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Ukrainian nutrition behavior through the prism of childhood reminiscences

Author(s): Pravosud, Vera | Andreeva, Tatiana | Kulchynska, Roksolana | Liakh, Anna | Makarenko, Julia | Pascal, Alina | Shlapatska, Catherine | Stepurko, Tetiana

Journal: Tobacco Control and Public Health in Eastern Europe
ISSN 2222-2693

Volume: 2;
Issue: S1;
Start page: 42;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: children reminiscences | notions about health nutrition | Ukraine | the cult of “traditional Ukrainian cuisine”

BACKGROUND: This exploratory research has been conducted in order to find out what reminiscences young Ukrainians preserve about their childhood nutrition. METHODS: 27 semi-structured interviews were conducted with respondents aged 17 - 34 yy. RESULTS: According to respondents’ answers, the parents tried to supply their children with a varied diet. There exists the cult of "traditional Ukrainian cuisine". Food is considered to be healthy if it is home-made. Such dishes have always been and are still considered to be the most popular: borsch, dumplings, stuffed cabbage rolls, potatoes, cereals, meat, and lard. Earlier and nowadays, parents maintain the principle of regular, non-separate nutrition. This implies that children should eat three to five times a day. Parents truly believe that children’s diet should consist of all kinds of food. The majority of respondents told that one of their parents’ greatest responsibilities was to serve at least one soup and one hot dish a day.DISCUSSION: Such popular traditional dishes like soup or cutlets are usually considered to be healthy and useful food, despite being rich in fat and salt. Moreover, the desire to feed children as much as might be a manifestation of the self-preservation instinct, because our society has experienced famine caused by wars, disasters, and the Holodomor tragedy.CONCLUSIONS: The research revealed that the traditional concept what healthy nutrition is, passes from one generation to another. Nevertheless, there is the tendency to reconsideration of "healthy food" in adulthood in favor of separate nutrition. These preliminary results of the exploratory research should be deepen to clarify what proper nutrition means for older and younger Ukrainian generations regarding regional, socio-demographic, and economic factors, which, in turn, will contribute to adapting the program of healthy eating promotion to the needs of Ukrainian people.
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