Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dinner and "good night" time for kids in Russia

What time is dinner (supper) for small children? Middle age children? Older children? What time do Russian kids go to bed?
Asked by Anza West


Traditions of dinner time for all children in Russia (and I mean on all ex-USSR territory) have not changed much since Soviet times when everyday life of any family member was supposed to be organized according to the general recommendation of the State sanitary control.

...Well, it sounds scary, but actually it was very well organized and every new mom could get an answer to any question regarding her child from her local pediatric center for children from 0 to 16 years old(polyclinic).

Quiet often all walls of this centers were covered with the clear slogans. from how to teach your child to eat to what time to put him to bed. As you can see from the picture, it was advised that for the child's health the best schedule will be:

9 am -breakfast
1pm - lunch
4am - snack
7:30pm - dinner

This recommendation applied to the children of all ages.

It was important to finish dinner before 8:45pm, as at 8:45pm every child on the territory of ex-USSR was suppose to be in front of TV for his evening treat.

He had a right for 15 minutes long program Good night , babies! (Spokoinoi noch malyshi!) which was often the only daily TV entertainment of a child from 3 to 9 years old .

Music from this program put all babies in the sleepy mood and they were ready to go to bed leaving some free time for their parents.


Well, of cause many things has changed since then and now parents have access to all recommendations possible from all over the world. Some leave kids to eat when they want and to play until they fall asleep on the couch, others stick to a good old tradition of the grand-mothers.

But usually, since many parents work and are rarely home before 7pm, the dinner for all is around 7 30pm, unless grandma or nanny helps to feed hungry small kids before that. Teenagers will wait for parents or will eat before 8pm if parents left something to be heated.

You rarely will see small kids wondering around on the street after 9pm. The rule of
9pm-sleep-time still works but even if kids don't go to bed right away they are not allowed to go outside after the dinner. Those who will not go to bed might spent evening in front of computer or TV....just like in any other country)))))

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