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Lesson Note

Subject: Food And Nutrition

Topic: Food Study
Sub Topic: Convenience Foods.

Lesson Objectives: By the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:

  1. Define the term Convenience Foods;
  2. State the types of convenience foods with examples;
  3. State the advantages and disadvantages of convenience foods;
  4. State the guidelines for selecting convenience foods;
  5. Prepare some convenience foods.

Lesson Summary Aids: see reference materials below contents.

Lesson Summary / Discussion

Convenience Foods

Convenience foods are food which are pre-prepared or packed by the manufacturers. they are quicker and simpler to prepare for use than the normal form in which they were available thus making the task of the housewives easier.
Convenience food is commercially prepared for ease of consumption. Products designated as convenience food are often sold as hot, ready-to-eat dishes; as room-temperature, shelf-stable products; or as refrigerated or frozen food products that require minimal preparation (typically just heating). Convenience foods have also been described as foods that have been created to “make them more appealing to the consumer. Convenience foods should not be mistaken for restaurants. ” Convenience foods and restaurants are similar in that they save time. They differ in that restaurant food is ready to eat, whilst convenience food usually requires rudimentary preparation. Both typically cost more money and less time compared to home cooking from scratch.

Categories/Types Of Convenience Foods

Convenience foods are available in many forms. These are:

1. Quick frozen foods

These are foods already cleaned, trimmed and then kept in a frozen condition examples are meat, beef, burgers, sliced meat, pies and poultry. Fish whole fish, cutlets, fillets, fish cakes and fish fingers.

2. Canned Foods

These are foods that have been subjected to some processing and then hermetically-sealed in cans. Examples are sardines, corne-beef, tomato puree, milk etc.

3. Dehydrated foods

These are food in which the moisture content has been drastically reduced examples are potato flakes, soups, sauces (sweet and savoury), instant tea, coffee and chocolate.

4. Packed Foods

These are already cooked foods that are specially packed. Such foods are usually at the final stage of consumption and needs no further cooking. Examples are sandwiches, ready cooked cereals, cakes and biscuits.
5. Convenience foods can also  include products such as candy; beverages such as soft drinks, juices and milk;

Uses of convenience foods

  1. Some of them are used as a main dish.
  2. They are used as flavouring.
  3. They are used to improve the nutritive quality of the food.

Advantages of convenience foods

  • Convenience food make cooking faster
  • It says time and energy
  • They reduce wastage.
  • They are easy to store.
  • Meal planning may be done in advance because they are always in ready state of supply.

Disadvantages of convenience foods

  • Convenience foods are expensive
  • some of the nutrients may have been destroyed by the processing method employed.

Guidelines for selecting convenience foods

In selecting and buying convenience foods the following must be adhered to:
  • the type of convenience food must be suitable for the purpose for which it is intended.
  • The cost must also be put into consideration.
If the food is canned the following must be adhered to:
  • Never buy a cat food with the container blown on either or both ends.
  • Never buy a cat food with a dent in the container.
  • Check the seams properly before buying.
  • Canned goods which has its cans rusted should be avoided.
  • We should always look out for date of expiration.
  • We should also consider the kind of storage facilities we have in the home to know if they are suitable or adequate for a convenience foods.

Lesson Evaluation / Test

  1. What are Convenience Foods?
  2. State the types of convenience foods with examples.
  3. State the advantages and disadvantages of convenience foods.
  4. What the things you should consider when selecting convenience foods?
  5. State how you would prepare your favorite convenience food.

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Image credit: Proprof.com

Jean Anderson; Barbara Deskins (October 1995). The Nutrition Bible (1st ed.). William Morrow & Co. Retrieved 03 May 2022.

“Convenience Foods. Swiss Association for Nutrition. Health and Age Center. 8 May 2003. Archived from Wikipedia.org on 18 May 2009. Retrieved 03 May 2022.

Chow, Ching Kuang (19 November 2007). Fatty Acids in Foods and their Health Implications, Third Edition. p. 376.  03 May 2022.