There are several factors that affect the Russian diet:
Since Russia is situated in a cold climate, the typical Russian diet is based on root vegetables and grains that grow well under these specific conditions. Buckwheat, barley, rye and wheat along with cabbage, onions, carrots, potatoes, turnips and beets are examples of the foundations of a Russian diet. Fresh vegetables and fruits are less attainable and are not eaten often by the typical Russian. Most vegetables and fish are marinated or pickled.
The Russian Orthodox Church mandates a series of days for fasting over the year. Fish is the only type of meat that allowed during these fasts. One of the favorites is Sturgeon. When celebrating a number of religious holidays as well as other holidays throughout the year, different pastries, cakes and sweets are eaten.
The “pech,” or oven, is the conventional cooking appliance in Russia. The pech does not have a burner on top. Instead, it has one compartment which is utilized for slow baking and another one which is used for rapid baking. This particular style of cooking has influenced the kinds of foods that are eaten by a common Russian. A staple in the Russian diet is bread. Meat dishes and soups are also quite common. In poorer households the “pech” can also be used as a house heater.
The typical Russian consumes 3 meals a day: breakfast, dinner and supper. In general, the earlier meals are heavier, while the latter meals are usually lighter. Russians in general also eat a lot of full-dairy products such as sour cream, cream and mile. Mayonnaise is consumed liberally.
There have been a lot of major food shortages in Russia since 2001. A lot of children are not getting the nutrition that they need because of this. This shortage has caused a lot of children to be underweight and not grow to their appropriate height.