Food Intake Record

Download Food Intake Record


Records and journals have been demonstrated to be the number one most beneficial tool to promote behavior change. Completing a personal food record can be valuable in helping understand the difficulties and challenges of obtaining information about a client’s nutrition intake.

Food Record Instructions:

Your food record will help you be aware of portion sizes and types of food you eat as well as certain patterns of eating that might be of interest. It is very important to follow these guidelines:

  1. Don’t change your eating habits while keeping your food record.
  2. Tell the truth. Record what you really eat.
  3. Record at least 2-3 days of  dietary intake (7 or more is better). Include at least 1 weekend day.

Basic rules to remember:

  • Write down EVERYTHING! Keep your form with you all day long and write down  everything you eat and drink. A piece of candy, a handful of pretzels, a  bottle of soda or a small donut may not seem like much, but these calories  can add up!
  • Do it now! Don’t depend on your memory at the end of the day.  Record your eating as you go.
  • Be specific. Make sure you include ‘extras,’ such as gravy on your meat, cheese on your sandwich or vegetables, butter, and salad dressings.  Check information on labels for specifics.
  • Estimate amounts. If you have a bowl of cereal, try measuring out or estimate the actual amount (rather than writing ‘bowl’ of cereal). If you eat out, just estimate as closely as possible (or write down the number of  servings you had).
  • Write legibly. Food records that can’t be deciphered are of little help.


Write the time of day you ate or drank the item. (i.e. 8:30 a.m.) Also, it is helpful if you note the following: B—breakfast, L—lunch, D—dinner, S—snack.

What Kind:

Record the type of food you ate. Be as specific as possible. Include sauces, gravies, and any ‘extras’ such as soda, salad dressing, mayonnaise, butter, sour cream, sugar and ketchup. Don’t forget to include the milk you add to your cereal. Designate if an item is ‘reduced fat,’ ‘low fat’ or ‘sugar-free.’

How Much:

Indicate the amount of the particular food or beverage you ate or drank. Estimate the size (2” x 1” x 1”), the volume (1/2 cup), the weight (2 oz) and/or the number of items (12) of that type of food. If you can, measure the portion with measuring utensils. You may also use the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s pocket guide to estimating portion sizes.


Write what room or part of the house you were in when you ate. If you ate in a restaurant, fast-food chain or your car, write that location down.

Calculate Calories, Carbs & Protein:

If possible try to figure out how many calories and how much carbs and protein you may be eating. Use food labels or other references for this purpose. Note that one ounce of meat, fish, poultry and cheese contains about 7 grams of protein.

Meal Planning for Various Cultures

Asian meal planning

Oldways’ Asian Diet Pyramid was developed in 1995 in conjunction with the Cornell-China-Oxford Project on Nutrition, Health and Environment, and the Harvard School of Public Health.

These tips and ideas are a starting point. You will find a wealth of suggestions here that can help you get started toward a healthy diet. Choose a change that you can make today, and move toward a healthier you. These tips are also available in Spanish.

Meal Planning Tools for Southern Traditional and Mexican-American Patients



Health Tips for Eating Out

Tips for Making Healthier Fast Food Choices

Fast food is cheap, convenient, filling, and to many of us it tastes good.  If you are eating out, a fast food restaurant is often the cheapest option, but unfortunately not a healthy one.  Eating just one fast food meal can pack enough calories, sodium and fat for an entire day or more. Eating fast food on a regular basis can lead to a host of different health problems, both physical and psychological.



Tips to Lower Salt Intake When Dining Out

Eating less salt can substantially reduce the risk of health problems associated with high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke — a cause of death for more than 2 out of every 3 people with diabetes.




Nutrients in Foods

Health nutrition from food you eat and drink is your health and strength. What you eat is part of what you are and what you will become. What you choose for a meal has an impact on our body efoodmed2ither positively or negatively. The quality of food you take affects the length and quality of your life. Many life threatening diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers, are often, at least in part, linked to poor nutrition. Much of these diseases could be prevented with sufficient health nutrition intake.

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Find nutrient information on over 8,000 foods using this new and improved search feature. You can now search by food item, group, or list to find the nutrient information for your food items.



What is iron and why do we need it?

Iron is a mineral needed by our bodies. Iron is a part of all cells and does many things in our bodies. For example, iron (as part of the protein hemoglobin) carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. Having too little hemoglobin is called anemia. Iron also helps our muscles store and use oxygen.

Iron is a part of many enzymes and is used in many cell functions. Enzymes help our bodies digest foods and also help with many other important reactions that occur within our bodies. When our bodies don’t have enough iron, many parts of our bodies are affected.

Substances that increase iron absorption:

Ascorbic acid or vitamin C occurs naturally in vegetables and fruits, especially citrus. Ascorbic acid can also be synthesized for use in supplements. Ascorbic acid enhances the absorption of nutrients such as iron.    In studies about effects of ascorbic acid on iron absorption, 100 milligrams of ascorbic acid increased iron absorption from a specific meal by 4.14 times.

Enhancers of iron absorption: ascorbic acid and other organic acids.

28-Day Meal Plans

Take the guess-work out of eating healthy. Our daily meal plans at three calorie levels are designed by EatingWell’s nutrition staff with a variety of healthy, delicious recipes, an abundance of whole grains to help you feel full, and healthy amounts of fresh fruits and low-fat dairy foods to meet your basic needs for calcium, protein and other essential nutrients.


Heart Healthy Meal Plans

Weight Loss Diet Meal Plans

Vegetarian Meal Plans

Diabetes Meal Plans

Healthy Aging Meal Plans