Nutrition by the Numbers

How do I get the nutrition labels that accompany the recipes on this site?

Nutrition labels were a part of food packaging I’d always skimmed over; all I wanted to know was how many servings came in the package. That all changed when my younger son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes six months ago. Suddenly I needed to know the amounts of carbohydrates and dietary fiber in everything he ate.

This led to a daily exercise in math as I looked up the carbs in every ingredient of every dish I prepared. If I didn’t remember to write down the result, I’d kick myself the next time I served that food, since I’d have to do the math all over again. I love cooking; math, not so much.

Dinner became a word problem:  if 150g of a food has 6g of carbs, how many grams of carbs are in 227g of that food? We were weighing everything as I cooked–so dinner was late night after night as I tried to get my head around what was in the food so I could give my son the right amount of insulin. Most of the recipes I use are online, including my own, and it was cumbersome to do a one-ingredient-at-a-time analysis while trying not to burn the main course.

We use a nutrition-label generator at HappyForks.comYou type in the recipe, indicate how many servings it makes, then click the option for a nutrition label. You DO have to be careful when you look at the recipe, because sometimes when you type in “pepper” it calculates for “bell pepper” instead of the spice, so you’ll want to look at that it thinks you meant for each ingredient. But I’ve tested the calculations against some of my manual ones, and the results are very close.

copyright 2014 Barb Szyszkiewicz

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