Meal planning entails deciding what to eat for each meal of the day. In Human Nutrition and Dietetics, it involves thought, effort, and application of knowledge. It is a task for every meal manager to meet this goal because the family’s well-being and health are dependent on how well they are fed. When done well, it is a pleasurable and fulfilling experience. We eat three meals and sometimes another snack each day. These meals are shared by all members of the household, so there must be a plan to ensure the meals are more accepted and enjoyed.
When arranging family meals, you must consider the members of the family, their ages, and their occupations. Consider the amount of storage space available and the storage conditions while purchasing food. If you don’t have enough space, you may have to buy food frequently. You can buy vegetables and fruits once a week if you have a refrigerator. As a result, the frequency with which you acquire foods is now determined by the amount of storage space available and the storage conditions. Planning on a regular basis is essential. Meal planning is divided into five steps:
- Make a list of foods from each food group, that are available in the market.
This is essential when preparing a well-balanced diet for the family. Seasonal vegetables and fruits are vital to use because they are not only of great quality but also affordable.
Check the prices and decide which of the foods from each group fit in the food budget on
the basis of the number of family members.
The buying of food is inextricably linked to meal planning. Meal planning can be a shared endeavor for the whole family. Family members can talk about meal plans, food budgets, and meal preparation, and assist in making the plans work.
Estimate the day’s needs for all the family and calculate the month’s food needs from it.
The schedules of the family members will also influence the decision. Everything you eat and drink at home or outdoors, your daily cup of tea/coffee, and the refreshments supplied at meetings are all part of the members’ daily food intake. It’s easier to choose foods that add up to fulfill the demands of diverse family members if you plan for them, or at least are aware of them.
- Make a list of foods to be purchased monthly, fortnightly, weekly and daily.
It’s possible that some adjustments will be necessary at the end of the week to use up foods that won’t keep. In some cases, an additional visitor may necessitate a menu modification. If the homemaker must cook food, the plan should be devised with time and energy conservation in mind. Making a grocery list ahead of time can help you save time at the store.
- Plan menus to meet the daily needs of the family.
We need to prepare our meals so that each family member’s needs are addressed. The plan can be modified to take advantage of lower seasonal food prices and to match your family’s requirements and preferences.
The plan must be linked to the food preparation facilities available. Each family’s meal plans have some degree of standardization, which aids in meal management efficiency. To learn more with regard to meal planning for the family, register for our Human Nutrition & Dietetics course today for a 10% discount!