Steps and Guidelines on Taking care of Food and Nutrition
It is advisable to carefully choose foods and diversify nutrition sources, as our prophet, peace be upon him, urges us to be moderate in terms of the food we eat; he says "it is enough for Man to have bites to keep them healthy; and if they are to eat, it is recommended allocating a third for their food, a third for their drinking, and a third for themselves."
A path to the sound health and balanced nutrition starts right from the market, and proper marketing does not entail radical change in terms of all you buy. But it has to do with substituting some items for other better ones. Have your family members take part in choosing and highlight the advantages of marketing based upon health basics for all.
Here are some steps guiding you to the proper marketing:
First: Before Shopping:
- Plan for your meals weekly, make a list of the main and light healthy meals, diversify your meals and make them include all the nutritional elements; and pinpoint their relative amounts; and divide your budget and allocate the biggest part for the fresh foods.
- Make a point of being on a full stomach and do not do shopping while being hungry; in order not to get big amounts of foods you are not in need of and are filled with calories and high carbohydrates and fats.
Second: During Shopping:
- Organize your shopping process: get started with vegetables and fruits, then bread, followed by milk and canned items; lastly meat and frozen items; in order for ice not to be thawed.
- Get started with the basic commodities such as vegetables, fruits, and meat which are lined peripherally; and do not get distracted with the consumer goods displayed by the shopping centers in the middle; to entice you into buying them.
- Do not fall for the discounts, publicity, and promotions as more often than not, they are meant for the low-quality itemsor which are soon to be expired.
- Stick to the list you made, and if some items were out of stock, look for an alternative of the same category.
- Keep the detergents, insecticides, and other chemicals away from foods while placing them in the shopping cart, and make sure of their being tightly closed.
- Pick the freshest food items of all, cut back on sweets, pickles, canned items, ready-made, processed, or full-of- additives and lacking-fibre meals.
- Pick small-sized and fresh fruits and vegetables, and make sure of their being without black or yellowish spots, insects, or putrefaction.
- Get fresh fruit juices; and avoid fruit juice syrups, fruit juice concentrate and powdered juices as they contain a huge amount of sugar and additives.
- Meat, fish, and poultry: choose non-fatty, reddish, non-sticky, solid, and fresh parts to the effect that they are kept in the fridge for a single day; and remove fat and skin.
- Make a point of getting milk and its low-fat derivatives; and fresh, non-creamy, and low-salt cheese, and keep away from the kinds to which preservatives or artificial flavor are added.
- Get the whole wheat bread rather than the white bread; in order to obtain the fibres, vitamins, and minerals which are lost in the flour-whitening process.
- Buy the vegetable oil such as olive oil, and avoid the butter, fat, mayonnaise, sauce, and ready-made dressing added to salads as they contain huge amounts of fats and salt, as well as preservative and artificial substances for adding flavor. This is with the aim of cutting back on fats saturated in your food.
- Read the food nutrition labels fixed onto the canned items.
- Make sure of the expiration date and period each product.
- Do not get the items kept in the fridge if its cooling degree were not properly set; or if it were not clean or covered.
- Avoid buying swollen or rusty canned items, or the ones which are dented, faulty, or not tightly closed; or with their contents leaked.
Third: Past Shopping:
- Put the frozen foods and meat away in the car alongside the air-conditioner, and keep them in tightly-sealed bags.
- Wash your hands well after returning home as the handles of the shopping carts are filled with the bacteria causing the infection and diseases.
Start storing the frozen foods in the fridge after getting them packaged, and place the expiration date onto them within 30 minutes of your buying for them.
Food Preservation Methods:
- Fruits and vegetables are apt to get spoiled and their lifespan is too short. And even in the grocery stores, they lose their freshness and flavor in a short while.
- In order for huge amounts of foods not to go to waste, here are some tips on ways of preserving them for longer time; but we have to take into consideration that all food cannot be stored in the same way. This is due to the fact that they differ from one another in terms of ingredients. Some contain pigment affected by light, and some hold a higher ratio of fluids. Further, some are covered with hard peel and others are with thin peel.
- It is important to store each kind of fruits or vegetables in a separate bag in order to increase their storage life. Fruits and vegetables emit ethylene gas, which is odorless and accelerates the ripeness process of the other fruits and vegetables around. And this can cause their premature spoiling.
Some fruits and vegetables needless to be placed in the fridge
It is not necessary to store all the fruits or vegetables in the fridge for a couple of days; however, they can be kept outside the fridge in a room temperature, and in a dark place away from the direct sun beams or heat.
Onions and Sweet Potatoes: there is no need to be kept in the fridge, and they can be stored in a dry, dark place.
Bananas: they are kept in a fruit bowl during the first three days outside the fridge, and then they are put in a paper bag and cooled in the fridge.
Apples: they are placed in the fruit bowl for the first five days, and then they are cooled in the fridge.
Grapefruit: they can be stored outside the fridge for seven days.
Fruits and vegetables in need of being cooled within the fridge:
Beet, Carrot, and Radish: the green head is cut off and stored within a paper bag.
Cucumber and Zucchini: they should be kept dry and stored with a plastic bag.
Peach, Blackberry, and other stonedfruits: if they are not ripe, you can store them outside the fridge in a brown paper bag. Then, once they got ripe, they should be put in the fridge.
Leafy Vegetables: they require a special care: leaves are cleaned and spread on a paper to get them drained altogether. Then, they are kept in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Corn: it is kept along its chaff so as not to get dried.
Mushrooms: it is stored dry without getting washed in a brown paper bag.
Green Beans: they are kept separately in a plastic bag without cutting off its ends.
Spinach: it could quickly spoil the vegetables stored along; therefore, it should be kept in a separate plastic bag.
Storage Techniques of the Other Foodstuffs:
Meat and Poultry: they should be stored in a separate drawer and in their original packages, and they should be put away in the freezer to be kept for long periods while being wrapped well in a plastic bag.
Fish: fish have strong odour, so it is improper to be kept along the other foods, meaning that they could greatly pick up the odour of fish.
Eggs: they can be left in its own carton or the shelf where the eggs are kept in the fridge.
Milk: it tends to easily absorb any flavour easily; therefore, it should be kept away from fruits and vegetables and other strong flavour foods. And it can be stored in its original package.
Cheese: it dries fast and it should be carefully wrapped in a wax paper or plastic cover before it is stored.
Spices: in order to keep the odour of spices for longer period, it always should be stored in a glass jar as it is better off than plastic jar. And the most important is to be tightly sealed and in a separate drawer.
Beans: they are stored in a dry, dark place; and tightly closed bags.