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Monday, November 10, 2014

Meal Planning: Requirements 5, 6, 7

This is the part of the requirement that can be a lot of fun, planning and preparing meals.
I know the requirements can limit things, but there's still plenty of room for fun.
Here are some important things to keep in mind while you plan and prepare your meals.

1.  Purpose.  The purpose of this merit badge is to learn how to plan, and prepare well-balanced and healthy meals for everyday life as well as hiking and camping.  In other words to BE PREPARED FOR LIFE!  The requirements state that you need to use MyPlate and I will expect that.  There are some things that MyPlate doesn't specifically address though and I'd like to do that here.

2.  Have fun.   I would hope that you all enjoy food.  Yes, you need to plan with MyPlate in mind and yes, you need to meet the requirements, but when planning think about what you like and what you think others would like.  Enjoy learning a new skill and think about how it will help you for the rest of your life and enjoy it. 

3.  Carbohydrates.  Comprehension of Carbohydrates is not required but good to know for life, which is the overall purpose of this merit badge.  So for well-balanced nutrition you absolutely need carbohydrates.  They are where you get your energy.  Keep in mind that you CAN have too much of a good thing though.  

            Carbohydrates include both sugars and starches.
Sugars go pretty quickly into your blood stream and starches turn to sugar in your system at varying rates.  Carbohydrates give you energy and that’s a good thing, but too much sugar in your blood actually makes it thicker and harder to pump and if you don’t use all that energy it gets turned to fat. 
Where you find carbs:
Starchy Foods:  Starchy foods include grains, legumes (dry beans), bananas, peas, corn, potatoes and winter squash (like pumpkin).  For most of those they are healthier if you eat the whole food, like whole grain foods and potatoes cooked in their skins, and apples with the peel, etc.  If it’s edible it’s generally a good idea to eat the skin/peel. 
Sugary Foods:  There are also different sugars.  Fructose found in fruit, and lactose found in milk and soft dairy products (like cottage cheese and yogurt).  Plus things with refined sugar added in including syrups, brown sugar, etc.  Some vegetables like carrots and beets also have quite a bit of sugar, but usually are not eaten in quantities to cause problems. 
COMPLEX carbohydrates  are the kind of carbs which you WANT to eat.  They are carbs that haven’t had their dietary fiber removed (like the peels and such) and often have protein.  Whole grains and legumes are a good source.  The dietary fiber and the protein in these foods offer additional needed nutrition but also help you to feel full longer, help with digestion and give you sustained energy because they change to sugar at a slower rate than refined starches.  It’s generally good to avoid too many carbs at once so you don’t have a sugar high followed by a crash.  Spread evenly throughout the day with meals and snacks is best.
Carbs in your meals:  
Grain:  Try to get whole grains where possible
Legumes/Beans: Beans are a good choice because they have complex carbs and have iron and protein as well!
Fruit:  Bananas are hard to pack without bruising and they have double carbs with both fructose and starch.  They'd be find for a meal that is already low carb.  
Vegetables:  In a meal that already has a lot of carbs try to use non-starchy vegetables. Non-Starchy veggie examples: broccoli, asparagus, salad, cucumbers, summer squash (zucchini and yellow squash), tomatoes or tomato sauce, peppers, celery, etc. 

4. Plan with MyPlate: There is a ton of information on THIS POST about the different food groups and how to figure out how much you need as well as food galleries so you can get fresh ideas for each food group. Here are a couple visuals to help you as well.

5.  Dairy/Water:  I think MyPlate is a vast improvement over the pyramid, but the dairy up off the plate  is a bit misleading, as if you don’t actually eat dairy on your plate.  It also continues to ignore water.  So don’t forget that you can eat dairy as well as drink it.  And remember no, matter how you get your dairy don’t forget your WATER!  Again, it’s not a specified part of the requirement, but a good habit for life.  You have milk to drink with the majority of your meals.  I would swap out some of the milk to drink for some other dairy in the meals, just for variety, but milk to drink is ok.
The USDA has this handy document about good beverage choices, which pretty much boils down to:  DRINK MORE WATER!

