Basics of meal planning:

Dietetics :

It is a science that deals with adequacy of diet during normal life cycle and modification required during diseased condition.

Nutrient requirement:

It can be defined as the minimum amount of absorb nutrient that is necessary for maintaining the normal physiological functions of the body.

Recommended dietary allowances RDA:

It is defined as the nutrient present in the diet which satisfies the daily requirement of nearly all individuals in the population.

RDA = requirements + safety factors.

RDA of an individual depends on many factors like age, sex, physical work and physiological stress.

  • Age:- An adult requires more calories than a child due to larger size of the body and increase in activities
  • Nutrient requirement : Females requires less calories than meals as BMR is low and size of the body is smaller.
  • Physical work: Sedentary workers requires less calories and B – vitamin than heavy workers.
  • Physiological stress: During pregnancy and lactation period, the requirements of nutrients are increased. 

Basics of meal planning:

Balanced diet: It is one which contains different types of or in such quantities and proportions so that the need for the calories, protein, minerals, vitamin and other nutrients is adequately met and a small provision is made to withstand short duration of leaness.

  • In addition, unbalanced diet should provide a good amount of fiber and anti oxidant which have a positive health benefit.
  • It should provide, from carbohydrates – 60 to 70% kilocalories, from protein 10 to 15% calories, from fat 20 to 25% calories.

Objectives of balanced diet:

  • To meet nutritional requirement.
  • To provide phyto chemicals.
  • Prevent degenerate diseases.
  • Improves longevity.
  • Prolongs productive life.
  • Improves immunity.
  • Help in coping up stress.

Thus, balanced diet enhances quality of life.

ICMR Recommendation :

  • According to Indian council of medical research (ICMR) Foods are broadly classified into five food groups which permits an individual to plan our menu and to achieve nutrient intake as specified by RDA.

(i)Cereals and its products.

(ii) Pulses and legumes.

(iii) Milk and meat products.

(iv) Fruits and vegetables.

(v) Fats and sugars.

  • The five food group system can be used by health professionals for the following purpose
  • Tools for nutrition screening and assessment : The brief diet history can disclose in adequacy of nutrients from any of the 5 food  groups, the information can be used for the possibility of the subject who may be at the risk of developing malnutrition.
  • Tools for nutritional counseling : The diet history based on the five food group system allows a health team to counsel or teach the patient about nutrition.
  • Explaining therapeutic diet to the patient : Therapeutic diets are scientifically based on nutrient composition and food group which can be used in menu planning and surveillance system.
  • Food labelling : Food groups can be used for food labelling and for nutritional surveillance system.
  • Modifications to be made to suit different age groups :
  • Normal diet is modified to feed young children, elderly members and sick member of the family.
  • The planning of the diet with a normal, soft or liquid should have the same objective that is to restore or maintain the good health of a person through a proper diet.
  • The modifications made are changed meals of an individual due to age or sickness.

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