Meal planning is the art of creating adequate diet which includes all the essentials nutrients in their right proportion for different groups of people. A well planned meal should satisfy the nutritional needs of an individual and promote good health.
A menu is used during meal planning. A menu is the list of courses or details of a meal. These courses are:
Menus consist of breakfast, lunch, dinner/supper and their list of courses.
PRINCIPLES OF MEAL PLANING
FACTORS AFFECTING MEAL PLANNING
PLANNIG ADEQUATE DIETS
A meal is the food we eat e.g. semolina and soup, plantain pottage, rice and stew.
There are three types of meal in Nigeria: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snacks can be served when desired.
Breakfast: it is the first meal of the day. The nutritionist considered breakfast to be the most important meal of the day because if breakfast is omitted or inadequate, physical activity and mental efficiency decrease and it is of no value in weight loss. Breakfast should be nutritious, adequate and able to sustain an individual till lunch. The breakfast menu can be continental or local.
A continental menu:
Local breakfast menu:
(ai) Fruit and fruit juices.
(bi) Fruit or fruit juices.
(ii) Fried sweet potato/plantain with fish or egg sauce.
For manual worker, they should consume high energy food because they expand a lot of energy on their jobs e.g. yam (fried, roasted or boiled) foofoo with soup etc.
Lunch is afternoon meal. It is the meal eaten between breakfast and dinner.
Suggested menu for lunch
(1a) Fish okra soup with foofoo
(2) Chicken Jollof rice garnished with sautéed vegetables or mixed fruit salad.
(3a) Chicken soup
(c) Fish yam pottage
(d) Green vegetables
(e) Pawpaw rings
Dinner or supper is the food eaten in the evening. Dinner should be light because no more energy is expended after eating before going to bed. Eating heavy meal in the night can cause constipation, fermentation and tiredness in the morning. It can cause overweight.
Suggested menu for dinner
(1a) fish vegetable soup
(c) Fresh stew
(2a) Chicken stew
(b) White boiled rice
(c) Fresh fruit
(3a) Beef stew
(b) Boiled plantain
(c) Fruit and fruit juice
Snacks are in-between meals they should be light and easy to digest e.g. cake, plantain chips, moi moi pastries etc.
In menu writing, breakfast, fruits or fruit juice should come first. This is because fruits aid to stimulate appetite and help digestion by activating digestive enzymes then protein, energy and protective foods should follow.
The menu starts with protein, energy and protective foods when planning for lunch.