Tips for Food Preparation

1. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables with water (no soap) and use a brush if necessary to remove soil. Trim carefully to conserve nutritive value. Remove damaged leaves, bruised spots, peels, and inedible parts. Use a sharp blade when trimming, cutting, or shredding to avoid further bruising and loss of nutrients. 

2. Steam or cook vegetables in small batches for best quality. Cook until tender-crisp, avoid over cooking, using as little water as possible to help retain vitamins and minerals. 

3. Add only a small amount of salt, if any, to water or to foods when cooking. Do not add salt when cooking pasta or rice. 

4. Cook potatoes in their skins to help retain their nutritive value. 

5. Trim visible fat from meats and meat products. 

6. Cook cereals and cereal grains according to cooking directions. 

7. There is no need to rinse or drain the cereals or cereal grains such as rice after cooking. 

8. Use seasonings sparingly. Think of children's tastes and preferences. 

9. Follow standardized recipes exactly. Measure and weigh ingredients precisely and follow procedures carefully. This includes using equipment, time, and temperature as specified in the recipe. 

10. Serve portion sizes as specified in the recipes and menus. Use correct serving utensils to portion foods. Make sure portion sizes follow meal pattern requirement


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