MEALS PLANNING AND MANAGEMENTS Importance of meat planning for meals to be enjoyed by everyone,

to save time, energy and money,

Why meals should be served attractively to create interest and promote appetite, to increase enjoyment

Factors to consider in meal planning

balanced diet, meals should confirm all food nutrients in correct amount, i.e proteins to build the body and replace worn out tissues, carbohydrate to provide energy and heat to the body, fats and oils – fuel/energy giving, vitamins to protect the body,roughages – a broom that removes waste products from the body, water to prevent dehydration and aid digestion


What is a meal?

It is food/nourishment/dishes prepared to be taken at a particular time.  Three meals should be taken per day; Breakfast

Lunch (mid day meal)

Supper (evening meal)

  Breakfast provides the basic requirements for the day. It is always important to have all the three meals.

Importance of meal planning

  1. it ensures meals are adequate/enough for family members and meets individual preferences.
  2. ensures that meals are balanced to meet dietary requirements of all family members e.g children, elderly, adolescents and sick,
  3. Ensures meals are presented and served attractively to stimulate appetite and enjoyment.

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Factors to consider when planning meals

i) Nutritional balance 

Meals should have all food nutrient in required amounts and proportions, i.e proteins, carbohydrates, fats and oils, vitamins, mineral salts, water and roughage.

  1. ii) Individual requirements Points to consider

a) Body size

  • Food required to maintain body processes
  • Men need more energy than women because they are heavily built, – Children need less food than adults because they are small in body.

b) Age

Growing babies, children and adolescents require body building, protective and energy foods,

Elderly need more proteins and protective food than carbohydrates.

  1. State of health
  • sick people have a low metabolic rate so need less energy,
  • they need more protective and body building foods for recovery and for protecting against diseases,


  • people with occupations requiring mainly mental activity need little energy giving foods e.g office workers while manual workers need more of this.


  • women need more iron than men because they loose blood during menstruation and delivery, – calcium and protein to be shared between the two.
  1. Climate
  • serve cold foods during hot weather and vise versa.
  • it should be hot during cold weather because people tend to eat more during this weather to meet increased demands for energy to keep warm,
  1. Money available
  • the budget of food should be within what one can afford,
  1. Foods in season
  • should be ones in season because they are more available, cheaper and fresh.
  1. Time available
  • it determines – type of foods and
  • no of dishes

N/B:- convenient; foods some times are used if time if limited.

  1. Fuel

–    it influences efficiency and cost of cooking

  1. Facilities available;

e.g – food preparation facilities     – cooking facilities,

  • serving and storage facilities,
  • time and labour saving device that save on time and energy during preparation      and cooking.
  1. Occasion

should suit occasion,eg

  • birthdays
  • weddings
  • anniversaries
  • graduation parties

These occasions need dishes that are a variety and style of presentation.

  1. Providing variety


  • should be interesting colour combinations
  • use 3l more to break monotony,
  • use garnishing to bring in a milling colour e.g green, red/yellow and make meal attractive, Texture
  • g crispy, crunchy, and tender


e.g salt, sweet, plain, flat/aromatics,

Satiety value

  • Provide enough food to satisfy everybody

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Knowledge and skills

The work should have knowledge on nature, value of food,

Conservation of nutrients during preparation and cooking,

Individual likes and dislikes

This should be considered because;

  • Dislike can reduce flow of digestive juices in severe,
  • It reduces enjoyment,
  • Causes indigestion,

N/B:- favourite dishes shouldn’t be served frequently because they become monotonous.

Types of meals

  • A meal has one/more causes,
  • May have an appetizer, main course and dessert,
  • An appetizer is a small amount of food/drink that stimulates appetite,
  • A main course is a dish that has a protein food, a carbohydrate and vegetable, – A dessert is a sweet dish served as last course of a meal

Examples of meals

One course meal

  • Has a protein food, a carbohydrates and a vegetable,
  • Has a starter and main course or main course dessert,

Three course mal

Has a starter, main course and a dessert

Formal dinner

Has six/more courses;

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Course (i) e.g appetizer (eggs and mayonnaise)
Course (ii) cream of vegetable soup and croutons
Course (iii) fried fish fillet,
Course (iv) roast leg of lamb, baked potatoes, glazed carrots and fried spinach,
Course (v) fruit salad
Course (vi) banana custard pudding, tea/coffee may be served after the meal away

from D.T e.g in living room

Cold beverages (appetizer) may also be served before dinner.


