Tips for entering, editing, and sharing recipes in MyNetDiary

  • 17 Minutes Read
  • Jan 21, 2020

Get the most out of using MyNetDiary's recipe feature - learn how to enter, edit, and share your recipes like a pro! These tips are helpful for new and experienced users alike. Read this post even if you think you know how to enter recipes.

If you cook a lot of recipes from scratch, then it is time to learn how to enter, edit, and share recipes in MyNetDiary. Entering your recipes will improve the accuracy of calories and nutrient intake. It will also allow you to create a personalized recipe database that includes recipe steps, photos, and the option to print. All of your customized recipes can be shared with other MyNetDiary members as well as with people who do not use a calories tracker. Let's go through each step together - starting with how to enter a new recipe from scratch and ending with steps for sharing recipes.

New Recipe Entry

This is a basic method for entering new recipes that is fast and easy.

  1. Start with an empty meal.
  2. Enter food items as ingredients in the form that they are used in the recipe (e.g. raw vs.
  3. cooked, peeled vs. whole, etc.). Weigh or measure each food ingredient for greater accuracy.
  4. Tap Food Log Settings (3-dot icon at the top right of the screen), tap Save as Recipe (iPhone app) or Create Recipe (Android app). For web app, tap Add (located on the blue meal bar, tap Custom, and then tap Recipe from <Meal> Foods.
  5. Complete each field as indicated in the recipe screen. See tips on how to complete those fields below.
  6. Tap Save to save your new recipe.

Recipe Name

Give your new recipe a unique name so that you can save it. It is also helpful to use a detailed name that will help you remember what it is, especially if you have different versions of similar recipes.

Tip: Consider including your 3-character initials (e.g. KAI) in the recipe name to make it easier to find your recipes when you search. This is also helpful if you share recipes with other members. Searches need at least 3 characters in a word to bring up that word.

Recipe Icon

Tap the recipe icon to find image options. This icon will show up in your food log to the left of the recipe name. It doesn't matter which icon you choose but members find it helpful to use an icon that looks like the recipe or reflects a main ingredient in the recipe.

Ingredients

Ingredients are food items. Be sure to log the most accurate food items and quantities so that your recipe analysis is accurate. For instance, did you use a cooked rotisserie chicken breast with skin still on or a cooked skinless boneless chicken breast in your recipe? Find the correct food item to log as an ingredient.

Do all of your ingredients have a weight? Most basic/staple foods have weights for their serving sizes but not all brand foods will, especially for spices, oils, and liquids. Choose a food item that has a weight attached to its portion size. Given the two whole milk options below, I would choose the first one:
Milk whole 3.25% milkfat 1 cup = 244 g
Whole milk by hershey's 1 cup = weight not available

If one of your ingredients has 0 calories, then check that item. Make sure the ingredient amount is correct and that you used a valid serving size (e.g. use one of the available serving sizes for that food). Water and many spices will have 0 calories but other ingredients should have calories.

Tip: Use basic non-branded foods as ingredients to get the most complete nutrient and weight information. These basic food items also have more serving size options - this makes it much easier to enter recipe ingredients. To learn more about Staple Foods feature, read Is There an Easier Way to Log Basic Foods?

Recipe Totals

Total Recipe Calories

This is a system-calculated weight for the entire recipe, based upon the ingredients and quantities you entered.

Recipe Weight

If every ingredient in your recipe has a weight, then MyNetDiary calculates the total weight of the recipe and lists it here in grams. If a Recipe Weight cannot be calculated (recipe shows "N/A" or an orange triangle), then one or more ingredients is missing a weight. You can either replace the ingredient that has the missing weight or you can measure the final recipe weight yourself and enter that value here.

If you want to account for cooking losses, override the system-calculated value with your own measured cooked value. But be sure that you don't weigh the container along with the food! To weigh your cooked recipe, use a digital kitchen scale that can read grams. Place a container that can hold your cooked recipe on the scale and tare it (zero out the container weight) - all modern scales can do that. Carefully spoon, pour, or transfer your cooked recipe contents into the container on the scale and enter that gram value into Recipe Weight.

Tip: If you always log what you eat as a weight, then your calculated calories will be more accurate if you update the Recipe Weight with your final cooked weight. If you choose not to weigh your final cooked weight, then just be aware that the calories per weight will be falsely low due to not accounting for evaporative loss. For recipes that are not cooked, this will not be an issue.

