A British study suggests that if a child consumes a lot of fruits and vegetables throughout the day and a varied breakfast, they will also enjoy greater mental well-being.
In particular, older children in the middle school grades benefit from this, according to research of nearly 9,000 children carried out by the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
Another finding from this British study is that a large breakfast and lunch are also associated with greater well-being.
The researchers consulted about the eating behavior of the minors. In addition, through tests they investigated factors such as happiness, relaxation capacity and interpersonal relationships for the evaluation of children’s mental health.
Other possible influencing factors, such as problematic family relationships, were also considered and controlled.
In a statement, the head of the study, Professor Ailsa Welch, pointed out that children’s nutrition has even the same or greater influence on mental well-being than when children frequently experience fights or even violence at home.
According to the study, children who did not eat breakfast suffered from a lack of mental well-being. On the other hand, the minors who ate five or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day obtained the highest scores, that is, they were the ones who felt the best.
As a golden rule for food, and not only for children, it is still in force that five servings of vegetables and fruit should be eaten a day. The German Professional Association for Pediatrics and Adolescents also spoke in this regard, citing this study from the United Kingdom.
And for those who want more specific data, the association provides concrete indicative values: for example, that a six-year-old child should consume 230 grams of vegetables and 210 grams of fruits a day.
At the age of 13, girls should eat 320 grams of vegetables and 300 grams of fruit daily, while for boys 390 grams of vegetables and 360 grams of fruit are recommended daily.
It is noted that, in both cases, they should not necessarily be crude. Both vegetables and fruit can be included in elaborate and hot meals.