6.  Presentation:  Those you serve are supposed to evaluate on taste and presentation.  When you’re cooking outdoors and on the trail there’s only so much you can do for presentation and people are generally hungry enough that things taste at least ok. I take that into consideration.  As long as there is some variety in your camping and hiking meals  and the texture is edible you should be fine there. When cooking at home there’s room for a higher standard so keep that in mind with the meals you plan and which you choose to actually cook. They should look good. Picture each meal in your head and ask yourself if it’s appetizing to you, if not, tweak it until it is.

7.   Charts!  I finally have a working draft of a comprehensive chart that can include ALL the information you need for each meal.  It isn't required that you use it, but I really think it will be easier for you in the long run, (it’s also easier for me). 
One issue I've had with Menu Planning is that the scouts will have a menu that says something like “Hungry Man’s Mash” which doesn’t tell me at all what is in it.  I’ve also seen the opposite where there is a list of foods but I have to guess what the finished product will be and how it is prepared.  The chart should be helpful in clarifying that. 

You can download and print that here:  MEAL PLANNING HELPER PACKET

8.  Price:  Generally 3 meals should be around $7 or less per person.  Hiking meals tend to be a little more, up to $9 per person for the 3 meals.
If you are planning for more than 3 meals non-hiking meals average out to $2.30 per meal and hiking meals, $3 a meal.
Keep this in mind when you are planning.  

9.  READ, UNDERSTAND AND APPLY THE REQUIREMENTS:  It happens fairly frequently that a scout will come to me believing they are done with a part of this only to discover they missed part of the requirement.  They are very wordy, so I put them in a chart.  It is SO MUCH EASIER to see at a glance what you need to do for each requirement.  You can find those on the Documents Page.   

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Troop Grubmaster Duties

For the Troop (the Crew and Team may run things differently).
This information is from Brother Mark.
Ideally here's what happens:

The grubmaster is responsible for:

  • planning the meals, 
  • collecting the cash, 
  • buying the food, and 
  • bringing the food to the outing. 

That's about it. I'll explain each in more detail.

Plan the Meals:

After he's assigned, the grubmaster should ask the patrol leader how many meals of which type to plan. They should also understand whether or not these meals will be prepared and eaten while camping, backpacking, hiking, etc and whether or not they should be no-cook meals. For example, on our next campout (August 21-23) we need dinner on Thursday; breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday; and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Friday's lunch should be no-cook so that it can be eaten while fishing or hiking.

If the scout is working on Cooking merit badge, they should meet with the merit badge counselor before planning the meals.

The grubmaster then plans the meals. He can get help, if he needs it, from another scout, a parent, a scout leader, or a merit badge counselor.

If the grubmaster is working on a merit badge (either Cooking or Camping), after he plans the meals, he needs to get them approved by their merit badge counselor. (You can do this by emailing the plan to your merit badge counselor.) If he's not working on a merit badge, he doesn't need to get the meal plan approved.

(At the moment the Cooking Merit Badge Counselor is Sister Morriberon & the Camping Merit Badge Counselor is Brother Wilkinson)

Once he has the meal plan, he gets the head-count for the outing from the patrol leader. He then calculates the total cost of the food, and divides by the number of participants. This gives the cost per person.

For example, for our August campout we'll have 9 scouts and 3 leaders. However, 1 of the leaders will prepare his own food (me), because of dietary problems. So, there will be 11 participants. Calculate the cost of the food to feed 11 people, then divide by 11 to get the cost per person. Round up to the nearest dollar value. If this cost is estimated to be $8.25, round up to $9.

Email cost per person and the completed meal plan to the entire troop.

A note on dietary restrictions: before the meal plan is made, any participant may opt out of the meal plan and bring their own food. I always opt out because of problems I have with preservatives and other chemicals.

Collect Cash:

On the Saturday or Sunday before the outing, the grubmaster sends an email to the whole troop, reminding them to bring their food money to the Tuesday Scout meeting. Remind them how much to bring, and remind them to bring cash in exact denomination. If the cost is $9, they should bring $9 -- not a $20 bill! The grubmaster is not expected to provide change.

Scouts that forget to bring cash (or don't have the exact amount) to scout meeting will need to bring cash to the grubmaster's home the day after the scout meeting. The scoutmaster will give the grubmaster any money left over from the prior outing. At the scout meeting before the outing, it is also be appropriate for the grubmaster to pick an assistant to help buy the food (if the grubmaster wants an assistant).