Its service of prepared food ready to eat well cooked and attractively presented food;

  • interesting
  • stimulates appetite

It involves

Food service

i.e plating/dishing out food

  1. decoration and garnishing iii)clean and appropriate dishes/plates


  • It is presentation of food at table,

 Points to observe when serving meals

  • room should be clean and well ventilated,
  • table should have a well laundered tablecloth if table is highly polished, mats should be used to protect surface,
  • table should be set attractively and appropriately,
  • clean dishes to be used,
  • use large serving for food to be arranged well,
  • dishes should be free of smudges,
  • foods to be served on time,
  • hot foods to be served hot in hot dishes, cold to be cold when served.

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  1. Plate service

Food is served on plates then passed to members

  1. Family table service
  • Dishes are placed on the table in dishes,
  • table is set for members
  • househelp/host serves dish
  • members serve themselves

Buffet service

  • It is used to entertain a large number of people,
  • food is put in dishes/food warmers and placed on table,
  • cutlery and plates are placed where serving starts,
  • guests serve themselves eat while standing or sitting at set table,
  • foods should be easy to eat with no cutlery / just forks and knife


It is a meal with 3 simple courses e.g soup, main dish and dessert.


It is a meal with a large variety of dishes,

It requires extra cutlery and table setting is more elaborate.


This is done to make food colourful attractive and interesting.

N/B:- colour and design have to harmonise some may be cooked others and raw,

Raw garnishes


  • they give fresh colour and flavour
  • they provide vitamin C, e.g are carrots, tomatoes, pepper lettuce and palsey,

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Cooked garnishes

Used on hot dishes,


  • they should be hot e.g grilled meat garnished with grilled tomatoes,
  • cold ones should be used on cold dishes e.g cakes garnished with cherries,

Preparation of garnishes and decorations 


  • pulses – dropped/springs and should be fresh,
  • water cress used in leaves/bunches,


  • vegetables e.g cucumber, mushroom, beetroot, carrots, green pepper, celery to be cut into lubes, strips/balls,
  • eggs sliced, grated/wedged,
  • onions cut into rings, slices/flowers,


  • chocolate – grated and coloured sugar,
  • jelly crystals and coloured sugar,
  • wrapped screen,
  • glace cherries chopped/sliced,
  • nuts chopped/whole,
  • tiny piped on cakes/sprinkling/dusting on sweet dishes and cakes,
  • desiccated coloured coconut sprinkled on dishes
  • crystallized fruits/chocolate drops,

Flavouring food

Achieved in 3 ways;

  • developing material flavours of food e.g by frying with onion/garlic,
  •  mixing different ingredients to introducing their flavours into foods,
  • adding flavourings to food with no flavour, e.g herbs, spices and essences.

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  1. Gharlic used in salads, soups and stews,
  2. persley is a garnish as well as flavouring chopped/used whole,
  3. bay leaves – for savouring drinks and sweet ones
  4. bougret barni – it is a bunch of leaves, gives flavour to foods cooked in stock/water, e.g soups and stews,

Has different herbs and spices that are tied together in a cloth interlooks with food and is removed when food is ready

Fine hers

e.g fresh chopped parsley

used in stews/other savoury dishes ,

Mixed herbs

Are a variety of aromatic dried and crushed leaves,

Flavours savery and sweet dishes used separately/mixed whe cooking.


