Canteen Manager Training Part 2

Food Preparation and Cooking Methods

Page last updated: 09 October 2013

How we prepare food can also have an impact on the nutritional content of the food served in the canteen. Where possible, use methods that minimise the use of fat and maximise the protection and retention of nutrients.

All deep-fried foods are categorised as Red

Steaming: Locks in nutrients that would be lost if the same item was boiled in water. Some vitamins are water soluble and sensitive to heat and air.
Frying: Using non-stick pans can drastically reduce the use of oils and fats. Use mono/polyunsaturated oils sparingly or use spray oils.
Baking/roasting: Silicone bakeware and draining on paper reduces the amount of oil eventually consumed.
Meat: Choose meats trimmed of visible fat.
Microwaving: May be suitable for heating single items that will be served straightaway.
Fruit and vegetables:
  • Take care handling fruits and vegetables.
  • Choose fresh, undamaged fruit.
  • Don’t add baking soda to cooking – increased losses of vitamin C.
  • Serve and eat vegetables/fruits as soon as possible after preparation – cutting, shredding, juicing exposes surfaces to oxygen, which reduces antioxidant levels and therefore increases oxidisation – causing a loss of vitamin C.
Fresh ingredients
  • By using fresh and healthy ingredients combined with healthier cooking methods you can improve the nutritional value of your menu.
Other cooking processes relevant to a school canteen.