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BASIC FIVE FOOD GROUPS AND BALANCED DIET
Menu planning is the process of planning and scheduling intake of meals for a general or specific individual requirements.
Basic Five Food Group : The five food group suggested by ICMR given in the following table, permits an individual to plan a menu to achieve nutrient intake as specified by recommended dietary allow-ances.
Health professionals can use the basic five-food group for the following purposes.
Tool for nutritional assessment and screenings.
Tool for nutritional counselling.
Explain therapeutic diets to the patient.
A good menu plan should meet the nutritional requirements of each member of the family.
Meal pattern must fulfill family needs.
Meal planning should save time and energy.
Meal planning should satisfy the budget of the family.
Meal plan should give maximum nutrients.
The meal planned should consider individual likes and dislikes.
Planned meals should provide variety.
Meals should give satiety.
Menus should include available foods.
Balanced diet is one which contains different types of foods in such quantities and proportions so that the need for calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients is adequately met and a small provision is made for extra nutrients to withstand short duration of leanness.
A balanced diet should provide around 60-70% of total calories from carbohydrate, 10-12% from protein and 20-25% of total calories from fat.
There are three steps involved in planning a menu.
To calculate balanced diet, as a first step, there is a need to know Recommended Dietary Allowances for different age groups prescribed by Nutrition Expert committee of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Source : Gopalan C, B.V. Rama Sastri and S.C. Balasubramani an 199 K Nutritive Value of Indian foods, National Institute of Nutrition, ICMR, Hyderabad 500 007, India.
As a second step while planning the daily diet, the foods are chosen from all five food groups. To make menu planning more convenient, ICMR has suggested the portion size and balanced diets for adults and for different age groups.
The following tables gives the portion size for menu plan and the number of portions to be given to each age group to have a balanced diet as suggested by ICMR.
Food groups Portion Energy Protein Carbo Fat
(g) kcal (g) hydrate (g) (g)
Cereals and 30 100 3.0 20 0.8
Pulses 30 100 6.0 15 0.7
Egg 50 85 7.0 - 7.0
Chicken 50 100 9 - 7.0
Milk 100 70 3.0 5 3.0
tubers 100 80 1.3 19 -
Green leafy 100 45 3.6 - 0.4
vegetables 100 30 1.7 - 0.2
Sugar 5 20 - 10 -
Fats & Oils 5 45 - - 5
For infants introduce egg/meat/chicken/fish around 9 months.
Specific recommendations as compared to a sedentary woman:
1 -6 years : � to � the amount of cereals, pulses and vegetables and extra cup of milk
7-12 years : Extra cup of milk
Adolescent girls : Extra cup of milk
Adolescent boys : Diet of sedentary man with extra cup of milk.
Source : Dietary guidelines for Indians - A manual, National Institute of Nutrition, ICMR. Hyderabad 500 007.
The foods that are listed in step II are converted into the actual recipes and distributed in different meals like breakfast, lunch, evening tea and dinner. The food pyramid given below shows the dietary guidelines in the easily understood graphic format.
The food pyramid given above shows the dietary guidelines in the easily understood graphic format.
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