Buy the Food:

The grubmaster (and their assistant if they want one) go shopping at their convenience. They will likely need a parent to drive them, and youth protection rules must be followed. A parent can only be alone in a vehicle with their own son. They cannot ever be alone with a scout who is not their son.

The grubmaster should pay for the food with the cash they collected at the scout meeting. They should keep the receipt. The receipt and the change should be given to the scoutmaster at the outing gathering.

If any food is perishable, it is the grubmaster's responsibility to provide ice to preserve the perishable food.

If the grubmaster has planned individual meals, the grubmaster should break the food into individual food packs for each scout. (This is occasionally done for trail meals, rather than camp meals.)

Bring the Food to the Outing:

The grubmaster brings the food wherever the scouts gather to depart for the outing. The patrol leader then takes responsibility for it. At this time, the grubmaster gives the food receipt and any change to the scoutmaster. The grubmaster should provide guidance to the cooks for preparing the planned meals.
Grubmaster will assist Patrol leader in loading and distributing food as needed.

That's all the grubmaster does.

Other Non-grubmaster Food Responsibilities:


It is the responsibility of the patrol leader:
  • to assign the grubmaster, 
  • to tell the grubmaster what types of meals to plan for the outing, and 
  • to tell the grubmaster how many people will be attending the outing. 
  • to assign cooks, clean-up, etc. for each of the meals. Obviously, the grubmaster will assist the patrol leader in making these assignments. The patrol leader may also delegate some of these responsibilities to other scouts (but not back to the grubmaster who's already done a lot of work). 
  • to load the food into the vehicle (either packing it in troop boxes or distributing it to everyone's packs). 

It is the responsibility of the scoutmaster
  • to save left-over money for the next outing. 
If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thanks,

Brother Mark

Scoutmaster

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Requirement 8: Careers in Cooking

--
8. Careers in Cooking
8


-Find out about three career opportunities in cooking.
-Select one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession.
-Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.
Food service icon8 CAREER OPPORTUNITIES:  Find out about three career opportunities in cooking.
[There will be more but here's a page to get you started:
Culinary Careers:  Chef or Cook  There are links to other careers at the bottom of that page. 
CHOOSE ONE:  Select one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession.
DISCUSS:  Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.
Do these not look like the exact same book?  Weird.  Hopefully you can read some of the things written on the hats to get some ideas of careers. . . .

Requirement 7: Cooking on the Trail

--
7.     Cooking on the Trail
7


Using the MyPlate food guide***:
-Plan a menu for trail hiking or backpacking that includes one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack.
-These meals must not require refrigeration and
-are to be consumed by three to five people (including you).
-List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals.
Then do the following:

a

Create a shopping list for your meals showing:
-the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal,
-and the cost for each meal.

b

-Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.
-Your plan must include how to repackage foods for your hike or backpacking trip to eliminate as much bulk, weight, and garbage as possible.

c

While on a trail hike or backpacking trip:
-Prepare and serve two meals and a snack from the menu planned for requirement 7.
-At least one of those meals must be cooked over a fire, or an approved trail stove (with proper supervision).**

d

For each meal prepared in requirement 7c:
-use safe food-handling practices.
-Clean up equipment, utensils, and the site thoroughly after each meal.
-Properly dispose of dishwater, and pack out all garbage.

e

After each meal, have those you served evaluate the meal on presentation and taste,
-then evaluate your own meal.
-Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals.
-Tell how better planning and preparation help ensure successful trail hiking or backpacking meals.
7. MEAL PLANNING:  MENU
Using the MyPlate food guide***:
-Plan a menu for trail hiking or backpacking that includes one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack.
-These meals must not require refrigeration and
-are to be consumed by three to five people (including you).
-List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals.
7 a.  MEAL PLANNING:  AMOUNT & COST
Create a shopping list for your meals showing:
--the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and
--the cost for each meal.
7 b. MEAL PLANNING: REVIEW
Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.