Are a variety of aromatic seasoning.  From roots, flowers and seeds of plants; e.g

  • summin seeds,

for flavouring curries, pilau, samosas and pastries,

  • Cloves

are buds of a plant, for sweet and savoury dishes

  • Cardomons

Seeds in a pod,

Are for flavouring sweet dishes curries and sauces,

  • Celery seeds Are for celery plant,

For soups, stews and sauces,

  • Cinnamon

Are of cinnamon plant,

Used to flavour sweets dishes, cakes and puddings

  • Chilles

Seeds of chilly plant,

For curries and stews

  • All spice Aromatic being

For stews, gravies and puddings,

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Extracted sometimes from alcohol or synthetic substances. N/B:- not as good as natural ones, they are cheap e.g

  1. fruit essences e.g lemon, orange, pineapple,
  2. vanilla e.g synthetic vanilla, iii)other essences e.g rum, pepper mint and auction.

 Other food additives

e.g  – beef extracts             – colourings,

  • flavoured salts e.g onion, salts and celery salts.


Meals for children

Points to consider when planning and serving meals for children

should be given a lot of energy giving foods; why? because they play a lot/are more active

  • diet should be balanced but with plenty of energy foods,
  • plenty of calcium and phosphorous for strong bone and teeth formation e.g milk and meat are rich sources, plenty of iron is also needed e.g eggs, meat, liver and green vegetables.
  • Foods provided should be plenty variety for child to choose,
  • Should have cruchy and crisply foods that need a lot of chewing to strengthen teeth and bones,

e.g toasted bread, husk maize, sugar cane and raw carrots,

i.e texture should be varied.

  • should be served in small servings and on correct plates/bowls, N/B: large servings discourage them,
  • present food attractively to create appetite,
  • serve particularly at regular intervals,
  • shouldn’t be highly seasoned, flavoured/sweetened,
  • avoid snacks between meals apart from milk and fruits
  • fluids e.g clean boiled water and fresh juices should be given to;
    1. help in digestion
    2. to replace fluids lost during play
  • fruits and veges to be given to prevent constipation since they give roughage.

Suggested suitable dishes for children shepherd’s pie cream soups

meat stew fish chips boiled vegetables boiled rice mashed potatoes vegetable salads fruits salad fruits and jellies milk puddings

Meals for adolescents  

N/B:- the stage is characterized by; i) rapid growth, ii) changes in the body that are rapid, iii) healthy appetite

  1. iv) consume large amounts of food

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Points to consider when planning and serving meals for adolescents

  • balancing i.e giving plenty of proteins, mineral salts e.g iron, calcium, phosphorous and vitamin

N/B:-  – need more iron to replace lost iron during menstruation

  • more of energy rich foods e.g fatty ones to reduce the amount of food consumed g bread, and butter, rice, starch and vegetables.
  • should give enough food since they have a healthy appetite, meals to be given at regular intervals and serving should be attractive, should have plenty of vegetables (green) and fresh fruits to given roughage, give plenty of fluids to replace liquid lost during physical activities.

Suitable dishes




Roast meat (chicken)

Fresh fruits

Boiled rice

Boiled potatoes

Fried/stewed fish

Meals for invalids

An invalid is a sick person

N/B:- should always have good diet,

Types:   i)  those following doctors dietary orders

  1. diabetes and gout cases,
  • those following doctors general advice i.e only a few foods are restricted

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Points to consider when planning and serving meals for invalids

  1. Balanced having body building and protective foods in plenty
  2. Follow doctors orders strictly; e.g giving plenty of fluids if ordered,
  3. Meals to be served punctually and at regular intervals,
  4. They should be prepared and served under hygiene condition () to protect patient from further infections,
  5. Meals to be served attractively to create appetitee.g garnishing
  6. Serving in small helpings and encouraging 2nd ones,
  7. Food to be presented on a tray large enough to hold dishes,
  8. Should have a centerpiece/flower to createappetite,
  9. Foods to be soft and easy to digest;

N/B:- reheated fatty foods shouldn’t be given because they are hard to digest,  methods     that make food easy to digest should be ones to be used e.g

  • steaming
  • boiling
  • stewing
  1. strong flavoured foods and smelling ones to be avoided,     N/B:- don’t over season
  2. hot fluids to be served hot and cold served cold xiv. patient should be in comfortable sitting position when having meals, xv. clear left overs and utensils immediately patient is through with the meal

Suggested suitable dishes for invalids meals (rinsed) stew, chicken/beef,

mashed potatoes,

  • boiled rice,
  • milk puddings,
  • fruit salads
  • jellies
  • steamed fish
  • steamed puddings
  • baked fish
  • poached fish
  • eggs


A convalescent is a person recovering from illness.

