Small children nearing their first birthday should spend time eating meals with adults.

"But special products such as children's foods are not necessary,'' says Michael Krawinkel, a paediatrician at Healthy Start, an initiative supported by the German Food Ministry.

Foods targeted to children often contain too much sugar or fats and are often overpriced. Eating together as a family strengthens the solidarity within the family and trains the sense of taste within the children.

Most children are curious and enjoy trying something new.


"Foods put onto the plate should be as colourful and varied as possible and of course prepared with a child in mind,'' said Krawinkel.

Just like with adults, the foundation for a child's diet consists of fruit, vegetables, potatoes, wholegrain breads and carbohydrates.

Foods of animal origin such as milk and milk products should be consumed three times a day and meats, fish or eggs only once a day.

Sweets and soft drinks should be more the exception than the rule.