Servings

The default is 1 serving. If the recipe yields multiple servings, then measure the yield and enter that value instead (e.g. 8 slices for a pizza, 12 enchiladas, etc.). If your recipe is a liquid or flows (e.g. chili, sauce, or a smoothie), then measure the recipe's total volume and enter that. For example, I might enter 7 cups for my spaghetti sauce or 12 fl oz (or 11/2 cups) for my smoothie. 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 logging. 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.

Single Serving Weight

This is a system-calculated weight. You cannot override this field but you can edit your recipe so that the weight per serving changes. Editing these fields will change your single serving weight: Ingredients (additions, deletions, and changes to ingredient amounts), Recipe Weight, and Servings.

Steps

Cooking Time

Enter the total time to cook the recipe (use "h" for hours and "min" for minutes). For slow cooker recipes, simply enter the total time you enter in the machine, even if you spend time sauteing veggies or searing meat for the slow cooker. If your recipe does not require cooking, then leave this field blank.

Preparation Time

Enter how long it takes you to prep the food before cooking. For recipes that require freezing or marinating time, include that time here.

Steps

This is a free text area. Most people find it useful to number their recipe instructions. If you plan to print your recipes, then consider whether or not you want to include spaces between instructions. A space between each instruction makes it easier to read but makes the recipe longer and possibly run to two printed pages.

Recipe Photo

The recipe photo is optional but it is nice to see your own photo attached to the recipe. If you are using your phone app to enter the recipe, tap the camera icon to see your options. You can take a picture of your recipe while you are entering the recipe or you can choose a recipe image from your photo library. If you are using the web app, tap Choose File to upload an image for your recipe.

Remember to Save Your Recipe!

Tap Save in the upper right corner of the screen once you have finished entering your new recipe. If you forget to do this, your recipe will not be saved!

Searching and Finding Your Recipes

There are different ways to find your recipes depending upon which app you use. If you just want to bring up one recipe, the fastest way is to simply search for it by name within a meal log. Once you find it, you can view, edit, share, and print the recipe.

If you prefer to see a list of your recipes, then see below for instructions by app type.

Android app

You can either tap the star at the top of any meal screen or tap Favorites at the very bottom of any meal screen. Swipe green menu bar to the left to find My Recipes. Once you tap My Recipes, you will see a complete list of all the recipes you have entered (or copied from other members).

iOS iPhone app

The fastest way to see a list of your custom recipes is to touch and hold the "+" button at the bottom of any meal screen and then release over My Recipes.

Web app

Tap the star icon (it's in the same row as the nutrient column names), then tap My Recipes in the middle menu bar. Or you can find your list of recipes by placing your cursor in any meal, select My Foods, then select Recipes.

How to Edit Your Recipes

Bring up your custom recipe, scroll down to the bottom of the screen, tap View This Recipe, tap the Settings icon (3-dots in the upper righthand corner), and then tap Edit. This will allow you to see all recipe fields available for editing. If you use the Android or iPhone app, you also have the choice of simply tapping the pencil icon to edit a specific section such as Ingredients or Steps.

You can change or delete an ingredient amount, reorder the list of ingredients, or simply view an ingredient's food label. To find these options, tap the 3-dot icon to the right of the ingredient if you use the Android or web app. If you use an iPhone app, just tap any ingredient to see the edit options.

Remember to tap Save in the top right corner to save your changes.

Editing a Recipe That Has Already Been Logged?

For recipe edits that affect calories (any changes to Ingredients, Recipe Weight, or Total Servings), you can make those edits if you have logged the recipe only once before or have not yet logged the recipe. After editing and saving your recipe, go into the meal where it was logged that one time and adjust the serving size so that it correctly reflects what you ate. MyNetDiary prompts you to do this since the serving size changes to keep the calories constant.

If you have already logged your recipe in multiple meals but still want to make edits that will cause a change in calories, then use the "Copy & Customize" feature to make changes. Your recipe name will change with this feature and the changes will be effective going forward in time. See next section for more detail.

Copy & Customize - An Awesome Feature with Premium Membership

Use Copy & Customize option to use one recipe as a base or template for a new recipe. This will save you a lot of data entry time if your new recipe is simply a variation on an existing recipe. This feature is available with Premium membership with all apps.

Copy & Customize is also the feature you will use to customize a Premium Recipe* or a recipe someone shares with you. For instance, maybe you prefer to use safflower oil instead of canola oil or perhaps you tend to use more chicken in a particular recipe. Once you have made your desired changes, rename the recipe so that it is more personalized. If you forget to change the recipe name before saving, then the new recipe name includes the word "Customized" at the very beginning of the original recipe name.

