A. HEALTHY FEEDING HABITS/ FOOD NUTRIENTS
The human body is like a machine that needs fuel to do its work. These needs are met with the help of the food we eat.
WHAT IS FOOD?
Food is any liquid or solid material which when eaten and digested can provide the body with energy. Food nutrients are chemical substances that are present in the food we eat. Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients.
There are six classes of food nutrients namely:
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the main energy source for the brain. Without carbohydrates, the body can not function properly. Sources include fruits, breads and grains, starch and sugars.
- Proteins: Protein is the major structural component of cells and is responsible for the building and repair of body tissues. Protein is broken down into amino acids, which are building blocks of protein. Protein sources include low-fat meat, dairy, beans, fish, soy-milk, eggs.
- Vitamins: Vitamin is vital to protect our body from diseases and also maintain the health of our body. There are two types, the fat soluble and the water soluble vitamin.
- Fat and oils: Fat is an energy source that when consumed, increases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E and K. Sources include: margarine, palm oil.
- Minerals: Minerals assist in the regulation of many body functions, some of which involve regulating fluids and producing energy and health of our bones and blood. This nutrient also helps rid our body of harmful byproducts of metabolism. Some examples of well-known minerals are calcium, potassium, sodium and iron.
- Water: Water aids digestions and also controls homeostasis.
TYPES OF FOOD
- Comfort Food: Comfort food is traditional food which often provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the consumer and is often characterized by a high carbohydrate level and simple preparation. The nostalgic element most comfort food has may be specific to either the individual or a specific culture.
- Fast Food: Fast food is the term given to food that is prepared and served very quickly, first popularized in the 1950s in the United States. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a packaged form for take-out/take-away. e.g Burger, Hot Dog.
- Junk Food: Junk food is a pejorative term for food containing high levels of calories from sugar or fat with little protein, vitamins or minerals. Use of the term implies that a particular food has little “nutritional value” and contains excessive fat, sugar, salt, and calories. Junk food can also refer to high protein food containing large amounts of meat prepared with, for example, too much unhealthy saturated fat; many hamburger outlets, fried chicken outlets and the likes supply food considered junk food.
- Organic Food: Organic foods are foods produced by organic farming. While the standards differ worldwide, organic farming in general features cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Syntheticpesticides and chemical fertilizers are not allowed, although certain organically approved pesticides may be used under limited conditions. In general, organic foods are also not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or synthetic food additives.
- Whole Food: Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added salt, carbohydrates, or fat. Examples of whole foods include unpolished grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, and animal products, including meats and non-homogenized dairy products.
- Natural Food: “Natural foods” are often assumed to be foods that are minimally processed or do not contain any food additives, or do not contain particular additives such as hormones, antibiotics, sweeteners, food colors, or flavorings that were not originally in the food.
FUNCTIONS OF FOOD
- It helps the growth and development of tissues
- It provides the body with heat and energy
- It helps bowel movement
- It protects the body from diseases
- Food is necessary for good health and vitality e.t.c
B. MEAL PLANNING/FOOD GROUPS
Meal planning is the process of organizing, arranging and preparing needs to be consumed by family members. Food nutrients can be divided into four major groups namely:
- Body-building foods: These are foods with protein e.g egg, beans, milk, meat, fish e.t.c
- Energy foods: These are carbohydrate and fat. They are both energy giving food though the energy supply from fat and oil is more than the nutrient of carbohydrate i.e palm oil ,groundnut oil, butter and starchy foods.
- Protective foods: These help in the body building, regeneration and repairing of the body tissues. We have vitamin and minerals under protective foods . Examples are fruits and vegetables
- Roughage: This is an important food item. It is the indigestible part of food such as cellulose
Feeding habit is your everyday pattern of eating. “Healthy feeding habit” results from choosing nutritious food in a conscious way while unhealthy feeding habits results from making poor food choice over a long period of time.
IMPORTANCE OF THE HEALTHY FEEDING HABITS
- It makes you look and feel better at all times.
- It helps in healing of wounds than when we eat a poorly nourished one.
- It provides the body with energy.
- It protects our body from getting some diseases later in life i.e heart diseases etc
C. GUIDELINES FOR HEALTHY FEEDING HABITS
- Eat a well balanced meal from all the food groups.
- Choose nutritious meal in a conscious way.
- Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Choose a diet that is moderate in sugar.
- Choose a diet with plenty grain products, fibres, vegetables and fruits.
D. GUIDELINES FOR TABLE MANNERS
- Always wash your hands before and after a meal.
- Do not hurry over meal or eat too quickly.
- Chew your food properly
- Do not talk with food in your mouth
- Close the mouth when chewing the food
- Do not put too much food into the mouth at a time
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