Food diary

Posted by Shaleen Meelu on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 in What's On

Week 1: Getting Started

We have just started week 1 of our six week plan for healthy eating. Session 1 helped participants to 

  • know what nutrients the five food groups represent and how they contribute to a balanced diet
  • understand how a balanced diet can prevent chronic disease
  • learn the importance of physical activity and what contributes towards weekly recommendations
We used the Eatwell mat and food cards to classify commonly eaten foods and also discuss what nutrients they contain. We also reviewed what counts as a portion of fruit and vegetable in order to achieve UK recommendations of five-a-day.

Week 1: Food Tasters

We prepared a chickpea and apricot tagine based on a a Waitrose recipe. Parents responded well to the combination of dired apricots, pulses and brown rice. We made the key points that dried fruit contain concentrated nutrients, brown rice (like brown bread or pasta) is preferable to white rice as it contains the wholegrain and that chickpeas can also count as 1 of your five a day. We garnished with dried berries, chopped nuts (flaked almonds and pistachios) as well as corriander. This went down well with a yoghurt raita (chopped cucumber and tomato). 

Take-home activity: Food Diary

Parents were given a blank food diary template. Here they will record the following information for two week days and one day at the weekend next week. 

  • Time that food and drink is consumed
  • Activity when eating e.g. working, reading, watching TV, cooking and talking
  • Mood during eating e.g. neutral, happy, tense, angry, tired, bored, stressed, rushed
  • Hunger 0 - no hunger and 5 - starving  
  • Amount  - household measures e.g. big bowl, mug, tablespoon
  • Food and drink - i.e. what is actually consumed
  • Fruits or vegetables - including number of portions
  • Fullness - rated 1 - 5
  • Physical activity including intensity 
This will help them understand whether they are consuming enough fruit & vegetable, enough fibre or too much sugary desert and processed food. Recording moods and activity will help establish motivations and barriers to healthy eating. Recording activity can also help assess whether individuals are eating enough to maintain their lifestyle or whether they are over-consuming and gaining weight. 

Do you want a free template of the Healthy Futures food diary? E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

D0 you work at a school and would like to learn how to deliver the six week plan to healthy eating? contact Shaleen on 07990660055

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Hi, my name is Shaleen Meelu and I am the founder of Healthy Futures. I’m also a registered nutritionist and I have helped over 3,000 people embark upon healthy living programmes.


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