-Your plan must include how to repackage foods for your hike or backpacking trip to eliminate as much bulk, weight, and garbage as possible.
7 c. PREPARE MEALS
While on a trail hike or backpacking trip:
-Prepare and serve two meals and a snack from the menu planned for requirement 7.
-At least one of those meals must be cooked over a fire, or an approved trail stove (with proper supervision).**
7 d. PREPARE MEALS:  COOKING METHODS
For each meal prepared in requirement 7c:
-use safe food-handling practices.
-Clean up equipment, utensils, and the site thoroughly after each meal.
-Properly dispose of dishwater, and pack out all garbage.
7 e. PREPARE DESSERT OR SNACK
In the outdoors, prepare a dessert OR a snack and serve it to your patrol or a group of youth.**
7 f. MEAL EVALUATION
After each meal, have those you served evaluate the meal on presentation and taste,
-then evaluate your own meal.
Another thing to consider is if the portions were enough.
-Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals.
-Tell how better planning and preparation help ensure successful trail hiking or backpacking meals..

I will get these inserted into more logical places later but here are some helpful links to rummage through:
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet16EatingBetterOnABudget.pdf

Requirement 6: Cooking Outdoors

Some recipes and ideas 
Meal ideas:  http://www.boyscouttrail.com/boy-scouts/boy-scout-recipes.asp  
                        http://scoutermom.com/category/cooking-2/camp-cooking/
 --Pizza pockets:  http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/recipe/pocket_pizza-189.asp
--http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/recipe/layered_taco_pie-1302.aspx
-- http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/recipe/witches_brew-1750.aspx
-- http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/recipe/pie_iron_pizzas-549.asp (need pie iron)x
-- http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/recipe/pig_on_a_stick-1071.asp
-- http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/recipe/monkey_bread-1316.asp
-- http://scoutermom.com/547/walking-tacos-recipe/
-- http://scoutermom.com/8681/pumpkin-crunch-recipe/x
-- http://scoutermom.com/7208/camp-chicken-stuffing-recipe/x
-- http://scoutermom.com/1255/spaghetti-dinner/x
6.     Campout Cooking
6


Using the MyPlate food guide***:
-Plan a menu for your patrol or a similar size group of up to eight youth, including you) for a camping trip.
-Include five meals AND at least one snack OR one dessert.
-List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals.
Then do the following:

a

-Create a shopping list for your meals showing 
-the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and
-the cost for each meal.

b

Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.

c

In the outdoors, cook two of the meals you planned in requirement 6 using either a lightweight stove or a low-impact fire.
-Use a different cooking method for each meal.**
-The same fireplace may be used for both meals.
-Serve this meal to your patrol or a group of youth.

d

-Use either a Dutch oven, OR a foil pack, OR kabobs.
-Serve this meal to your patrol or a group of youth.**

e

In the outdoors, prepare a dessert OR a snack and serve it to your patrol or a group of youth.**

f

After each meal, have those you served evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, and then evaluate your own meal.
-Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals.
-Tell how better planning and preparation help ensure successful outdoor cooking.

g

Explain how you kept perishable foods safe and free from cross-contamination.
6. MEAL PLANNING:  MENU
Using the MyPlate food guide***:
-Plan a menu for your patrol or a similar size group of up to eight youth, including you) for a camping trip.
-Include five meals AND at least one snack OR one dessert.
-List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals.
6 a.  MEAL PLANNING:  AMOUNT & COST
Create a shopping list for your meals showing:
--the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and
--the cost for each meal.
6 b. MEAL PLANNING: REVIEW
Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.
 c. PREPARE MEALS
In the outdoors, cook two of the meals you planned in requirement 6 using either a lightweight stove or a low-impact fire.
-Use a different cooking method for each meal.**
-The same fireplace may be used for both meals.
-Serve this meal to your patrol or a group of youth.
6 d. PREPARE MEALS:  COOKING METHODS
-Use either a Dutch oven, OR a foil pack, OR kabobs.
-Serve this meal to your patrol or a group of youth.**
6 e. PREPARE DESSERT OR SNACK
In the outdoors, prepare a dessert OR a snack and serve it to your patrol or a group of youth.**
6 f. MEAL EVALUATION
-After each meal, have those you served to evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, then evaluate your own meal.
-Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals.
-Tell how better planning and preparation help ensure a successful meal.
Another thing to consider is if the portions were enough.
6 g. MEAL PREPARATION:  FOOD SAFETY
Explain how you kept perishable foods safe and free from cross-contamination.

