We were able to interview Sara (the lady with the blond hair on the picture above) - founder of "Schnabel-auf" - and Doc Hary recently and got some interesting answers. And what we - Epi-Food - should never miss of course: Recipes, we also got some. But read for yourself...PS: At the end you'll find our gluten-free mango bread recipe inspired by "Schnabel-auf"-...
1. Dear Sara, we have already seen on your blog that you create healthy recipes for kids? Could you introduce yourself and your blog shortly ?
Hello, I would love to introduce myself. "We" are 3 healthy eaters on the mission to bring more awareness for healthy nutrition to the families. I myself am Sara and a mom of a 4 ½ year old daughter. As an editor for health topics and nutritionist, I am allowed to combine my passion for writing with the fun of cooking experiments on the blog. The idea for the blog came with Doc Hary, in real life Dr. Harald Hüther. He is a naturopath and we both wanted to write a cookbook together for a long time. This became the blog. He has the medical Know How, why which food is good for us and gives in addition tips like e.g. homeopathic travel pharmacy or assistance with child illnesses. I think that's mega important to know WHY you do or don't do something. And the third one is my dear friend Ariane Baldermann. She is the mother of 2 children (2 ½ and 4) and loves cooking regionally and seasonally. Ari makes sure that our recipes remain suitable for everyday use and takes care of the whole thing. She brings structure to the creative chaos.
Here you can get delicious recipes for the whole family and we take care of incompatibilities like gluten (I myself have celiac disease and in my kitchen there is no gluten 😉 ), lactose or fructose. In addition, every month we focus on giving tips for e.g. more sustainability in the kitchen or intestinal health or we simply write about more harmony at the kitchen table. We want to give incentives on how to eat healthy and have fun in spite of hectic family life.
2. What's important in a healthy diet for children? Does it have to be a simple or complex dish or do special flavours even play a role?
Hihi, I could answer that question in a whole book. I try to summarize my three most important aspects. I actually believe that taste is everything. If it doesn't taste good, the mood at the table drops - with my mom, who took a lot of trouble cooking, and of course with the child. A good mood is part of a healthy diet. Under stress, all the great vital substances bring nothing. So I would adapt the ingredients to the taste of the family. We personally like to eat Asian food and so I can make various vegetables tasty with soy sauce or as curry. The second aspect I would like to address is the composition - the more colourful the better. It doesn't have to be a complex dish. For example, as a rule of thumb, I like to take 3 different kinds of vegetables per dish and that makes up 2/4 of the plate, then a quarter the satiating side dish like rice, quinoa, potatoes, legumes, noodles or pancakes etc. and a quarter goes for the fat content on it e.g. coconut milk, cream or nuts. This can then be combined with meat or fish from time to time. And you don't believe what you can do with this rule of thumb. From stuffed pancakes and casseroles to classic pasta dishes. The last aspect: All ingredients as natural as possible. Fresh ingredients or frozen fruit and vegetables. The less processed food, the healthier our children eat in their later adult lives. The taste gets used to quickly and I find it important that children know what a natural food tastes like. And yet please allow exceptions - of course we also order pizza or chocolate cake.
3. I have only recently heard that children up to the age of 3 like to eat "monotonously", i.e. they eat everything, but all by themselves. For example, my daughter loves broccoli, potatoes and mushrooms, but these should only be seasoned with a little salt. She doesn't like sauces or "bowls" at all. Is there something to this "monotonous theory"?
I can't prove it scientifically, but yes, I think so. The little ones still like the "pure" taste and are suddenly overwhelmed with too much taste. For me, this makes absolute sense from a purely evolutionary point of view. In the past it was collected and hunted - and in the end it was eaten individually without sauce. And the way we eat now and what is available to us is only a fraction of human history. Many also use it to justify the intolerances to cereal and dairy products. We eat quite differently and our body cannot adapt as quickly as we think. That sounds very plausible to me. By the way, my daughter Leni eats very much like your daughter 😊. She loves pure ingredients and I think it's nice that way. So I can enjoy broccoli pure and not drown it in sauce. One of our favourite dishes, for example, is a "pure bowl": natural rice, steamed broccoli and carrots, sliced avocado, shrimps steamed only in salt and lemon and sesame seeds on top. All of this is put on the plate NEXT TO EACH OTHER and a small bowl with sauce (2/3 soy sauce, 1/3 water and a dash of lime juice) is on the table and my daughter eats everything one after the other while we adults mix everything on a fork 😊.
4. Children need more nutrients because of their growth. Is this true and how do we ensure that our children receive all nutrients?
I'll take a look at the second question and pass the first one on to Doc Hary. It is almost impossible for children to receive all nutrients and we would probably drive ourselves and our children crazy. But a good basis is certainly the rule "5 a day". Three portions of vegetables and two portions of fruit a day should make it one. And this is easier than we thought. The snack box alone already covers 2 portions of vegetables and one portion of fruit. Then a dinner with vegetables or dinner with some raw vegetables, a smoothie or nuts as a snack in between and the children are already at 5 portions. One serving corresponds to one full hand. So the portions practically grow with you. If you like, you can read my article about it: https://www.schnabel-auf.de/5-am-tag-schafft-ihr-das-auch-2/ .
And now I'm handing over to Hary for the amount of nutrients a kid needs:
Hary: Yes, that's true. Because of the slightly different metabolism and growth, children and teenagers need more vital substances than adults. By the way, puberty has the highest requirement in your whole life. Since at this age very important foundations are laid for the rest of life, I recommend an additional natural vital substance supplement.
5. Vegan for Kids. A big topic with which we are confronted again and again. What would you say. Vegan nutrition for children YES or NO?
Oh, yeah, I know, that's a subject that touches us a lot, too. I say no. And I am convinced with it. I think that once a week meat and fish and sometimes a tasty organic egg is important for our children. In my eyes, that also applies to dairy products. But we should get away from the frequency. My daughter was vegan the first year of her life, but only because she couldn't chew meat/fish and I said as soon as she could eat meat in its natural (unpuréed) form, she was ready for it. That felt natural to me. Besides, she still doesn't like milk, but loves hard cheese. I think the physical instinct is more important than a certain form of nutrition and especially children have it much more pronounced than we do. That would be important to me if mommies listened more to what children showed them. So, but Doc Hary can now explain the medical point of view:
Hary: I totally agree with Sara. Animal foods contain some very important vital substances that are almost non-existent in plant foods. Carnitine and coenzyme Q10, which are so important for energy production, are just two examples. But even more importantly, it is often overlooked that although vegetable foods contain many of the important vital substances, we do not have the tools in our digestive system to get these vital substances out of the foods. This applies, for example, to minerals and trace elements in whole grain cereals. This is confirmed by the research results of recent years: the species-appropriate nutrition of humans has always consisted of more or less animal foods, depending on the season.
6. Now we come to an end and we want to ask you, which recipes on your blog are the favourite recipes of your kids?
Besides the Buddha Bowl Leni loves Salmon Fish Sticks: https://www.schnabel-auf.de/sesam-lachs/
Ari's big daughter Paula is a big fan of potato soup, always with changing toppings.: https://www.schnabel-auf.de/kartoffelsuppe-nach-oma-ingrid/
Ari's little daughter Anna prefers green sauces like this one: https://www.schnabel-auf.de/gnocchi-mit-gruener-sosse/
MANGO BREAD (GLUTEN & SUGAR FREE)
Now we just let ourselves be inspired by Sara and baked her vegetable bread. Since we didn't have any dried tomatoes, we made a mango bread out of it and it tasted delicious to everyone!
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Alex & Feli,