To ensure accuracy in diet planning and evaluation of the nutrient content of diets or intake of different food groups, it is essential to have an idea of
– one serving portion of the cooked foods for the various age groups.
– the amount of these foods in terms of common household measures, used for eating or serving
– conversion of the amounts in household measures to the constituent weight of the raw foods
Large, medium, and small bowls or cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, and serving spoons are all common household measurements. For ensuring accuracy of the standardization, the size of the container in terms of diameter and height or the volume must be known.
In case of food items like chapatis, pancakes, dosa, pizzas, the size and thickness needs to be noted. For pulses and preparation, the consistency and texture should be known. These details facilitate better assessment of the raw weights of the ingredients.
An idea of the weight of foodstuffs which may be eaten raw, as related to their size, is also beneficial. For example, it is desirable to know the weight of a small, medium or large apple or any other fruit, a small or medium cucumber or other salad vegetables, a slice of bread or a bun, or a cup of milk. For standardization, known amounts of various raw foods need to be cooked to prepare various commonly consumed food items, in the traditional way of the concerned region(1). Hence standardization is essential.
1) For calculating the nutrient intake after conversion into known measures
2) For development of nutrient recipes
Standard cups, spoons and weighing scales must be used to measure the raw and cooked ingredients.
1. List all the ingredients. Amounts of the ingredients should be correctly stated in gms/kgs.
2. All the cereals, legumes and pulses, flours should be taken and measured in the standard measuring cups (1, ½, 1/3, ¼) and measure the weight on standard weighing scales.
3. The weight of vegetables before and after cleaning (spinach, fenugreek, coriander) should be measured.
4. The weight of non-vegetarian foods before cooking (chicken) should measure.
5. A list of measurements for all the raw foods should be made.
6. All the vessels for cooking should be cleaned.
7. Raw foods should be measured using standard cups and cook accordingly using traditional recipes.
8. The total yield from these standard raw foods should be measured.
9. The serving size using the same measurement should be determined.
10. All the above steps should be repeated for every recipe.
11. Portion sizes for fruits and vegetables should be determined as small, medium and large.
For example 1 cup raw rice measures 100 gms and yield 4 cups after cooking that means 400 gms. One serving includes ½ cup of cooked rice that means 50gms.