The Ministry of Health Publishes Recommendations for Safe and Proper Nutrition on Independence Day
- Drink water rather than sugary drinks.
- A slice of bread has 75 calories on average, as opposed to a pita, which has 250 calories. It is better to consume bread (preferably whole wheat) instead of pitas.
- When grilling meats over coals, you can also grill vegetables like onions, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchinis, carrots and cauliflower instead of part of the meat.
- For side dishes, salads or sliced vegetables are a recommended option. Carious salads, especially the oil-based salads, tahina and mayonnaise, are packed with calories and should therefore be consumed in small quantities.
- As a dessert, it is worthwhile to serve seasonal fruits or a fruit salad, instead of cakes, cookies and candy.
- Lean beef is a better source of iron and other nutrients and does not contain more fat that poultry.
Sample caloric values
|Food stuff / unit size||Serving size||Caloric Value|
|One skewer of chicken/turkey||Five medium cuts (110 grams)||160|
|One pullet (chicken) skewer with onion and oil||||270|
|Beef/turkey kebab||One small unit (80 grams)||230|
|Beef hamburger patty||One medium patty (100 grams)||200|
|Pita||One medium unit (100 grams)||250|
|Cabbage/eggplant and mayonnaise salad||Spoonful||35|
Food safety recommendations for picnics
When going on a picnic: for a barbecue picnic, we recommend that you observe a few rules to avoid spoiling your enjoyment or contracting food-borne diseases. Safe and proper food handling is recommended: during food preparation, storage and cooking, including when you are eating away from home.
- Buying the food – we recommend that you buy your food (meat, poultry, fish etc) only from properly licensed retailers. Buy food only from retailers with a valid business license, air conditioned and equipped with the proper refrigerators and freezers.
- Food preparation at home – we recommend that you do all of the preparation that requires proper sanitary conditions at home: salads, fruit, vegetables etc. Wash and prepare for consumption in advance to avoid the need for further handling. All of the meat handling activities (cutting, seasoning etc.) should be done in advance so that at the picnic itself all you will need to do is lay the meat on the barbecue.
- Foods to be avoided – avoid preparing foods that tend to go bad quickly, like mayonnaise salad, tuna salad etc.
- Food storage and Separation between raw food and ready-to-serve food – store the foods in sealed containers and separate raw (meat, poultry, fish) and ready-to-serve foods at all times. Use a cooler and different sets of utensils (knife, cutting board etc) for raw food and ready-to-serve foodstuffs. It is important to ensure that runoff from meat, poultry and fish and any other raw food do not contaminate the ready-to-serve foods.
- Food refrigeration – we recommend that you prepare a sufficient number of cool packs and that you thaw the meat according to the forecast temperatures on the day of the picnic. You can freeze part of the bottles of drinking water in advance. Special care should be given to minced meat products, such as kebabs, hamburgers etc., which thaw faster than other meat cuts and are more susceptible to going bad.
- We recommend that you transfer the food from the refrigerator to the cooler bags, with ice and/or cooler packs close to your time of departure and ensure that the cooler bags are kept in a shaded, ventilated place at all times.
- Sitting in a picnic ground with adequate sanitary facilities – it is best to choose the location for your picnic in a proper picnic ground, enabling basic sanitary conditions: these places have drinking water, tables, benches and garbage bins. If the picnic spot is not adequately equipped, it is best to make the necessary preparations, including a sufficient amount of drinking water to allow for washing of hands and utensils.
- Keeping your picnic spot clean during the picnic – you ought to keep the place clean at all times, including washing hands and utensils that come in contact with the food. We recommend using wipes, towels, napkins, table cloths and disposable plates and cutlery. Protect the spot where you will be placing the cooler boxes and food against dust, pests, pets and other animals.
- Preparing meat outdoors – take the meat out of the cooler bag directly before grilling it. Grill your meat thoroughly – especially meat, poultry and fish, which require a thorough dose of heat. Food requiring special attention includes the minced meat products, such as kebab, hamburgers etc.
- Consuming the food – we recommend that the meat be eaten directly after it comes off the grill, and that ready-to-serve foods be taken out of the cooler bags directly before beginning the meal. If the meal lasts for a long time, return food to the cooler bags after serving from it.
- Bringing the right quantity – it is recommended that you adjust the quantities of the foods (raw and ready-to-serve) to the number of diners. Ensure that sensitive foods are not re-used, such as: meat, poultry and fish that were not grilled or cooked, as well as left-over grilled meat, poultry and fish.