When we eat, we engage all of our senses. That’s why for us to truly enjoy it, it should be an experience that can stimulate all kinds of sensations, not just our taste buds.

It’s not just about the taste of the food itself; everything else also matters — the way it smells, the atmosphere of the place where we’re having our meal, the company we’re with as we enjoy our dinner, and, of course, the way the food looks.

Professionals take this seriously, and that’s the very reason there is an entire industry that focuses solely on making sure gourmets don’t only taste good, but look and smell good as well.

Sometimes, our sense of smell may be the best indicator of whether or not something should be put in our mouths. Even if something looks palatable but emits a certain whiff that we don’t find appealing, there’s a high tendency that we’ll stay away from it.

Sometimes, even if the food is sure to taste great, poor presentation still causes tasters to think twice — some won’t even dare to touch it. That’s why there are literally thousands of cookbooks, magazines, and food presentation equipment available to help people turn their meals into a truly delightful experience.

We Can’t Ignore Food Appearance

If your goal is to control what you eat and move on to a healthier eating plan, then you have a bigger reason to focus more on taste and appearance. Celebrities may have access to all the professionals they need to achieve their “dream bod” without sacrificing their cravings.

But, fortunately, you don’t need to be a Kardashian-Jenner and hire a personal chef or even a culinary team to make sure your meals are properly planned and in check. To make sure you’ll be able to create meals that aren’t short on the taste and visual departments, you only need to know what you really like to eat and use your plates as your “canvas” for that appeal.

Japanese mothers, for example, would prepare their children adorable “bentos” where they arrange meals in cute, tiny lunch boxes using colorful ingredients to make the food appealing to their picky children.

There are tons of books and online materials available to help mothers come up with the most interesting bento designs, whether it’s a cartoon character or just an adorable pet animal.

This has been a common practice in many Japanese households for decades, and it has been proven to be highly effective in encouraging children to finish their meals, especially those little ones that tend to avoid their greens. It’s also a good bonding activity between mothers and their kids.

How the Pros Handle It

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In the culinary world, they take it to the next level. This technique is referred to as “plating.” Professional chefs create “edible art,” and they fully understand that their responsibilities do not end by simply making sure food taste great.

They should also make sure that their masterpieces reach the final stage — tasting. Food should not only taste good but look good as well. It makes the whole experience even more satisfying. Of course, this is also true for those looking for healthier options.

With a bit of imagination, you can create well-balanced meals that are good for your eyes and, of course, your overall health.