Entering a food diary or meal plan—Procedure 1

The following steps explain how to enter a food record - foods that an individual has eaten in a meal, a whole day or several days, or foods planned for an individual or group for a meal, a whole day or several days.

Follow these steps when completing Exercise 1.

  1. To start
    If you do not have FoodChoices® running, in the lower left corner of your screen, click Start, click All Programs, and click FoodChoices 2009.
  2. To create a new food diary or meal plan
    1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Food Diary or Meal Plan.
    2. Click the General tab.
    3. In the Name box, type the name of the person for whom the food is being recorded—for example, Mary Smith
    4. In the Folder box, select the folder in which you want to save this food diary or meal plan. If you want to create a new folder, click on the ellipsis (…) button beside the folder box, and type in the name of the new folder—for example, Food Diaries—and press OK.
    5. In the Description box, type in a description of the food diary or meal plan.
    6. Enter personal details. Note: To move between fields, press the Tab key on the keyboard.
      • In the Age box, enter the age in years.
      • Click on the Gender drop-down button (the small arrow pointing downwards) to select the gender.
      • Enter values for the remaining fields—height, weight, activity level and pregnancy. For activity level, click on the drop-down button (the small arrow pointing downwards) to select the level of activity. For descriptions of a typical daily routine for that activity level, click on the ellipsis (…) to the right of the activity level options.

      Note: The personal details are used for calculating Nutrient Reference Values displayed in the analyses and for calculating estimated energy requirements, body mass index and basal metabolic rate (all displayed on the General tab).

      Procedure1-Screen 9
      Personal details displayed in the General tabbed page

  3. To enter the foods
    1. In the open document, click the Foods tab.
    2. Double click in the Day column and a calendar will appear—the date can then be selected. Alternatively, type the day, then press Enter on the keyboard (if you are only entering food for one day there is no need to complete this entry).
    3. Click in the Meal column, type the name of the new meal (for example, breakfast, lunch), press Enter. The meal will appear on its own new row.
    4. In the Food column, type the first two to four letters of each word in the food name until the food you want is displayed. Use the arrow keys to select the food from the drop-down list, then press Enter. The first food in the list will appear on a new row. If you have chosen a food for which there are multiple options—for example, bread— they might not all fit on the screen. Use the arrow key to scroll down and see more options. Or you may wish to refine your search by typing other descriptive words—for example, bread white toast.
    5. In the Quantity column, type the number of units for the measure you want to use. Use the arrow keys to select the measure from the drop-down list, or type the first few letters of the measure, then press Enter. For example, if you want to enter 30 grams, type 30 g or 30, then click on g on the list of options.
    6. Repeat the above steps for each food to be entered for that meal.
    7. To start a new meal, in the Meal column, type the new meal and press Enter on the keyboard.
    8. To start a new day, in the Day column, type the new day and press Enter on the keyboard.

      Procedure1-Screen 10a
      Foods displayed in the Foods tabbed page

  4. To save

    Click Save on the Toolbar.

  5. To view and examine the analyses and graphs

    See Procedures 2 and 3.

  6. To print the results
    See Procedure 8.

Tips on entering foods

  • Type two to four letters only per key word. This is faster and helps avoid spelling mistakes—for example, avo finds avocado. Typing avocado does not refine this search any further.
  • Typing the first part of two or more key words helps refine your search—for example, tea finds sixteen foods. Black tea finds five foods from which to choose.
  • The order for typing key words does not alter the number of foods found—for example, tea black finds the same foods as black tea.
  • Type the singular for foods—for example, type pea not peas, bean not beans.
  • Case is unimportant. The software accepts upper- or lower-case entries.
  • If you do not find the food, try alternative spellings or other word combinations—for example try bread slice instead of bread sliced.
  • For some foods such as bread, there are many different varieties. Hence, when the varieties are displayed, they may not all fit on to the screen. Use the arrow key to scroll down and see more options. You may wish to refine your search by typing other descriptive words—for example, bread white toast.
  • To enter a fraction, use decimals—for example, for ½ use 0.5.
  • When entering the amount you must type in a quantity—for example ‘1’ before ‘medium’ if wanting 1 medium apple.


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