Tips for Accurate Recipes

  • 4 Minutes Read
  • Jul 7, 2015

Entering your own recipes will improve the accuracy of your caloric and nutrient totals. It will also allow you to create a comprehensive customized recipe database that includes instructions, photos, and recipe printing. Read this post even if you think you know how to enter recipes!

Tips for Accurate Recipes

If you cook a lot of recipes from scratch, then it is time to learn how to enter recipes into MyNetDiary. Entering your own recipes will improve the accuracy of your caloric and nutrient totals. It will also allow you to create a comprehensive customized recipe database that includes instructions, photos, and recipe printing. And all of your customized recipes can be shared with other MyNetDiary members. Read this post even if you think you know how to enter recipes! The information contained in this post is valid as of July 2015.

New Recipe Entry

Recipe name - give the recipe a complete name. You can include your initials (e.g. KAI) to make it easier to search for your custom recipes.

Servings – the default is 1 serving. If the recipe yields multiple servings, then measure the yield and enter that (e.g. 8 slices for a pizza, 12 enchiladas, etc.). If your recipe is a liquid or flows (e.g. chili, sauce, smoothie), then measure the recipe’s total volume and enter that. For example, I might enter 7 cups for my spaghetti sauce or 3 tablespoons for my pesto sauce. Note that the system will automatically calculate total recipe weight based upon the sum of all ingredient weights so reserve the Servings field to add more serving options for food entry. If you use common units of measure for volume (e.g. cups, fl oz, etc.), then the system will also be able to calculate teaspoons, tablespoons, etc. too.

Food Group – choose an appropriate food group. If you want all of your custom recipes in one group so that you can see them all at once (via web program), then just choose one food group for all of your custom recipes.

Ingredients – do a quick check to make sure all ingredients have calories. If your ingredient has 0 calories, then check to make sure you used a valid amount. For instance, if you entered ¼ cup for an item that only has weight as an amount option, then re-enter the ingredient amount in weight. That will correct the 0 calories problem. If you used a brand item that does not have a weight, then replace with a basic food item that offers a weight with the amount. Some ingredients will have 0 calories - water, non-caloric foods/beverages, dried spices/herbs – that is okay.

Recipe or Total Weight – you can’t modify this field in apps but you can in the web program. If your recipe loses weight from cooking, then your recipe nutrient content will be more accurate if you update the “Total Weight” with a measured value. This allows you to account for evaporative loss – which is weight loss from water. If you do not update this field with the actual cooked weight for recipes that shrink with cooking, then the recipe will have a lower calories and nutrient content per serving or per weight. This is a problem if you are trying to get an accurate caloric intake – especially if you are trying to lose weight.

Entering a measured weight is also necessary if your recipe shows “N/A” or an orange triangle for Recipe or Total Weight. This happens if one or more ingredients do not have a calculated weight – for instance, many dried spices, or just brand foods that do not include weight in their serving size.

Consider purchasing a simple digital kitchen scale that allows you to “tare” or zero out the weight of the holding container. There are many inexpensive models for sale in large department stores or online.

Cooking Instructions, Cooking Time, and Photo – web only. The benefit of using the web program for custom recipes is that you can include these fields.

Ingredients to Meal – app only. For recipes that are combinations of foods that you might eat in different amounts from day to day, use this feature. It allows you to modify ingredients and amounts for that specific meal, without affecting the nutrient totals of the recipe used in earlier or future meals.

This feature is also a way to update recipes going forward in time. Once the ingredients are saved to a blank meal, you can modify the ingredients, tap the recipe icon, give the recipe a new name, update the recipe fields and ingredients as desired, and then save it.

The web program does not have the ingredients to meal feature but it does have a copy function – which is a very fast and simple way to make changes to your recipe for current and future use. Rename your new recipe version to avoid confusion. To simply edit an incorrect recipe, see instructions below.

Save – in both apps and web program, remember to save your recipe!

Editing Recipes

Use the edit (web) or update (apps) feature to correct a recipe. If you modify or change the ingredients, the nutrient totals will change in both the older food records as well as in the current and future records. You can also correct typos in recipe names with the edit feature.

Web: enter recipe name in meal, tap “Food Details,” tap “Edit,” make desired changes, and then tap “Save.”

Apps: enter recipe name in meal, tap recipe name to bring up “Entry” screen, either tap the little edit icon on the bottom right or tap the “i” icon in the upper right hand corner (for earlier iPhone versions, it might be the Food Score/Grade icon), tap “Update” in the upper right hand corner, edit fields and ingredients as needed, tap “Save,” then tap “Back,” then tap “Save” once last time.

Printing Recipes

Use the web program to print recipes. Enter the recipe name in a meal, tap “Food Details,” and select “Print.”

Deleting a Recipe (or Food Item) Forever

Login to the web program, tap “Food,” tap “My Foods,” check the box “Show Custom Foods Only,” tap “Show Foods” for the Food Category of your recipe, find row with the recipe you want to delete, and then from “Action” drop box on the right, choose delete.

Sharing Recipes with Other MyNetDiary Members

Login to web program, tap “Community,” then “My Community Profile,” and in the last row of “About Me,” check the box, “Let everyone find my custom foods and activities.” Once you do that, another member can go to Community tab, find you by nickname, click on your nickname, scroll down your “My Page” to find the customized recipes and food items list, and then tap “copy” to copy it into their own custom food and recipe database.

More Resources

MyNetDiary FAQs
MyNetDiary Blog: More Tips for Food Logging

Tracking & MyNetDiary->Tracking Tips
Katherine Isacks
Katherine Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDE - Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

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