I will get these inserted into more logical places later but here are some helpful links to rummage through:
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet16EatingBetterOnABudget.pdf

Requirement 5: Cooking At Home

5. Cooking at Home



*The meals for requirement 5 may be prepared on different days, and they need not be prepared consecutively.
The requirement calls for Scouts to plan, prepare, and serve one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner to at least one adult; those served need not be the same for all meals.
5


Using the MyPlate food guide ***:
Plan a menu for three full days of meals (three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners) plus one dessert.
Your menu should include enough to feed yourself and at least one adult, keeping in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) of those to be served.
List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals.
Then do the following:

a

Create a shopping list for your meals showing:
--the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and
--the cost for each meal.

b

Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.

c

Using at least five of the seven cooking methods from requirement 4, prepare and serve yourself and at least one adult (parent, family member, guardian, or other responsible adult) one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one dessert from the meals you planned.*

d

Time your cooking to have each meal ready to serve at the proper time.
Have an adult verify the preparation of the meal to your counselor.

e

-After each meal, ask a person you served to evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, then evaluate your own meal.
-Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals.
-Tell how better planning and preparation help ensure a successful meal.

f

Explain how you kept perishable foods safe and free from cross-contamination.
*The meals for requirement 5 may be prepared on different days, and they need not be prepared consecutively.
The requirement calls for Scouts to plan, prepare, and serve one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner to at least one adult; those served need not be the same for all meals.

5. MEAL PLANNING:  MENU
Using the MyPlate food guide ***:
Plan a menu for three full days of meals (three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners) plus one dessert.
Your menu should include enough to feed yourself and at least one adult, keeping in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) of those to be served.
List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals.
5 a.  MEAL PLANNING:  AMOUNT & COST
Create a shopping list for your meals showing:
--the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and
--the cost for each meal.
5 b. MEAL PLANNING: REVIEW
Share and discuss your meal plan and shopping list with your counselor.
5 c. PREPARE MEALS:  COOKING METHODS
Using at least five of the seven cooking methods from requirement 4, prepare and serve yourself and at least one adult (parent, family member, guardian, or other responsible adult) one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one dessert from the meals you planned.*
5 d. PREPARE MEALS:  TIMING
Time your cooking to have each meal ready to serve at the proper time.
Have an adult verify the preparation of the meal to your counselor.
5 e. MEAL EVALUATION
-After each meal, ask a person you served to evaluate the meal on presentation and taste, then evaluate your own meal.
-Discuss what you learned with your counselor, including any adjustments that could have improved or enhanced your meals.
-Tell how better planning and preparation help ensure a successful meal.
Another thing to consider is if the portions were enough.
5 f. MEAL PREPARATION:  FOOD SAFETY
Explain how you kept perishable foods safe and free from cross-contamination.

I will get these inserted into more logical places later but here are some helpful links to rummage through:
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet16EatingBetterOnABudget.pdf

Requirement 1c: Food Safety, Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill (Same for 2014 & 2016)

NOTE TO SCOUT LEADERS:  In order follow the 4 steps of food safety it is best to have a refrigerator thermometer for your unit's coolers and a meat thermometer for cooking so that you can be sure your coolers are kept cold and your meat is cooked to the proper temperature.


Step 1: Clean
CLEAN:  Short, Informative Video
A Quick, Silly Reminder
Step 2: Separate (Don't Cross Contaminate)
SEPARATE:  Short, Informative Video
A Quick, Silly Reminder to Separate foods
Recipes for Disaster (A Farce of a Cooking Show)
Step 3: Cook

COOK:  Short, Informative Video
A Quick Silly Reminder to Cook Properly
Step 4:  Chill
CHILL:  Short, Informative Video
(For a link to my post about packing a cooler go HERE.)
Recipes for Disaster - "Bacteria BBQ"
Some more visuals and infographics that you might find helpful:
4 Steps to Food Safety | To help reduce the spread of dangerous germs and bacteria, experts also recommend that you sanitize your kitchen sponges between use and replace them every month.