"The results highlight the importance of focusing on the palatability of school meals," said lead author Juliana Cohen of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University.

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

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

Foods specially sold for children often contain too much sugar or fats and often are 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 European children's nourishment consists of fruit, vegetables, potatoes, whole grain breads and noodles. 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 lemonades should be more the exception than the rule. - Sapa-dpa