Actually a point-and-shoot is one of the best tool for taking photos for food.
I usually have a DSLR and a point-and-shoot with me, when I want to take photos of food however, I usually use the point-and-shoot thanks to its macro mode.
Most of us shoot our plate of food top-down, framing the shot so that the whole plate is included.
Sorry but that can quickly become boring after 5 shots.
Macro mode is usually found on point-and-shoot. DSLR on the other hand has very limited macro ability until you actually go spend some money on a macro lens.
That is why I prefer using my point-and-shoot! It can shoot the details! I can focus as close as 3 or 4 cm and get very nice photo of my food. My point-and-shoot has a flip-out screen so I can shoot from all kinds of angle.
I can shoot across the plate horizontally without leaving my chair and ducking by the side of the table. I can fill the entire photo with the actual food showing its texture.
As a bonus, usually its easy to get the food in focus since point-and-shoot has a high DOF.
Trust me, a point-and-shoot is better than a DSLR with a kit lens when it comes to food.
You need to get the White Balance right, and you need to light the food well. The best light is when you are eating right next to a huge and bright window at day time.
At night, however, you must find ways to create a soft and pleasing light, which usually involves the use of an external flash. This is not an option for you it seems so I will just leave it.
You also want to make your food look YUMMY. If it is hot food you are shooting, steam will be a plus. Food when freshly prepared are usually shinny since they are wet or there are oil, so if you leave it for too long it will become dull and it will not look nice.
There are things that you can do to create steam and make your food shinny, two simple ways are:
- light a cigarette and place it behind the food
- using a spraying bottle, spray oil on your food to keep it looking fresh
Of course, these may not be the best thing to do when you are planning to actually eat it, but you can definitely keep in mind and try these out when you are allowed to
Lastly food photography actually is very often fake. Ice cream made of clay.... boiling water is actually ice cold with air bubbles manually pumped into it.... etc
So be creative. Good luck!