Breakfast should be the heaviest meal of the day, contrary to the common belief that it should be lunch. And since it should be the heaviest meal of the day, one should make sure that it contains all of the necessary nutrients.
Skipping of breakfast or the eating of too light a breakfast is one mistake that is very commonly committed nowadays. Because too many people are in a hurry, they eat nothing but one or two pieces of bread with one cup of coffee for breakfast. Then when they feel run-down at about breaktime, they wonder why.
There are two things that should be done so that an adequate breakfast can be had:
1) Wake up early; and
2) plan simple, easy-to-prepare but balanced menus.
Breakfast should include a protein food such as egg or milk, cereal or bread, or both, and beverage. If a good source of vitamin C is included, the day’s allowance is assured.
Variety in breakfast planning can be added in many ways. Cereals can be hot or cold and so can the bread. Bread may vary from plain white to griddle cakes to pandesal or ensaymada. For beverage you could have milk, cocoa, natural coffee, and your vitamin C source can be anything from orange juice to pomelo sections.
Variety is very important in meal planning. It is sometimes the biggest factor in determining whether a meal will be a success or not. There are several ways of adding variety to meals. Check out some of the pointers below:
1. Don’t repeat the same kind of food in one meal. If you are having a tokwa-gluten loaf for dinner, do not serve adobong tokwa as well.
2. Try to avoid using only one type of foodstuff in one meal. A menu consisting of rice, macaroni salad, potatoes and cookies is bad because all of these foods are rich in carbohydrates. A proper meal should be 10 to 15 percent protein, 25 to 35 percent fat and 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates.
3. Avoid serving more than one strong-flavored food in one meal. The opposite of this should also be avoided. Too many bland foods taken together are unappetizing.
4. Combine flavors. A contrast in flavors is always good and certainly adds to the variety of the menu. Try using bland foods to complement tangy ones, sweet foods to contrast sour.
5. Use sauces and relishes to add to the flavors of a dish, but do not mask its original flavor. Just the right amount of catsup can do wonders for a meatloaf, but too much of catsup can drown it.
6. Be particular about serving temperatures. If the soup is meant to be hot, serve it HOT, and if ice cream is on the menu, serve it COLD. Nothing is more unappetizing than lukewarm soup or runny ice cream.
7. Provide attractive color combinations. A meal of mashed potatoes, Spanish rice, and caulifloweris monotonous in appearance. Try using complimentary colors such as red, green, yellow and white. Color can also be added by using garnishes such as red and green pepper rings, kinchay, celery or peanuts.
8. Contrast textures and consistency. Don’t serve a meal consisting of arroz caldo, creamed chopped gluten, mashed potatoes and pudding. Have something chewy like gluten steaks, something soft such as mashed squash, and something hard like peanut brittle.
9. Vary the shapes of food – round, square, etcetera – on the plates.
10. Plan your menus according to the season. Piping hot soup will not be welcomed if served on a hot summer night, but it would be a nice addition to a meal in cold days.