What to hide: no matter how scolding the Soviet regime, and baby food in those days was established to fame. Parents who were grown on the most delicate bits, lush omelets and dried fruit compote, did not expect that their children would have to eat ready-to-cook foods, drinking them down with fortified powder drinks. The wave of public protest was so powerful that the officials made concessions and by September 1 promised to reconsider the kindergarten menu.
However, the ideal picture will not be soon. What mistakes did the authorities admit, and which mistakes are still not there?
Most nutritionists alarmed universal fortification. It was carried out earlier, but not on such a grand scale. In January 2012, the number of artificial vitamins in the kindergarten diet exceeded reasonable limits.
The first to suffer from the rash measure were allergic children and toddlers from the risk group for the development of allergies. But the other children didn’t benefit from innovation either.
A surplus of beneficial substances can provoke food allergies (above all – atopic dermatitis) even in relatively healthy people. All vitamins are divided into two types – fat soluble and water soluble. Second in nature, the majority, and it is they most often enrich baby food.
And although excess water-soluble vitamins are eliminated from the body along with urine, they manage to cause significant damage. For example, the same vitamin C in excessive amounts can cause the formation of kidney stones. The risk increases many times if the child is accustomed to drink a little water.
In addition, enzyme systems suffer from an excess of vitamins, causing the body to be in a state of even slight but constant stress. So all children were in a precarious situation: both those who are not experiencing shortages, and those who really need to be supplemented.
All because you need to eliminate any deficiency only after passing the appropriate surveys, and vitaminization should not be universal, but individual.
Not only universal fortification led to an increase in allergization. The menu appeared semi-finished products of industrial production, which may include probable allergens – synthetic dyes, preservatives, flavors and stabilizers.
Not to mention that some of these substances have a potential carcinogenic effect. Juices from pineapples and oranges, honey and squid also cause concern, because these products are considered highly allergenic.
Hot disputes flared up due to the introduction of egg melange into the new menu – a liquid mixture of pasteurized proteins and yolks, which was not used in baby food in the Soviet era. The technology of preparation of this product is kept in the strictest confidence, so it is impossible to say with certainty that it is absolutely safe.
But besides allergy problems enough. Thus, according to unofficial data, the amount of meat, poultry and fish decreased by 5–32% in the new ration compared to the old one, the share of fresh vegetables and fruits decreased 1.5 times, and the amount of pasta and flour increased 2 times. It is clear that such changes will not provide the children with the proper and proper amount of nutrients and minerals according to SanPin.
Also, breakfast cereals appeared on the menu – chocolate crunchy balls, flakes and muesli. However, such coarse foods with an abundance of sugar, vegetable fats and harmful artificial additives are not suitable for babies.
- Parents have the legal right to know what kindergartens will feed their child, so at meetings it is necessary to demand from the chefs the exact composition of all questionable dishes.
- If the child is allergic, it is necessary at the beginning of the school year to bring to the head the doctor’s conclusion listing the prohibited products and write a statement asking them to replace them with safe options. By law, this option is provided, and the request must satisfy.
- If the parents suspect that the child’s allergy has started on the foods that he eats in the kindergarten, the manager must be asked to sample suspicious dishes. By law, they must be stored for 48 hours. Give the food for analysis in the laboratory Rospotrebnadzor. The same should be done if the baby’s stomach is upset.
- Babies can take with them food cooked at home. This is not prohibited by law. Parents are the official representatives of the child and can take on such responsibility. The only thing that needs to be done is to write a statement.
- If you find any violations, you can contact the All-Russian Society for the Protection of Consumer Rights. Tel .: 8 (495) 971 9169, website: www.ozppou.ru, mail: [email protected]
Another problem – the frequent disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. To them, according to experts, led an abundance of fat in semi-finished products.
With pancakes, dumplings, dumplings, cheesecakes, industrial meatballs, the stomach of babies does not always cope, especially if at home they are used to eating the right foods. In addition, there is too much salt in the semi-finished products, and dangerous trans fats are often added to them. Not less questions and sausages.
Despite the “children’s” postscript, the official description of the cycle menu on the Department of Education website clearly states that sausages, wieners and ham are intended for school age. How these products appeared in the diet of 3–6 years old kids is a mystery.
Fortunately, many complaints have been heard. Since the end of February 2012, at the request of Rospotrebnadzor, 12 recommendations were made to the new menu.
Thus, the officials confirmed the fears of parents and nutritionists about a number of fundamental innovations. So, they advised heads of preschool institutions to use jam instead of honey; add wheat bread and cheese to the diet; replace the fruit dumplings of industrial origin with pancakes with own-produced apples; increase the number of meat, poultry and fish dishes by reducing the share of sausages; replace orange and pineapple juices with hypoallergenic drinks; cancel for dinner fortified third courses; Allow the use of natural eggs along with melange.
The amendments were positive, but they were only advisory in nature, so the parents had to fight on. As a result, in the middle of July a new version of the menu appeared on the website of the Department of Education.
According to officials, it was completely excluded from it semi-finished products, fortified drinks and products containing preservatives. But this time the disadvantages remained.
Thus, fresh and peeled semi-finished vegetables came under suspicion: in order to preserve their presentation after shredding, they are treated with special substances whose effects on the body are not well studied. The composition of tomato paste is still unclear.
Egg vermicelli and noodles are harmless only for healthy children, but not for allergies. But frozen foods in nutritionists do not cause complaints.
Pleases and return of compote from dried fruit, acidophilus and rosehip broth.
But despite the steps taken by the authorities, the debate will not be settled soon. Today, none of the consumers can be sure that the true composition is indicated on the label of the goods being purchased.
Do not just forget that the menu in kindergartens is made up of the same products that parents buy home in supermarkets and markets.
The question of catering in preschool institutions remains painful. According to Viktor Panin, chairman of the committee of the All-Russian Society for the Protection of Consumer Rights of Educational Services, very soon, according to the authorities’ idea, food for kindergarten canteens will be prepared at specialized high-tech combines.
We will take an example, as always, from developed countries – Japan, Great Britain, Finland, Denmark, Sweden.
The main advantage of industrial nutrition is the establishment of strict control over manufacturers and suppliers. But there are other reasons for drastic changes.
First, full-cycle canteens, which are still in effect in many kindergartens, were built decades ago. And many of them have not been updated since. Secondly, state control is ineffective for the activities of the kindergarten managers.
So, all employees of the catering department are required to regularly undergo a physical examination. But according to the results of independent checks, this rule is ignored everywhere.
Thirdly, the modern approach will allow to stop official abuses. “According to our statistics, underweight in batches ranges from 10 to 40%, with 10% being the lowest,” says Victor Panin.
But parents are not inspired by this prospect. Who will argue that the child is better to eat porridge, which was cooked an hour ago, and not three, five, or all 24? And then, in the West, food in kindergartens was originally established “on a narrow foot,” so there the industrial way can really become the best alternative.
But in our country, this issue was solved perfectly for half a century, so parents do not see any point in changing a perfectly working scheme to a new and incomprehensible yet. Only from economic benefits one cannot escape, and a shattered past cannot be restored.
And for the bright future, as always, will have to fight.