As the students got their report cards and started a long summer holiday, the experts pointed out the importance of not to change the eating habits during the holiday season. 16 million students will be on holiday for as long as 3 months and the experts believe that their healthy eating habits may change during this period.
Prof. Dr. Nazan Turhan, Head of IUE Department of Food Engineering, indicated that children experienced differences in their eating habits in the comfort of holiday season and that the families need to make sure that their children maintain especially the breakfast habits. Prof. Dr. Turhan stated that based on the data by Turkish Institute of Statistics, 17.2% of the population 15 and over has obesity and that the parents needed to make sure to have their children gain healthy eating habits for their future health.
‘Essential nutrition with each meal’
Prof. Dr. Turhan pointed out the importance of balanced and nutritious meals in terms of a healthy immune system for children. “Each meal should contain meat, dairy products, vegetables and fruits, and grains in right proportions. As for snacks, instead of junk food, children should consume fresh squeezed juices, fruit milk drinks, yoghurt mixed with honey, sandwiches, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.,” stated Turhan.
‘Food, neither a reward nor a punishment!’
Turhan also stated that the snacks should not be consumed close to the meal times and the meals should not be used as reward during the holidays. Prof. Dr. Turhan said, “Dining out becomes more popular and children opt for fast-food. The food should neither be used as a reward nor a punishment. Children should be trained about healthy eating and informed on which nutrients to consume. The parents should be on agreement on such subjects and be consistent.”
‘Whole family should engage in sports’
Prof. Dr. Turhan, who stated that children spent too much time in front of computers and TV during holidays and became inactive, made the following recommendations:
“Your biggest gift to your child would be to encourage him/her to get active, do sports regularly and adopt this as a life style from an early age. However, keep in mind that children copy their parents. Therefore, you should also get active so you children can get active.”