Meet Our Food Expert
Making informed and mindful food choices
We’re dedicated to providing our customers with more delicious menu options, starting with the ingredients we use to make them. That’s why we involve food experts, like Our Suppliers and Our Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, who lead us in staying food-forward, keeping ingredients and nutrition in mind. Meet the team and learn about their favorite ingredients and nutrition initiatives.
MS, RD, CDN
Clinical Dietician - Nutritionist
Nicoletta Ntorzi teamed up with McDonald’s as the new food expert and is also the new partner of the Kids Football Programme, where she will give to Coaches, Kids and parents insightful information about a balanced diet.
McDonald's Cyprus organized a Parent Training Session in the framework of the McDonald's Kids Football Program, which was successfully held on January 9, 2020.
Parents had the opportunity to participate to a presentation entitled "Raising Healthy Kids" and have a very productive discussion at the end of the presentation.
The purpose of this presentation was to help parents understand the dietary groups (cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, eggs, pulses, dairy, fats and sweets and calculate - based on the equivalents - the amount of food their children need, depending on their age and physical activity.
It is very important for the parent to set a good example for their children so that they can imitate them and develop proper eating habits.
There are three types of parenting:
Permissive: "Eat whatever you want." Indirectly allows children to choose foods low in nutrients and high in sugar and fat.
Authoritarian: "Eat what I tell you, otherwise I will...". This kind of parenting usually uses food as a reward or punishment. This can act as a boomerang and make children search to consume "forbidden" food.
Authoritative: This kind of parenting is somewhere in the middle of the above parenting styles and it uses dialogues, discussions, negotiations, compromises and questions, guiding children to make the right choices on their own.
This presentation provided tips on how to be an authoritative parent in order help his or her children make proper nutrition choices.
It was also mentioned in the presentation, that too many restrictions will certainly have undesirable effects. Therefore, kids can have a "cheat day" during the week and choose to eat at a fast food restaurant or a pastry shop.
At the end of the presentation, there was time for questions, where parents had the opportunity to get answers to the nutritional issues that concern them. Some questions that were asked were:
"How can I persuade my child to eat vegetables without giving him sweet or other food in return?"
Parents should not reward or punish food. But you can give the child more motivation to try something they don't like. For example "if you eat your eggplants, we can go for a walk in the park". Children learn food preferences through repeated exposure to new foods. Exposure to the new food, at least 8-10 times, is required to accept it and develop a preference for it. The acceptance of food by children, especially young children, follows the example of parents and older siblings.
"How can I get my kids to try new flavors?"
Instead of cooking every week the same food menu, try preparing an international cuisine at least once a month. Let your child choose a country and try to make a traditional meal of that country while learning some information about that culture. So kids gain general knowledge and taste new flavors.
"How can I persuade my kids eat more vegetables?"
In addition to the salad that is encouraged to be consumed at every meal, you can hide vegetables in the food. For example, we can make tomato sauce with vegetables (carrot, zucchini, onion, pea, etc.) and use it your recipes, such as pasta, minced meat, pizza, etc. You can cut various vegetables into strips and make yogurt sauce to dip their vegetables in. Even small children can help in food preparation. Studies have shown that kids who help in the kitchen tend to eat healthier and taste more vegetables than kids who don't. Also, the increased frequency of family meals is associated with lower consumption of fried foods and greater consumption of vegetables, even at meals outside the home.
"My child wants to snack on something constantly. How can I improve this habit? "
Kids who regularly eat a healthy breakfast tend to have better body weight control, eat less fat throughout the day, and "snack" less. Instead of having the child open the cupboard or refrigerator and get what he or she wants, try naming a shelf in the fridge as a "snack" and put individual yogurt pots, chopped fruit and vegetables, and low fat cheeses. Also, take a bowl in the cupboard and place individual cereal packages, low-sugar and fat cookies and dried fruits. However, you must set limits and restrictions not to open all the time the cabinet and the refrigerator.