Choosing, planning, and cooking gourmet meals require a consideration of many factors. This is to ensure that the meal prepared is not only tasty but also nutritious and budget-friendly and at the same time meeting everyone’s dietary needs. Below are some of the things to factor when planning meals.
Include Foods from the Major Food Groups
Always strive to have a balanced diet in your meal. Include fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains and lean proteins (such as nuts, seeds, beans, and other legumes). Whole grains and other plant-derived foods should be the foundation of every meal. Fats and proteins should be in moderation.
Use a Variety of Flavors, Ingredients, and Textures
Ensure that you get a variety of different foods from within the major food groups. This is because of fiber content, nutrients, and calories of foods in the same food groups. Ensure you mix it up with an assortment of flavors, textures, shapes, and colors. For those people eating the meal, their true enjoyment lies in the diversity of the choices made.
Ensure Proportionality of Food Sizes
Through a reflex action, people are bound to overeat when served with large portions of food. It is thus crucial, to check the guidelines on the packages of food that you’re preparing to ensure that you get the size right. Some of the guidelines include, for example; one serving of vegetables contains about 1 cup raw and 1/2 cup cooked, one serving of meat is equivalent to approximately 3 ounces, among others.
Avoid Very Fatty and Sugary Foods
Whereas it’s inevitable to include them in a meal, a healthy and balanced diet includes small quantities of fats and sugars. In as much as the body needs fats, include them in low percentages. Some of the healthy fat options include salmon, peanut butter, avocados, nuts, and albacore tuna.