Breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks: This is the ideal way to divide the day between adults and children. They should be healthy and balanced, of course, but what does that mean? And at what time should children eat? We have summarised some important facts here.
The first meal of the day is incredibly important because it provides valuable energy that children need to get off to a good start. That is why you should make sure that breakfast contains many different components: Milk and dairy products as well as cereals in the form of wholemeal bread and cereal flakes. Fruit can be cut into small pieces and served as finger food or in yoghurt, it can also be stuck decoratively on small skewers. Vegetables can also be made tasty in this way. To drink there is tea or water, or also a thin juice spritzer (in the ratio 1:3 mix). Children’s milk can be given for breakfast in a cup or glass – it is protein-reduced and provides additional vitamin D, among other things.
Of course, when you have breakfast depends on the individual circumstances and the respective family schedule – usually between 7 and 9 am is a good time for the morning breakfast table. If possible, you should also make sure you take this meal together and let it rest for a while despite the hectic pace of the morning. It is better to get up a quarter of an hour earlier and start the day relaxed.
You can read more about breakfast for toddlers in our article with ideas for a good start to the day.
First snack in the morning
The snack time in the morning is between breakfast and lunch. Not all children need this snack. But especially those who have breakfast should have a snack until 10 or half past nine to regain their strength and energy. Now is an ideal time for fruit and vegetables, for example in combination with cereal sticks. A wholemeal bread spread with cream cheese also tastes good now. A glass of water should now be served with it again.
For many children, lunch is the main meal of the day. It is not always prepared in the families, because children who visit a kindergarten often have lunch there. Also in this case you should take a look at the meal plans regularly to check what there is or has been to be eaten.
Lunch usually contains carbohydrates in the form of potatoes, rice or noodles, even legumes such as lentils are a good combination. Ideally, meat is served two to three times a week and fish once a week. Daily vegetables should be on the menu, preferably refined with some high-quality oil. Salad also fits now – although not every child likes to eat it. Just try it out. Lamb’s lettuce, for example, can also be served as finger food without dressing – the nutty taste tastes good to many children after all. Lunch is usually served between 12 and 14 o’clock.
The fruit is best for dessert at noon. Now is also a good time for a dessert such as yoghurt, milk cream or pudding with fruit and some chocolate grated over it. Drinking water or thin juice spritzer is best.
Second snack in the afternoon
A combination of protein and ballastoffen is ideal as a filling in the afternoon. A “magic duo” is formed, for example, by quark or yoghurt with fruit, and a wholemeal biscuit goes well with it. If a lot of milk and milk products have already been eaten on that day (see our keyword “Too much protein”), you should rather resort to pure vegetables and fruit, which you can serve as finger food. A fruit puree goes well with wholemeal bread or crispbread. Sweets like biscuits can be allowed to children in moderation – if you want to know more about sweets and sugar, have a look at our article. Depending on the daily routine, between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. is a suitable time for an afternoon snack. As a drink there is water again.
In many families the dinner is the most important meal of the day and therefore you should plan enough time and rest for it. The day ends slowly, at least for the little ones, the clock shows 18 o’clock or later. Now is the time for a classic snack consisting of wholemeal bread, cheese and sausage. It is better not to plan for the latter every day and to use low-fat alternatives such as turkey breast or lean ham. Vegetarian bread spreads or nut sauce can also be used on bread and are an alternative to conventional bread toppings. Vegetables are cut into small pieces and served as finger food or raw vegetable salad.
Sweet options in the evening are, for example, semolina porridge or rice pudding, preferably with fruit compote. If you haven’t eaten warm at lunchtime, you can now of course also enjoy a warm dinner. In the evening you can also enjoy water, a thin spritzer or a glass of children’s milk. And afterwards: Don’t forget to brush your teeth!
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