There are several factors that must be considered in planning family meals. These are necessary to provide the family with meals that are economical, hygienic, palatable, attractive and nutritious. (mongofiles)
The first rule is to plan meals that meet the nutrient requirements of the family members. These nutrient requirements are found on the RDA list or the “Recommended Dietary Allowance”. This allowance is the amount of nutrients recommended by the nutrition experts for the nutrients daily intake. Every countries have their own RDA. The RDA ensures a margin of safety to meet some emergency needs in the cases of diseases, illnesses, or other similar conditions.
The second rule is to plan meals that the family wants to eat. This rule assures that the food that was prepared will be eaten by the members of the family. Considering that every family members have their different food likes, it is advisable to prepare two or more dishes in a meal. However, if the budget is limited, the dishes to be prepared can be reduced in quantity. It is also a wise idea to re-schedule different dishes in different meals for different days. It is also possible to introduce new dishes that are nutritious and inexpensive, it will only need a little motivation among the family members to arouse interest to the food.
The third rule is to plan meals that are aesthetically satisfying. This rule ensures that prepared foods are appealing to the eye. Prepared foods must have a variation in forms of ingredients, color, texture, as well as flavor. Variations in consistency is also considered; it includes the softness, hardness, crunchiness of the food.
The fourth rule is to plan meals that are economical. Considering that most of the family food budget is about 50 – 60 % of the family income, it is very wise to consider an economical food to prepare. In doing this, just make sure that the nutritive, aesthetic,palatability and hygienic quality of the food are not sacrifice.
Today, the rising price of commodities is one of the problem of many households but it can be resolved by substituting food ingredients that can minimized the cost. There are available food or food ingredients in the market that can take the places of the more expensive ingredients. Home production is also recommended wherein we can be able to raise fruits, vegetables and some spices through planting in the house yards.
The fifth rule is to plan meals that are safe and free from harmful microorganisms that may cause diseases. Of course, safety is one of the first factors to consider in buying foods from the market. There are foods in the markets that might be contaminated such as the “double dead” meat or expired canned goods. Proper checking of foods before buying must be considered by consumers.
The sixth rule is to plan meals that can be prepared with the less amount of time, energy, fuel and other resources. It is also important to consider other factor such as the amount of time spent in the preparation, the amount of energy to do work, the amount of fuel that are going to be consumed as well as the amount of other resources. This rule assures that the food are prepared on time as well as to save more energy, fuel and other resources in food preparation.