Points to consider: refer to invalid though

  •  amount served should be slightly larger
  • should be plenty of energy giving foods because they are now active
  • using a variety of cooking methods e.g frying, roasting and grilling
  • the person can join others at table,

Suitable dishes

  • poached eggs
  • boiled eggs
  • omellettes
  • scrambled
  • fruit juices
  • soups
  • porridge
  • jellies
  • milk puddings
  • baked and steamed puddings
  • beef stewed/roasted
  • fish (stewed, boiled, poached/steamed)
  • fruit foods,
  • fruit salads/whole fruits

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Diet is affected by physiological changes in the body; e.g i)

  • decreased level of acidity of gastric juice,
  • reduced rate of absorption
  • loosing teeth that prevent them from eating hard foods
  • how metabolic rate
  •  sense of taste and smell reduced hence low appetite
  • physical activity reduced

Points to consider when planning and serving meals for elderly person

  • body building foods and protective ones to be normal amounts
  • less energy foods
  • should be soft foods palatable and easy to chew should be what they are willing to eat
  • should be rich in calcium, phosphorous, iron, iodine and Vitamin A, B, C & D,serving to be in small amounts at equal intervals,
  • foods to be served attractively in attractive dishes to create appetite
  • seasoning to be done well

Suitable dishes

  • Baked fish
  • Steamed dishes
  • Steamed & baked puddings
  • Boiled eggs
  • Boiled rice
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Casseroles of chicken
  • Liver
  • Shepherds pie
  • Dengu
  • Chapattis
  • Ugali


Are people involved in heavy work.  They spend a lot of body energy and muscles are very much exercised therefore diet should provide enough calories and proteins in strengthen muscles.

Points to consider when planning and serving meals for manual workers

  •  Balanced; more energy giving foods e.g carbohydrates and fats,
  • should have Vitamin B foods to facilitate energy released
  • amount should be enough,
  • should be well flavoured,
  • let it be of fluids in plenty to replace that lost in sweating

Suggested suitable dishes for manual workers

  • stews
  • roast meat
  • ugali
  • chapattis
  • boiled rice
  • irio
  • fruit salads
  • fied meat
  • fish
  • vegetable salads


People who needed packed meals

  1.  workers who don’t obtain food at work,
  2. school going children
  3. travelers iv) picnic goers
  4. children on school tours

Points to consider when planning packed meals

  1.  Balanced include water/nutritious drink because the meals are normally dry, e.g soup, porridge, tea, coffee, milk & fruit juice,
  2. let family meal cater for packed meals e.g preparing supper that can be packed next day for lunch,
  3. pack seasonings;
  4. should be easy to pack and eat without cutlery,
  5. know how the meal will be carried to ensure correct packing
  6. pack cold foods when hot and vice versa
  7. include a crispy food e.g raw carrot for cleaning teeth

Equipment needed

  • polythene bag,
  • plastic containers e.g lunch boxes
  • aluminium foil
  • crease proof paper/clinging film
  • bottles and flasks

Points to consider when packing foods

  •  pack food separately
  • soups and hot drinks to be in flasks,
  • sandwiches to be wrapped in alluminium foil greaseproof paper/clinging ones or use sandwich boxes
  • hot foods to be in flasks/small plastic containers,
  • fruit juices to be plastic bottles,
  •  salads to be in polythene bags/plastic containers
  • all packed foods to be in a bag or plastic bucket,
  • pack cutlery serviettes disposable plates, cups tumblers

Suitable dishes

  • soups,
  • fruit juices
  • liquids
  • meat and vegetable salads
  • sausage rolls
  • fish pasties
  • pies
  • scotch eggs
  • whole fruits/fruit salads
  • irio, sukumawiki, githeri, sweet potatoes and rice
  • sandwiches, cakes, scones, samosas, mandazi




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