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Meaning of Food, Nutrition, Meal and Meal Planning

Food is any edible substance either liquid or solid which when eaten is used by the body to maintain life. Food is a substance, either liquid or solid that gives the essential nutrients to the body. It is not everything that goes to the mouth that is edible. We need to eat good food so as to stay healthy.

Meal is the food that is prepared to be served at a particular time of the day i.e. morning, afternoon, evening or night.

Meal planning is an arrangement made to feed the family members regularly and adequately. It ensures eating of balanced diet. No single food can contain all the nutrients needed by the body, hence there is need for meal planning.

Types of food:

  • Rice
  • Pawpaw
  • Plantain
  • Garri
  • beans
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  • water
  • meat
  • Egg etc

Food groups:

Body building food

  • Protein: These are foods that helps the body to grow and repair the worn out tissues e.g. fish, beans, meat, cheese, milk, egg, etc.

Energy giving food

  • Carbohydrate: it gives warmth and energy to the body e.g. yam, rice, potatoe, butter, cocoyam, bread, garri (Eba). Palm oil etc.

Body protector:

  • Vitamins and Minerals: they fight against diseases in the body e.g. oranges, pawpaw, vegetables, banana groundnut, cashew, egg, milk, liver, fish etc.

Food nutrient

Nutrients are the essential substances present in the food that help the body to function we.

Nutrients Sources

Carbohydrates include rice, bread, and yam, among others

Vitamins Fruits include pawpaw, oranges green leaves, and vegetable spinach

Fats and oil include palm oil, vegetable oil, oily fish, butter etc.

Minerals salt include iodized salt, liver, egg

Water drinking water, fruit juice and drinks

Balanced Diet

Balanced diet is a diet consisting of the proper quantities and proportions of foods needed to maintain health or growth. Every diet needs a balance of three main categories of nutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Calories are units of energy in our food. A well-balanced diet provides all of the: energy you need to keep active throughout the day as well as nutrients you need for growth and repair, helping you to stay strong and healthy and help to prevent diet-related illness, such as some cancers.

Put simply, it means eating foods that contain all classes of food written below:




Example of balanced diet/good food

Food for energy (carbohydrate) Food for growth (protein) Food for protection and digestion (fruits)
1.    Pap Akara Orange
2.    Rice Fish/vegetable soup Pawpaw
3.    Tuwo Okro soup with fish Pineapple


Importance of Eating Balanced Diet

Balanced diet helps us to:

  • Look healthy and beautiful
  • Feel happy and friendly
  • Feel strong and not easily tired
  • Feel calm and bright
  • Understand your lessons and pass well.

Major Meals of the Day

The three major meals for the day are:

  • Breakfast: It is the first meal of the day. It is eaten in the morning.
  • Lunch: It is the second meal of the day. It is eaten between 1pm and 3pm.
  • Supper: It is the last meal of the day. It is eaten in the evening. It should be light.



  1. What is a meal?
  2. What is meal planning?
  3. List the three major meal for the day.
  4. Explain balanced diet.
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