As parents, you only want the best for your family, especially when it comes to health. Between home, work and family commitments, time is often limited.
Being a role model for your children and helping them have the best start in life without neglecting your own needs is easier said than done.
It is precisely in such stressful life situations that a balanced diet is crucial. It provides energy for everyday life and gives you more quality of life and enjoyable moments with your loved ones.
Let’s say that you or your partner want to lose weight – but how can a change in diet be integrated into everyday life if the whole family has to be taken into consideration? You can do this easily with just a few tricks, a little creativity and some good planning.
It’s important to celebrate the family experience so that everyone can enjoy it. Shop together, cook together and motivate all the family to start sporting activities together. Also get some inspiration for healthy cuisine. The Metabolic Balance nutrition plan, for example, provides many valuable recipes that are tailored to your personal needs and will tickle the taste palate of all your family members.
You can conjure up a complete meal for young and old by varying a couple of diefferent elements - such as an additional side dish for adults or a slight variations. Preparing two meals is by no means necessary. Just try out our recipe suggestion. It can be wonderfully combined with your nutrition plan – and it will become the favourite food of all your children in no time at all – spaghetti Bolognese.
Working parents often have little time to prepare healthy food. The use of prepared and shop bought supposedly “healthy” children’s food at first appears to be a good solution – but products advertised especially for children are anything but that. They lure the little ones with mini-toys and funny packaging, and the adults with package ads like “with valuable cereals”, “with lots of milk” and “strengthens the bones”.
In reality, they rarely contain what they promise. Most children’s products contain far too much sugar and fat – and they are often full of additives and excessive nutrient supplements. The use of natural ingredients is much healthier: a fresh apple in your child’s school box is much better than a finished product specially designed to attract children!
Another hurdle is catering in day care centres. Almost two million children eat lunch in day care centres. They often have good intentions but these menus mainly consist of processed foods with too little fruit, vegetables, and fresh produce. Most day care centres also prefer hot meals – so the food is delivered, portioned and handed out on site. With this catering system, valuable vital substances are lost during preparation, transport and long periods of warming. These foods contain too many calories and have low nutritional value. So these meals rarely match the recommendations of the nutrition guidelines.
The foundation for a healthy life is laid as early as infancy and the toddling stage. Nutrition influences both the development and the performance of your child.
The question is, do parents have any chance of providing their children with the best possible nutritional care nowadays?
Silvia Bürkle, Nutritionist and one of our founders encourages concerned parents. If you keep certain important essentials in mind, nothing will stand in the way of the healthy development of your child from a nutritional point of view:
Shopping and cooking together is fun. Home cooked meals are healthier and children learn how to create healthy food.
From school age on, children eat more or less what is put on the table. However, it is not always easy to satisfy all their tastes and involve every family member equally. Weekly meal planning is fun and children are happy and satisfied.
Children love colours. Introduce the little ones to healthy food and how good it can taste with colourful food. Pink strawberry milk, freshly-squeezed orange juice, or a colourful fruit and vegetable plate provide great pleasure – and they can also be prepared by the little chefs with a little help!
Simple recipes such as scrambled eggs or fruit salad are particularly suitable for cooking with children. With more complicated dishes, you simply distribute easy tasks to the little ones, such as cutting vegetables. However, the topic of safety is always of primary importance. While the food is being prepared, explain the kitchen rules to prevent accidents:
Shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing – there is a multitude of tasks involved in holding down a job and taking care of a family – every single day. Good organization saves time and money.
A shopping and meal plan helps you to do your errands in a more relaxed manner, makes sure that you don’t forget anything important and avoids unnecessary expenses due to spontaneous purchases. With a shopping plan, you can safely schedule your shopping for one day a week. Hang a whiteboard or notice block in a highly visible location and write down everything you can think of.
It is also worth preparing a meal plan for the whole week – you can document your breakfast, lunch and dinner, including starters and desserts. Then note down the food you need on the purchase plan.
The seasonal calendar is another great shopping aid that tells you which fruit and vegetables are in season. The local products are harvested when mature – they are also fresher, richer in vital substances and they taste better. After all, they don’t have a long journey in the refrigerator of an airplane or truck behind them – and that also protects the environment.
Buy local fruit and vegetables at the supermarket. Read the labels carefully and pay attention to the information on the labels. Eco or organic boxes are also becoming increasingly popular. They are delivered fresh from the region to your doorstep every week – always freshly put together and garnished with a recipe suggestion.
Mobile shopping assistants such as the free Metabolic Balance for you app are particularly practical and always ready to hand. It’s linked to your personal diet plan and provides healthy recipe suggestions for all meals. A clearly-arranged weekly plan presents all the selected dishes. On top of that, the required ingredients are conveniently placed on your personal shopping list. Try it out!
Studies show that many children do not drink enough fluids. Dehydration can quickly lead to both short and long term problems. So what can we do to make our little ones drink enough?
Children need more fluid than adults in proportion to their body size. If they don’t drink enough, health problems will soon happen. Both physical and mental performance is affected, such as dizziness, fatigue, irritability, headaches and in worst cases heat stroke.
In the long run, for example, urinary tract diseases and problems with bowel movements can develop – but even an additional glass of water with about 200 ml a day can make a decisive difference and balance the water content in your child’s body.
|Recommended daily water intake through drinks
|4 to under 7 years
|7 to under 10 years
|10 to under 13 years
|13 to under 15 years
|15 to under 19 years
Source: German Nutrition Society
Granted, it’s not easy to persuade children to drink enough regularly – they often don’t even think about drinking because they are distracted or busy, or perhaps they’re not really thirsty, or they simply don’t have a drink with them.
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