As eating is one of the most important activities of human life, a monotone, standardized, and refined eating culture has become wide spread because of some factors such as dealing with the busy traffic, hard working conditions, trying to race against time due to our busy metropolitan lives. While getting a balanced and sufficient nutrition is the indispensible of a healthy and long life, our eating habits have changed because of the ‘fast living’ requirements. First, the number of our daily meals; then, the places we eat have changed. Breakfast turned into a meal that we could only have once or twice a week at home. Dinner became a meal that can be eaten late at fancy restaurants, ‘fast-food’ style outside or at home by consuming foods prepared with canned, or frozen foods. The experts explain about food poisoning that is seen often in fall and what to eat outside especially when it comes to children.

Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting
Pointing out food poisoning as a common disease arising out of the toxins that can be deadly but most of the time can be overcome easily, Liv Hospital Gastroenterology Expert Assoc. Dr. Binnur Şimşek states the measures that can be taken as follows: “It is difficult to say a food or drink might poison you by just looking at it, because there may not have been any changes in smell or taste occurred. In addition, toxins or microorganisms may not be found in the same amount at each point of the food; therefore, not every person who consumes the same food may be affected at the same level. Clinical signs are fatigue, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever; usually it lasts 1-3 days and most people recover completely within a week. Rarely, it can lead to neurological problems, bloody diarrhea, muscle pain, and low blood pressure.”

Raw and undercooked meat is risky
“Among the bacteria that cause food-borne poisoning, the most common ones are transmitted by raw poultry, unpasteurized milk, untreated water, and red meat. Also, consuming foods that are canned or fruits and vegetables washed with toxic water is also harmful. Again, you should also watch for pasta, dairy desserts, salads, and products that contain cream. Uncooked or raw meats or meat dishes also pose a risk for the development of several parasitic infections.”

What do we eat out in fall?
Saying that working people who eat outside should be conscious about the choice of food, Liv Hospital Diet and Nutrition Specialist Şükran Yıldız explains the things need to be considered when choosing meals: “If you have time and place to have breakfast, have one that contains eggs, cheese, seasonal vegetables, olives, whole grains, oatmeal, and rye bread. Instead of pastries, bagels, or donuts, a sandwich made with cheese and seasonal vegetables and fresh fruit as a side or a light toast with milk or tea to go with it may be preferred. At lunch and dinner, plates should be filled with foods from each food group; do not skip daily meals and avoid having late meals. ”

Do not ignore salad and yogurt
“If you are having your main meals within your workplace, you may prefer beef and vegetable stews, grilled chicken, meat, meatballs, fish, vegetable dishes prepared with olive oil, dry beans, soup, plenty of leafy salads and yogurt / yogurt drink / tsatziki with whole grain bread. If the main meals eaten outside the company, do not forget that vegetables in meat and vegetable dishes are usually deep-fried. So, try avoiding them. Instead of sugary drinks and sodas, choose mineral water, yogurt drink, and water to go with your meals.”

Do not abandon herbal teas
“Green tea, linden, fennel, and white tea can be consumed and foods such as salads, dried fruits, and dried beans with high sediment content may be preferred in order to prevent constipation problem that might occur because of limited physical activity. Hygienic conditions of the places we eat, and their ability to display safe food consumption documents should be taken into consideration as the things that are important to our health.”

Breakfast affects academic success
Highlighting the importance of healthy and balanced eating habits of children for their academic success as well as their development, Liv Hospital Pediatrician Dr. Seza Başkan gives information on what should be inside lunchboxes of school age children:

Protein rich instead of sugar rich
“At breakfast, instead of sugary foods that raise blood sugar rapidly and lowers it soon after, they should consume protein rich foods such as milk, egg, and cheese that are essential for their development; fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a strong immune system; whole grain cereals and breads that meet most of their daily energy needs. Children should be fed with healthy foods such as dried nuts and fruits that contain vitamins and minerals at snack times instead of junk food, crackers, or chocolate.”

Families should also eat right
“Trying to feed only the child in the family with healthy foods is also a wrong behavior. Children want to see that everyone who sits around the family table eats the same things. The child that you are trying to teach healthy eating habits should never be forced. We recommend at least 2-3 varieties of vegetable and 3-4 varieties of fresh fruit consumption for children so they can get enough vitamins.”

What should be inside a lunchbox?
“A lunchbox should contain foods that are light in weight but rich in nutrition. Dried nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, and dried fruits such as dried apricots, figs, and raisins affect the academic success of children as well as energizing them. So, they should take place in lunchboxes.”

Sample menus for lunchboxes
Fresh squeezed fruit juices, homemade biscuit
-Yogurt drink, bagel, fruit
-Milk, homemade bread
-Fresh squeezed fruit juice, cheese sandwich
-Yogurt drink, meatball or grilled chicken sandwich