What are the Principles of Meal Planning?

The planned food needs to be tasty and palatable with its nutritive value. Every housewife desires that the food prepared by her should not only provide satiety but also give mental satisfaction. For this the following principles are to be followed during meal planning:

Principle of nutrition

Principle of nutrition is an important principle of meal planning. A family may have members of all age groups like infant, adoles­cent, adult, pregnant lady, old person, etc. Nutritional requirement of each member may differ. Hence it is necessary to consider the daily nutritional requirement of each member.

During meal planning, it is also impor­tant to include some foods from each food group. Foods selected from only one food group are neither nutritionally balanced nor likeable, e.g., a meal having egg, curd, and kheer will be rich in protein but deficient in minerals and vitamins due the absence of vegetables and salad. In addition to this, a housewife should also ensure that the amount of food planned is also adequate.

Meal pattern must suit the family

No two families have exactly the same nutritional needs since the differences in the number of family members, their age and their food likes and dislikes. Apart from this, number of meals taken in a day by the family also differs. For example, if a family takes two main meals in a day, then the maximum nutritional requirements should be met by these two meals in case if meals are taken thrice a day, the quantity of food in each meal can be lessened.

The food should be in accordance with the requirements of different members of the family. This doesn't mean that separate food should be cooked for each member. Requirements of each family member can be met by making a few changes in the meal, e.g., dal water can be served as soup, and dal can be served to a patient of hypertension by reducing the amount of salt in it. Non-fried dal can be served to a patient and rest of the members can enjoy fried dal.

To bring variety in meals

Nobody likes a rigid meal pattern every day. One can be fed up howsoever nutritious

is a must so that all the members enjoy it can be done by selecting different foods various food groups, by blending color flavour, taste, and texture into it, and by u different methods of cooking.

(i) Selection of foods from differ Food Groups

A group of foodstuffs ha ' same nutrients are called a Food Group. F selected from a single food group are neat acceptable nor balanced, e.g., a person ha ' milk, cheese, sandwich, and milk pudding breakfast may not relish his breakfast, but the other hand if foods from different groups are selected, e.g., vegetable sandwich fruits and milk are served, it will definite bring variety and also enhance the taste nutritive value of the meal.

(ii) Variety in colour combination

Blending of different colours make food attrac­tive and likeable on the contrary food appears dull if all foods are of the same colour, e.g., a meal consisting of uric duly dal, plain curd, plain rice, onion and radish salad does not appeal despite of being nutritious. But if a meal has whole rued dal, dam aloof, onion, tomato, radish and carrot salad decorated with green coriander, ratio, mint chutney and rice pula, it appeals you because of beautiful colours. Such a meal enhances appetite.

(iii) Variety in texture

Texture in food refers to its state of being soft, solid, crisp or liquid. A meal won't be enjoyable if all the foods are of the same texture. So a meal should have some solid foods which can be consumed raw like salads, fruits, etc., some crispy foods like chips, papa, etc., and some soft like cus­tard, pudding, dal, etc.

(iv) Variety in taste and flavour

A meal is really very sumptuous if its flavour can water your mouth. All the tastes like salty, sour, sweet and bitter add novelty to food. You won't be able to relish the meal if all the foods in it are very spicy. A bland meal is also not very likeable.

Blending of different flavors is also es­sential for a good meal planning. Good combi­nation of foods generally enhances the fla­vour of each other, e.g., bread with butter, pakoras with mint chutney, with coconut chutney, etc.

(v) Variety in methods of cooking

Texture, taste and flavour of foods can be changed by using different methods of cook­ing. In addition to the traditional cooking methods like frying, boiling, roasting, baking, steaming etc., novelty to the food can also be added by fermentation and sprouting. For example, potato can be served in different forms like potato ratio, kaftans, cutlets, hallway, chips, etc. in place of simple potato vegetable.

4. Meals should provide satiable value

Food which provides satiety and does not cause hunger between two meals is known as satiable food. Protein and fat rich foods have higher satiety value as compared to carbohy­drates. That's why one doesn't feel after having such foods.

In meal planning, interval between two meals should considered while selecting protein and fat foods so that one doesn't feel hungry v soon, e.g., the interval between dinner breakfast is long, therefore, protein and rich breakfast will be more satiable.

5. to save time, energy and money

Time, energy and money can be saving by meal planning:

• Once meals are planned for a day o week then first prepare a list of items and they should be procured time. This saves unnecessary trips; the market and thus saves time, en and money.

• Foods can be purchased at reason prices. For this, rates can be comp- at different shops or can be proc: from wholesale dealers. Items purchased at the last moment in a hurry cost more.

• Foods in a bigger pack cost less but should be purchased only when the proper provision for its storage.

• Shopping should be done at times the markets are not very crowded.

• Kitchen items should be arranged thematically near the work place so as avoid fatigue while working in the kite

• Time and labour saving kitchen Devi like mixer, fridge, cooker, solar cook etc., should be used.

• Meal planning helps in pre-preparat1 of food, e.g., if rajma is to be cooked lunch, these can be soaked overnice Soaked grains are easy to cook and sale time and fuel.