While taste still ranks high among reasons for food preference, nutrition is gaining attention due to diners’ increased awareness about wellness, and how diet plays a big part in their health and lifespans.
Contributing factors to health consciousness
Here are the health factors that are shaping society’s view towards health consciousness:
Food and drug authorities are becoming more aggressive in identifying healthy and unhealthy foods.
Food-related studies are educating people on the merits of food or ingredients.
There’s an increase in diners who can afford healthier meals.
The media has become influential in encouraging healthy dining and the consequences of unhealthy eating.
Because of this increased concern over healthy eating, food service professionals have a responsibility to:
Educate our diners on the value of good nutrition.
Provide our diners with healthier menu options.
Effectively show that nutritious food can be equally exciting and tasty.
In order to create a nutritious, balanced menu, we need to know the basics of healthy eating. We’ll be looking at the 2 basic guides below to plan and prepare healthy meals.
Published by the Harvard School of Public Health, this guide shows an overview of a plate and the recommended portion size of each dish element to create a healthy eating plate.
Next, let’s look at the USDA Pyramid guide of healthy eating. This shows the recommended types of food to eat in order to maintain a healthy daily intake for a 2,000 calorie diet.
Grains – 6 ounces or 1 cup of rice, noodles or cereals daily
Vegetables – 2.5 cups of vegetables daily
Fruits – 2 cups of fruits daily
Fats and oils – Limit daily intake
Milk – 3 cups of low or fat-free milk daily
Meat, fish, eggs and beans – 5.5 ounces of low-fat or lean meat daily