughout life

A newborn child already tastes the sweet, sour and bitter tastes, preferring sweet, sour and bitter. At four months, salty and umami are added. The purely organic development of the taste organs is completed at about three years, the taste development, the embossing of the taste memory, however, goes on for life. All taste experiences are learned quickly and sustainably, even the negative ones. As with all learning processes, the accompanying circumstances of learning play a major role.

There are also genetically innate taste preferences. They have developed in the course of human development and protect the body from dangers. On the other hand, they are responsible for feeding the body with the necessary substances. Thus, the preference for sweet ensures survival, since ripe, sweet fruits rich in the energy supplier are sugars as well as provide minerals and vitamins. Bitter flavors, on the other hand, are more indicative of unripe, spoiled and potentially toxic. The preference for salty “is an indication that the body desperately needs sodium for its water balance. Although salt was previously difficult to obtain, the physical need for salty taste made our ancestors look for salt to survive.

  • The little ones like sweet and greasy

We are genetically given to choose sweet and fatty, but bitter to refuse – breast milk meets these requirements perfectly. In the first months of life, the child learns that it thrives on the sweet, fat milk and then later, when it comes to eating complementary foods and to participate in the family table, always looking for sweet and greasy. This food selection enables children to get enough energy from their large energy needs while having a relatively small stomach. The critical view of the vegetables is easy to understand against this background. He is not a defiance against the parents will, but pure survival strategy: vegetables with low energy content, which is not even sweet, although filling the stomach, but does not fill enough. That explains itself, too A whole tablespoon of rapeseed oil should be part of a vegetable meal in infancy and a recommendation to always combine cooked vegetables for children with complex carbohydrates, meat, fish or eggs. Vegetables as fresh food finger food, however, is eaten very much, but has a playful effect in the main – it crashes so beautifully – and quenches the thirst. On the other hand, during the warm lunchtime meal the children feel the need to be satisfied, and the pure vegetables just are not enough. but has a playful effect in the main – it crashes so beautifully – and quenches the thirst. On the other hand, during the warm lunchtime meal the children feel the need to be satisfied, and the pure vegetables just are not enough. but has a playful effect in the main – it crashes so beautifully – and quenches the thirst. On the other hand, during the warm lunchtime meal the children feel the need to be satisfied, and the pure vegetables just are not enough.

  • Emotional and cognitive influence

In addition to the genetic and physiological factors – at the family table at the latest – normal learning plays a role. One of the most important learning factors in learning is emotional support, whether positive or negative. For this emotional accompaniment, we adults are essentially responsible. In order for children to be able to learn positively while having their meal, they need friendly adults who encourage them to try, but also accept a refusal. No child should be forced to try something. When you get to know a new food, all senses are involved, seeing, feeling, smelling, hearing – and finally, tasting. Multiple contacts – even those outside of the taste contact – are the crucial prerequisite for later rehearsing and possibly even liking. It becomes clear In any case, new foods must be offered repeatedly and regularly until a child chooses to put them in their mouths, taste them, and then later decide whether they like them or not. On average, this decision requires 10 to 15 contacts with one and the same food. However, the first contact is the most important step. If this happens voluntarily and without a negative connotation, the child will get the courage to try it again – perhaps with a different meaning. On average, this decision requires 10 to 15 contacts with one and the same food. However, the first contact is the most important step. If this happens voluntarily and without a negative connotation, the child will get the courage to try it again – perhaps with a different meaning. On average, this decision requires 10 to 15 contacts with one and the same food. However, the first contact is the most important step. If this happens voluntarily and without a negative connotation, the child will get the courage to try it again – perhaps with a different meaning.

Every child has a fundamental need to be respected, strengthened and affirmed here, as in all other situations of everyday life. So it is important to praise the attempt to make contact with the new food, if only to put one pea in the mouth. On the other hand, if the first contact is associated with a negative experience such as “You have to eat that now!”, Then the likelihood is high that this particular food will be negatively occupied. It can also happen that the general curiosity is dampened and the child closes himself to new food. The statement “Before you have not even tried, you can not say that you do not like it” does not apply. Rather, it should read: “I give you time, to get to know the new food with all senses and to offer it again and again; You decide when and if you want to put it in your mouth. “This is the basic rule for the family table:” We parents decide when, what and how to eat, children decide if and how much they eat. ”

  • Imitating includes past life

It is especially helpful if parents clearly and transparently show their children the eating habits that they want – 24 hours a day. And that is exactly where many families fail. In addition, friendly adults create a pleasant atmosphere. They make sure that at the meal neither telephone nor television, arguing, bad mood and unpleasant topics disturb the concentration on the food and the positive basic mood.

Until the age of about 1.5 years, the children eat everything that is presented to them. They feel safe that they will not be harmed – the safest way is of course, if they are even allowed to eat from the parent plate. By the age of four children develop more and more of their own will. At the same time as their general aspirations for autonomy, they also want to make an individual choice of food and even divide food for themselves as safe and less safe food. Here it is for them only and caution, not waiver. We help them if we offer them the dishes as clearly as possible during this time.

Until the age of 8, social learning is an additional guarantee of safety. The children are now able to derive transfer payments. They can bring together different previous experiences and draw on this basis courage for new decisions. Later, they say goodbye to their old habits. External effects, such as the world of friends, determine everyday life – but on the basis of their own taste memory.

  • Fixed rules are helpful

In any form of education, rules are helpful and facilitate interaction with each other, including nutrition education. Here they support the functioning of a food community. These rules include regular mealtimes. This implies that every meal has a beginning and an end, so that hunger can really set in with meals, because hunger is the best cook.

Eating is therefore common and there is the same food for all. So nobody is in the center, because the one who gets another meal, does not belong to the community. Everyone may wish for a meal, but may also politely and friendly reject certain foods without feeling pressure. So everyone can take as much as he can eat – this requires years of practice. Of course, this only applies if the offer at the table has been compiled according to full rules. In addition, one agrees on certain table manners, which should all strive according to their abilities.

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