WHAT DOES MEAL PLANNING MEAN?
Meal planning means that individual family members must be considered in estimating the food needs of the family. A family consists of various age groups in various psychological states, thus each stage of life should be considered with utmost care.
MEAL PLANNING FOR ADULTHOOD
Adulthood represents steady state in life. A person who has completed his /her growth in terms of body size. The nutritional needs are for maintenance of body functions. The energy needs in adulthood are mainly to sustain body functions and activity. The protein requirement is to make good wear and tear losses which occur as a result of normal life processes. Adulthood also represents productive stage of life and hence it is important that the nutritional needs of an adult be met adequately, to keep up the vitality and positive attitude in life.
BREAKFAST AN IMPORTANT MEAL
The first meal in the day is important as about 12 hours elapse between dinner and breakfast. Breakfast should always be freshly cooked and should not consist of bread or bakery products all the time. As I Indian culture the breakfast differs from region to region. Example, idli, chutney, dosa, upma are common breakfast in southern India whereas poha is common in Maharashtra, paratha & lassi in Punjab.
The selection of foods is made according to the daily food guide. The amounts of food included from the various groups will depend on the body size and activity of the individual. Thus a labourer, who is very active may need more cereals and oils and fat to meet his/her energy needs as compared to a sedentary person who is involved in desk job.
CHANGING FOOD HABITS
Each of us have food which are our favourites. These are served on special occasions such as birthday, parties or other celebrations. Though one should take the likes and dislikes of family members into account in meal planning, we should not allow our preferences to rule our diets. Allowing people to develop a restricted food pattern may lead to poorly balanced diet and could be a social disadvantage. Trying to like new food enlarges one’s food enjoyment, social experience as well as diet.