Tracking My Servings From Each Food Group

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Topic Overview

A food record can help you evaluate your eating habits and track your progress as you make changes.

Sample food record

As you record your intake, fill in the squares to account for the amount you eat from each food group. To do this, you will need to know how much of a food equals 1 cup or 1 ounce. For example, let's say your breakfast consisted of:

  • 1 cup cornflakes—This equals 1 ounce from the grains group.
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz) milk—This equals 1 cup from the dairy group.
  • 1 large banana—This equals 1 cup from the fruits group.
  • ½ ounce of nuts (12 almonds, 24 pistachios, or 7 walnut halves)—This equals 1 ounce from the protein foods group.

For this breakfast, you would mark one square for the grains group, one square for the protein foods group, one square for the fruits group, and one square for the dairy group. Your record would look like this:


Number of cups or ounces (each square is equal to 1 cup or 1 ounce)


Grains (bread, cereal, pasta, rice)

X











Protein foods (nuts, eggs, fish)

X







Vegetables







Fruits

X






Dairy

X





Other


How to use your food record form to track and improve your eating habits

At the end of your recording period, tally the total number of cups or ounces from each food group and divide by the number of days. For a personalized food guide with the recommended daily amount for each food group, see the interactive website www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.

After seeing which foods you need to eat more or less of, pick one or two changes that you want to work on. Don't try to change your eating habits all at once. If you consistently eat too few fruits and vegetables, for example, you might try making a goal of eating one or more fruits and/or one or more vegetables each day. Then, instead of recording everything you eat, you could record only your fruits and vegetables.

Another way to track your food intake is to record what you eat for several days when you first start making changes in your eating habits. Then do it again in a few weeks or months. Compare your first record with your second. How have you improved?

Food record form

Use the form below to keep a food record over several days. Categorize the foods you eat into food groups, and each day mark a square to account for the amount you eat from each food group.


Number of cups or ounces (each square is equal to 1 cup or 1 ounce)


Grains (bread, cereal, pasta, rice)












Protein foods (nuts, eggs, fish)








Vegetables







Fruits







Dairy






Other


Credits

Current as of: April 1, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator