The new freedom on the plate: eating without rules?

New year, good resolutions: Many people in Germany are likely to swear off gluttony these days. All the gingerbread and butter cookies, the goose and the dumplings… Whatever came on the table at the holidays, hardly any of the classic holiday foods are considered healthy and good for the line. However, after low fat, low carb and other trends characterized by renunciation, many people are fed up with diets, says Nadia Rowe, a nutritionist at the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE) in Bonn, Germany. This could be one reason why experts are increasingly advocating a different concept: so-called intuitive nutrition.

It's not about rigid rules, reports the dpa. Rather, the advocates speak out for a more individualized approach. The credo: The body of each humans knows best, which is good for it and which it needs straight. The signals to listen to are appetite, hunger and satiety. Accordingly, there is no such thing as "forbidden" food, for which one ultimately gets ravenous appetite. One of the few guidelines is to eat slowly in order to feel the onset of satiety. That say nourishing experts for a long time.

"Losing weight is not the core idea here, but to listen to yourself more again," says Rowe. "The big crux of why it's such a hype now could be that food is a status symbol today."In addition: Core of parliamentary allowance is always the renouncement on something – sweet or Chips for example. "This has caused a backlash from people to finally not want to restrict themselves now," says Rowe.

What is behind it? The nutritionist Uwe Knop describes that children have something ahead of adults: the eating instinct. They trust their body to tell them what it wants – even if it's supposedly "bad" food from an adult's point of view, such as white rolls, he writes in the book "Kind, iss was … dir schmeckt" ("Child, eat what tastes good to you")!". Knop makes sense of the children's choice, however: White bread provides the energy needed for growth more quickly and is easier to digest than whole grain bread. Also to eat the plate always empty, is not intended in the nature program, so Knop.

Adults however have forgotten this kind of the meal. "When do we still eat out of hunger?" asks Rowe. " Most people eat for other reasons."Factors such as set lunch times and portion sizes have an influence, as does the fact that the food on offer does not always necessarily meet the individual's needs. "With increasing age, moreover, experience values and attitudes take more and more influence," says Rowe. For example, to reward themselves with a piece of cake after a particularly hard day's work. Listening to the body again is not so easy, but it can be trained, says Rowe.

More freedom on the plate is now no longer propagated only for adults. Some people are also rethinking the way they feed their children: Instead of being fed porridge, toddlers as young as six months are now often given a completely free hand, in the truest sense of the word. They are allowed to take whatever they want from the grown-ups' food, as much as they want – provided they want it at all. Then it goes from hand to mouth. It can be pieces of potato, broccoli or banana. Because fast food, for example, is taboo, the concept can also be an opportunity for parents to rethink their eating habits, says Berlin midwife Simone Logar.

Baby-led weaning is the name of the method used in English-speaking countries. Parents from the trendy neighborhood in particular are well aware of this, says Logar. There ask with their courses for the Beikosteinfuhrung hardly someone still after the "pap system". That fits into a time, in which for instance the author Hans Ulrich Grimm ("Gummizoo makes children happy, ill and fat then anyway") condemns ready-made porridge for babies as fast food – and as danger for the immune system as well as a trigger for allergies.

There are even more reasons to allow one's own intuition instead of external determination: Nutritionists like Knop, but also Maike Ehrlichmann ("Simply eat honestly") point out the limits of their discipline. Nutrition tables promise orientation – but how well do they fit in individual cases?? Ultimately, every person is different and eats differently, says Ehrlichmann. She considers rules and tips on healthy eating everywhere ("even on the oatmeal package from Aldi") to be annoying. During consultations, she sees "that more knowledge doesn't help people one bit".

Baby-led-weaning, however, can still lead to discussions – not only with grandparents, who know it quite differently from the past. In addition to impending iron deficiency, there is a danger of babies swallowing, said the spokesman for the professional association of pediatricians and adolescents, Hermann Josef Kahl, the newspaper "Die Welt". Nadia Rowe is also skeptical: "There is no well-calculated system – and you can also take the child's intuition into account by paying attention to hunger and satiety when feeding it porridge. Midwife Logar takes a relaxed view: in her experience, most parents end up with a mixed formula, which could even include jarred porridge from time to time.

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