Android app

In any meal log, bring up the recipe, tap View This Recipe (see bottom of screen), tap Edit (see bottom of screen), and then tap Copy & Customize Recipe.

iPhone app

In any meal log, bring up the recipe, tap View This Recipe (see bottom of screen), tap Edit (see bottom of screen), and then tap Copy & Customize (see bottom of screen).

Web app

In any meal log, bring up the recipe, tap Details, then tap Copy & Customize in the top right corner.

Be sure to save your changes!

*Premium Recipes is a new feature with Premium membership! There are over 200 recipes created by MyNetDiary dietitians - these are easy to prepare, healthy, and weight-friendly.

Sharing Recipes

Another great feature of Premium membership is the ability to share recipes if you use MyNetDiary iPhone or Android app. You can share your recipe with other MyNetDiary members or with people who do not use MyNetDiary.

To share your recipe, choose View This Recipe, then tap Share at the bottom of the screen. You can share the recipe via Message, Email, Link, PDF, or Text.

The share utility is not yet available with the web app but you can still share your recipes with other MyNetDiary members. Login to the web app, select Community, select My Community Profile, checkmark Let Everyone Find My Custom Foods and Activities, and then tap Save. Once you do that, other members can find and copy your custom foods and recipes if they bring up your Personal Page (they can tap on your MyNetDiary nickname link in forum, or they can use the search box in Community). Your Custom Catalog is found at the bottom of your Personal Page. If a member selects Copy to the right of a recipe name, then it gets copied into that member's list of recipes. The copied recipe name includes "from xyz" at the very end of the recipe name, where xyz is the member's MyNetDiary nickname. For instance, if you copy "KAI Sicillian Spaghetti Sauce" from Dietitian, then you will see "KAI Sicillian Spaghetti Sauce from Dietitian" in your recipes list (My Recipes).

Deleting Recipes

Android app

Bring up your list of custom recipes by tapping the star at the very top of any meal or Favorites at the very bottom of any meal screen. Swipe the green menu bar to the left to find My Recipes. Once you tap My Recipes, you will see a complete list of all the recipes you have entered (or have copied from other members). Tap the recipe you want to delete to select it, tap the 3-dot settings icon to the right of the recipe name, and then tap Retire Recipe.

iOS iPhone app

In any meal screen, tap the 3-dot settings icon in the top right of your screen, then tap Manage My Foods. Tap the bowl/spoon icon to bring up My Recipes. Tap the recipe you wish to delete, and then tap Retire Food.

Web app

Tap the star icon (it's in the same row as the nutrient column names), then tap My Recipes in the middle menu bar. Or you can find your list of recipes by placing your cursor in any meal, select My Foods, then select Recipes. Tap the recipe you want to delete to select it, tap the 3-dot settings icon to the right of the recipe name, and then tap Retire Recipe.

Creating Recipes vs Meals

Anytime you enter food items in a meal, you have the option of saving those food items as a meal or as a recipe. Saving as a meal is different than saving as a recipe. Saving as a meal is the option you use if you often eat the same meal every day but want the option of editing the meal components on a daily basis. For instance, I almost always eat the same basic breakfast: tea, cottage cheese, toast, and extra virgin olive oil. When I save those items as a meal, I name it something that is easy to remember (e.g. "KAI Toast & Cottage Cheese Breakfast"). When I log that meal, all of my meal items get loaded into the meal. This is super helpful since I often have slightly larger or smaller amounts of toast, sometimes a bit more tea, and sometimes more olive oil. It's easy to tweak the meal items when it loads that way. And it saves me time to not have to search and enter the same 4 items to my breakfast every morning.

If you save meal items as a recipe, then the recipe loads as a single item. For instance, I have a recipe named "KAI Sicialian Spaghetti Sauce" and I make it the same way every time. When I log that recipe in a meal, I want it to show up as one item - KAI Sicillian Spaghetti Sauce. If I had originally saved those items as a meal, then all 15 ingredients would load into the meal and that is definitely not want I want to see in my dinner log!

Tip: Saving as a meal allows you to use a Siri shortcut to log that meal by name. Just be sure to name your meal so that it is easy to pronounce so that Siri interprets your command correctly. To learn more about Siri shortcuts, read Using Siri with MyNetDiary.

Using a diet and activity tracker will help you make informed choices so that you can meet your weight and nutrient goals. You will learn a great deal about weight, calories, foods, and nutrients. And most importantly, you will learn a lot about how your dietary habits affect your health and weight.

Originally published on Apr 24, 2012,
Updated on 21 January 2020

Katherine Isacks
Katherine Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDE - Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

Start Your Free
Food Diary Today

Sign up Devices