A standardized recipe is a recipe that a food service uses after it has been tried and adjusted to produce consistent results every time the recipe is made. Meal plans that focus on healthy cooking benefit greatly from standardized recipes.
Creating healthy meals is important when cooking for large groups of people, especially in childcare settings. To create healthy meals, caregivers should create a plan, gather all necessary supplies and ingredients and properly prepare the meals. Healthier meals can follow the nutrition guidelines found in Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and meal planning should include:
- Using standardized recipes, and following them.
- Incorporating recipes that moderately use fat, saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol. New recipes can be created for this purpose.
- Reading labels on all prepackaged foods to ensure they follow the same guidelines.
- Using healthy cooking methods.
- Properly preparing the food so it tastes good and is healthy.
Once the meal plan is in place, implement the recipes for healthy meals by:
- Using plenty of herbs to replace flavor lost from excess fat, salt and sugar.
- Boiling, broiling, baking, grilling and steaming for a healthier cooking method.
- Reducing the sugar in recipes.
- Using whole grains when possible.
- Making healthier desserts with fruit and whole grains.
- Cooking homemade meals, rather than purchasing prepackaged foods.
- Following the standardized recipe, without making substitutions.