Food – Eating habits in Slovakia, Healthy diet, Fast food, Eating facilities
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Eating habits in Slovakia
Eating habits depend on the lifestyle of people, their work, current economic situation and feelings. Busy managers don't eat regularly, young people often choose fast food, women are often on a diet, they eat as little as possible. Eating habits also depend on the country we come from or live in.
In Slovakia a typical day starts with breakfast. Between breakfast and lunch we usually have a snack. At midday we have lunch. Later we can have a snack again. In the evening, we eat dinner.
BREAKFAST – typical breakfast in Slovakia consists of a slice of bread with butter, ham, cheese or jam. Some people like sausages or buttered rolls or eggs (hard-boiled eggs, soft-boiled eggs, ham and eggs, omelette). Some people prefer healthy breakfast /light breakfast/ - for example cereals with yoghurt. They drink fruit juice, cocoa, hot tea, milk or coffee.
Breakfast is very important because it gives us energy for the start of the day.
SNACK – is a small portion of food eaten between breakfast and lunch, usually at school or at work. Children and students usually bring their snack from home or they buy it in the school buffet. As a snack people usually have a sandwich with ham or cheese, fruit, a chocolate bar or some sweets.
LUNCH – is the main meal of the day. We eat our lunch at midday. Some people have their lunch at work, at school or they wait and eat their lunch when they come home.
Lunch is often a three-course meal which consists of soup (stock, bean, tomato, fish, chicken, vegetable, potato, lentil...), main course and a dessert.
- the main course is meat (roast pork, roast beef, Vienna steak, lamb, poultry, stuffed chicken, fish, carp, salmon, tuna...) with side dish - rice, potatoes (French fries, chips, mashed, boiled) with some vegetable salad or stewed fruit.
- The main course may also be noodles, pasta with sauce, pancakes, fruit dumplings with sugar, steamed buns etc.
SNACK - other small portion of food that we eat before dinner (often cake and coffee).
DINNER (SUPPER) - isn't very nutritious in Slovakia. It may be a cold meal, some people prefer a hot meal or they have the same dish as at midday. Some people just have a snack – e.g. rolls, a cake with milk or tea and so on.
Many people think that too much fat and sugar in our meals cause diseases (diabetes, heart diseases, obesity etc.) therefore there have been great changes in our eating habits. - If you want to be healthy, you should eat a lot of vegetables, fruit, poultry, lean meat, fish, cereals etc.
- You should supply your body with vitamins and minerals
- Eat smaller portions but more often during the day, don't skip meals
- Avoid eating salty meals, spices, sweet drinks, avoid eating late at night - Some people drink skimmed milk, prefer whole-meal or brown bread, low-fat food, they eat less meat. - If we eat meat, we should cook it in the ways that reduce the amount of fat – baking, boiling, roasting
- Avoid drinking alcohol, too much coffee, smoking cigarettes, fast food
- Eat lots of fish, raw vegetables and dairy products.
Lots of people are vegetarians – they don't eat meat or fish, they eat a lot of vegetables, grains, fruit, eggs, cheese. They believe it is healthier, or they don't like the way animals are treated (moral reasons). It is believed that vegetarians don't usually suffer from heart diseases, because it is unhealthy to eat too much meat. - The other group are vegans– they don't eat meat and any animal products (eggs, cheese, milk).
- Doctors believe that a natural diet for a human should contain both animal and vegetable products in a good balance. A well-balanced diet should include 4 basic food groups: grains, vegetables, milk products and meat.
Diets – especially young girls often go on a diet because they want to be slim and attractive. Too much dieting can be dangerous to health => nowadays many young girls become seriously ill because they want to lose weight and be as slim as famous models – such illnesses are for example anorexia, bulimia and so on.
- is very popular especially with young people or busy people.
- fast food restaurants sell hamburgers, cheeseburgers, ice cream, chicken with chips, sweet fizzy drinks => this food usually contains too many calories and oil and is too heavy for our stomach. But it is tasty and easily accessible and many people like it. It is also quite expensive but for many people it is a comfortable way of eating because they are busy and they don’t have time to cook or wait in a restaurant for lunch – they can just buy a hamburger in a fast food restaurant, carry it with them and eat it when they have time.
Nowadays many fast food restaurants have a drive-in => you can buy food while you are sitting in your car.
In Slovakia women spend a lot of time cooking at home because they think that home-made food is much better than ready-made food at the shop and it is fresher. Cooking at home also shows that you care about the people who are going to eat it.
+ it is cheaper, fresher
+ you know what you eat, you can eat as much as you want
+ there are no food additives and colours
- you need to cook on your own
- there is no choice, you have to eat what is prepared
- you have to lay the table, do the washing up
Eating at the restaurants
There's a great number of different types of restaurants, for example Chinese, Mexican, traditional Slovak wooden cottages. Sometimes it is better to book a table in advance. The waiter comes to our table, gives us menu and waits for our orders. After the meal he brings us a bill, we should leave him a tip for good service. Restaurants also offer a daily menu at reduced prices.
+ it is comfortable, you are served
+ you can choose from the menu (daily menu at reduced price)
+ you can enjoy it with your friends, family
+ you don't have to lay the table, do the washing up
- it is more expensive
- you can't influence the size of the portion
- you cannot be sure what you eat
- there could be some food additives or colours
Eating at canteen
+ you can enjoy the meal with your schoolmates or friends
+ your meal is prepared for you
+ it is cheaper, healthier
- you cannot choose from the menu, what you want to eat
- the meal is of a lower quality
- the portions are usually smaller
Other eating facilities are fast food places where people can buy take-away food (hot dogs, burgers and other fatty and unhealthy junk food) or they go to snack bars, cafes. Especially pizza is usually ordered and delivered to work or home.
During holidays we like to eat outdoors with family and friends and have picnics and barbecues.
Food around the world
Each country has its traditional meals. When we travel around the world we can try lots of international cuisines.
SLOVAKIA – our national dish is “bryndzové halušky“– small potato dumplings mixed with sheep cheese, served with roasted bacon and milk
- 'pirohy' – cheese filled dumplings
- potato pancakes etc.
- 'kapustnica' – soup made from sauerkraut and sausage (mushrooms, plums) – and fried carp with potato salad are typical Christmas meals.
- the most typical alcoholic drinks are 'slivovica'– plum brandy or 'borovička'– juniper brandy and also beer and wine. In general, Slovak food is considered to be less healthy, we eat a lot of floury, sweet and fatty meals, such as dumplings, pastry, fat pork, bacon and sausages.
GREAT BRITAIN – the national dish is “fish and chips” – people in Britain usually buy it in a shop – they don’t cook it – it is usually wrapped in a paper and eaten outside.
- British are also famous for their English tea – tea with milk and for Christmas they have a Christmas pudding which is made of candied fruit. For Thanksgiving Day they have a turkey and the whole family has dinner together.
THE USA – they don’t have a national dish because it is a very multicultural country – their cuisine contains food from different parts of the world. American people like eating steaks, sandwiches, fast food - burgers, hot dogs, pizza, muffins, pancakes, milkshake...
CANADA – is famous for its maple syrup
ITALY - pasta and pizza, pastries, wine and cheese
MEXICAN cuisine is full of flavours and spices.
JAPAN - the cuisine is based on combinations of rice and noodles, also sushi is world-known Japanese food. The Japanese eat their meals with chopsticks.
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