Lisa Paus had raised the possibility of creating 5,000 additional jobs to finally put the promised basic child safety on the streets. Meanwhile, the federal Minister of Family Affairs has once again distanced herself from herself: but not a gigantic new authority. But then what?

The above formulations are vague and mention fluctuating factors in the calculation, such as the evolution of child benefit or state payments such as housing benefit, which are constantly adapted. Therefore, we can continue to assume extensive calculations of individual cases. And that children, as always, are left behind in the complex set of rules of bureaucracy.

You might call me simple, but when it comes to basic security, something comes to mind spontaneously. What do children need most? First of all: Of course, love, security. At this moment you can only wish each creature the best. (And note in passing that, although love itself is selfless, parents generally have more to give in a society with good conditions for combining family and work.)

Too much sugar, too many screens: This is where basic security might make sense

But beyond pious wishes, there are definitely adjustments the state could make with relatively short notice and without administrative excesses to secure children's lives from scratch, at least if the incredible number of scientific studies are taken into account. A balanced diet and sufficient exercise are, without a doubt, important pillars when it comes to child development.

It is also indisputable that in both areas things have been going in the wrong direction throughout the country for years. More and more children are overweight. And fewer and fewer children play sports. Sugar, fat, digital media: we consume too much of all of this. The corresponding addictions and secondary diseases are assuming threatening proportions.

In certain circles, maybe some people would probably say. But consider how much time children and young people now spend in schools and daycares: mothers or fathers standing in front of the stove at home, lunch after lunch, are now a rarity. Please let us not be fooled by the glossy facades of “better areas” where children are supposedly better off in every way. There are excessive snacks and games everywhere. I am convinced that proper basic security could counteract this.

Regarding food: we have four children and my extensive experience comes from thousands of days when children depended on food on site because classes or care continued in the afternoon.

School lunches classified as “disgusting” are a mass phenomenon

At first I thought the kids were exaggerating when they rolled their eyes and reported what had been served in the cafeteria. After numerous failed attempts, our… too dirty? – Brut to make school lunches tasty from a distance, I started to investigate the matter. I took a closer look at the menu plans and ingredient lists. She talked to other parents, his children.

I discovered that school meals from the “disgusting” category are a mass phenomenon in Germany. So are the food that ends up in the trash and the sad investments of pocket money in bars that are supposed to fill the void. Finally, I took a photo at the spot. Just this: I can understand why “Cook and Freeze” is an emotional word for many moms and dads, and what drives kids to stock up on meat rolls at the bakery five days a week.

I cannot understand how it is possible that tens of thousands of meals are transported all over Germany every day (off-the-beaten-path “catering” is not an isolated case), frozen and wrapped in plastic. It seems scandalous to me that parents often pay more than four euros for what ends up on their children's plates. For rice pudding or “2 giant fish sticks”, to name just two classics on the menu.

Of course, at night you stand in the kitchen and chop, you should have some vitamins. The criticism of a supply structure that is disconcerting for a still rich country like Germany is annoying. Compensating for something that, in my opinion, should be taken for granted in times of double-income households. No one is talking about elaborate, whole-grain, gluten-free, or vegan bells and whistles. Freshly cooked and reasonably balanced, that would be enough for now in my opinion.

Idea number one: a flat rate for food

My… daring? – Idea: The State pays a fixed amount for each child in Germany to enjoy a meal of this type. In this way, what has until now been quite abstract called basic child safety would make considerable progress, at least during the holiday period. And all this without proving income or verifying other possible needs. I can also be pragmatic when checking locations. You guessed it, I feel more worries here. Lack of commercial kitchen and insufficient staff. Fortunately, there are examples of daycares and schools that have solved it all creatively. Through cooperation, for example, with nearby restaurants and pubs, which also makes sense from a sustainability point of view.

Anyone who talks to nurseries and schools that have turned their backs on “Cook & Freeze” will see: suddenly there is not only significantly less packaging waste, but plates are finally being eaten empty again. We must not forget how the lives of entire families change when children's nutrition is “basically safe.” A sandwich at night gets greasy quickly and the time saved could perhaps be invested in reading aloud.

Which brings us to what I think is an important argument against the “watering can principle”, according to which social “benefits”, such as financial injections for families, are generally distributed throughout Germany: almost all families They should benefit from some sort of flat rate for good food. The stoic reference to Kevin with the bag of chips, who urgently needs help, is, on the other hand, a denial of reality. Basic security, especially in the current circumstances, is by no means a question related only to so-called “necessity”. The “need” affects many families. If in the end some people benefit a little more than others, who cares?

What France awaits us

There are countries that seem to have understood it. Countries that help families with important matters without prior distribution discussion. The fact that middle-income French families no longer pay taxes after the third child is another problem. I am referring specifically to the organization of the times in which children are cared for. The issue of school feeding was resolved quickly for three of our children who were on an exchange that lasted several weeks. Simply because there was nothing to complain about.

However, there were some irritations during the return visit. “Is this how you eat in Germany?” Yes, and it's so expensive that you're tempted to respond, but the other person has already started on the next topic. Jump around in circles a little, do some jumping jacks: “Is this supposed to be a PE class?”

It is true that France is fundamentally different, and not only when it comes to “savoir vivre”. French life is much more organized through groups, even for the little ones. Not only students, but also daycare children often do not return home until the evening. No, certainly not everything is better in the neighboring country, although young people eat several dishes at lunchtime for relatively little money, the schedule seems to include at least twice as many hours of sports per week and normal public schools have classrooms climbing that leaves you breathless.

When it comes to basic security, I see clear advantages if it's not the wallet that decides whether Kevin or Jean-Claude becomes muscle guys or couch potatoes. By the way, the question of basic security is not limited to the vitality of the individual. Our children were also introduced to numerous team sports in everyday school life in France. They liked it and, from afar, I liked it too. I think community activities are certainly not the worst idea in times of increasing social tensions.

Idea number two: free club membership

More free and higher quality exercise options – that would be my second basic suggestion for child safety – without knowing how well equipped German schools are with climbing walls. With a little good will, I am convinced that solutions can be found. When talking about “child-friendly growing up in Germany”, in addition to the fixed rate for meals, a membership per child in a club spontaneously comes to mind (in my opinion, with a certain amount limit ). Creating equality of opportunity, reducing resentment (because others supposedly have it better), expanding our horizons when it comes to needs: wouldn't it help us advance as a society if we create a better foundation for everyone? Isn't it time to invest in those who are our future? Comprehensive?

In a country where more than one in five children is affected by poverty, there is no doubt that the shower will have to be used at one time or another. The question of housing, for example, certainly requires additional individual assessment in terms of need. The basic needs of the child and family are complex. But in some places they are not. If you don't want to complicate things. Through artificially inflated official devices. And other things too.

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