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TOPIC: calculating calories in homemade foods

 
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April 18, 2012 4:23 PM
I'm still struggling with trying to figure out how to calculate the calories when I just make a big pot of "something" for my family for dinner. For example, my son is fighting a cold, and the rest of us are trying to avoid catching it. I made a big pot of turkey noodle soup.....

I had some turkey bones / carcass left over from another meal (I froze it... makes wonderful broth!).... I boiled it for a while, added some turkey white meat to it (again, left over), some mixed veggies (frozen, not canned) and some noodles. The pot is large, so we can eat on it for a few days.

How on earth can I figure out the calories in this?

When I'm just cooking for myself, or not something all "lumped-together" it is easier for me to calculate. But how do I figure out calories in things like homemade soup?

I would appreciate any and all suggestions. Thanks!
April 18, 2012 4:25 PM
I create a recipe with all the ingredients used in the meal in full quantities (eg. 400grams of mince, 2 cans of tomato soup, etc). Then I will divide the recipe up into serving sizes (this is easy because there's only 2 of us, so I usually do 2 serves). With a soup, I would recommend doing the recipe, weighing it up and creating serving sizes based on the weight. Then you can measure out a portion of it and know roughly how many calories in it.
Hope this makes sense.
April 18, 2012 4:41 PM
QUOTE:

I create a recipe with all the ingredients used in the meal in full quantities (eg. 400grams of mince, 2 cans of tomato soup, etc). Then I will divide the recipe up into serving sizes (this is easy because there's only 2 of us, so I usually do 2 serves). With a soup, I would recommend doing the recipe, weighing it up and creating serving sizes based on the weight. Then you can measure out a portion of it and know roughly how many calories in it.
Hope this makes sense.


Exactly. This has worked for me. After a while the process becomes easier.
  15489433
April 18, 2012 4:43 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I create a recipe with all the ingredients used in the meal in full quantities (eg. 400grams of mince, 2 cans of tomato soup, etc). Then I will divide the recipe up into serving sizes (this is easy because there's only 2 of us, so I usually do 2 serves). With a soup, I would recommend doing the recipe, weighing it up and creating serving sizes based on the weight. Then you can measure out a portion of it and know roughly how many calories in it.
Hope this makes sense.


Exactly. This has worked for me. After a while the process becomes easier.


that's what i do too, then guestimate how many servings. it's just me and my boo, and usually there are some leftovers, so i do maybe 2.5 servings. sometimes all you can do is guess
  18865958
April 18, 2012 4:44 PM
I do that with just about everything we cook at home. Serving size of most soups is one cup.
  10473510
April 18, 2012 4:44 PM
The recipe calculator under tools has been a lifesaver for me! I enter my ingredients and the number of portions it will make and the hardwork is done.
  10214346
April 18, 2012 4:48 PM
What they said. I would make the addition that when making a big pot of soup with any luck your soup pot has grooves on the side that indicate 1 quart, 2 quarts, etc. Lets say your pot of soup comes up to the 2-quart mark. There are 4 cups in a quart so that is 8 cups of soup total. If you figure one serving is 2 cups that means the pot of soup has 4 servings. When you put your recipe into MFP put in all the ingredients you used to make the soup (as the agove commenters mention) and in the box to indicate how many servings it makes say 4. When dishing up a bowl of soup for yourself make sure you are taking just 2 cups and you will know that is one serving.
  9189887
April 18, 2012 4:48 PM
A great idea I read on here (if it was you please claim) was to mark a dowel with measurements for your large pots. Pour in a cup of water - mark-another cup-mark, etc. Then once a recipe is made and you enter all the ingredients you also know how many servings you have in terms of cups and it makes it easy to serve yourself and know what each cup is.
  13029782
April 18, 2012 4:48 PM
What I've done with a couple recipes is exactly at the other posters have, then I'll use a 1 cup measuring cup to scoop the food into a tupperware container. Then I know how much the recipe made and how to measure it out in the future (i.e. what a serving actually is - for example I made some pasta sauce, it made 9 cups so I knew I had 18 servings of 1/2 cup.)
April 18, 2012 4:49 PM
QUOTE:

I create a recipe with all the ingredients used in the meal in full quantities (eg. 400grams of mince, 2 cans of tomato soup, etc). Then I will divide the recipe up into serving sizes (this is easy because there's only 2 of us, so I usually do 2 serves). With a soup, I would recommend doing the recipe, weighing it up and creating serving sizes based on the weight. Then you can measure out a portion of it and know roughly how many calories in it.
Hope this makes sense.


Great answer. Figuring out by weight is so easy. The other way is to measure out how many cups you have when you are done, and define your serving size accordingly. I make a 4 quart batch of soup weekly, and this is how I figured it out.
  7905241
April 18, 2012 4:51 PM
QUOTE:

The recipe calculator under tools has been a lifesaver for me! I enter my ingredients and the number of portions it will make and the hardwork is done.


*This*

Since I cook most of our foods, I prefer adding my recipes rather than guessing or using the "store-bought" version of things. It is especially nice when you cook large meals and then have leftovers that you want to use for lunches.
  15849452
April 18, 2012 4:57 PM
I take a different approach. It's a bit of a pain and more work, but I see better results. I weigh my serving out and cook it separately than my husbands. I find it easier than "guessing" what a serving is because when it was all cooked together, I overestimated myself.

So, I guess, if you have the time and are willing to do a few more dishes, I find it easier for me to make mine separately then lump it together and try to sort it out. There are some things this doesn't apply to but it works for the most part.
  8096641
April 18, 2012 5:02 PM
I just log it an ingredient at a time...
  10264153
April 18, 2012 5:06 PM
QUOTE:

I create a recipe with all the ingredients used in the meal in full quantities (eg. 400grams of mince, 2 cans of tomato soup, etc). Then I will divide the recipe up into serving sizes (this is easy because there's only 2 of us, so I usually do 2 serves). With a soup, I would recommend doing the recipe, weighing it up and creating serving sizes based on the weight. Then you can measure out a portion of it and know roughly how many calories in it.
Hope this makes sense.

^ This. Also, as a note, with soups or stews, where there is liquid and solids mixed as a serving, I have been known to separate the liquids and the solids and weigh each separately. Then divide the solids into a "serving number" based and then divide that many servings into the weight of the liquid so I know how many parts of each for a serving. (But, I live alone and when I make a big pot of something it will last me for quite some time.)

When I make a batch of protein brownies, I divide the pan into equal sections (by eye), then I cut them, weigh the whole batch and then divide by the number of sections I cut... weigh each one individually and cut and splice to make them as even as possible or mark the container with 3/4 serving, 1.5 serving, etc. so I know when I take it out of the freezer. Again, this is very strict but I freeze these portions and I want to make sure I am accurately claiming my calories (to the best of my ability).

I don't do this with everything... when I'm making my salad I'm sometimes lax on weighing every piece of lettuce, spinach, etc. that goes in it.... and when I'm making dinner if I add a dollop of some sort of sauce I may (depending on what it is) not count it...

This is usually way too much for some people. But I know this works for me and that is what I will continue to do.
  7081805
April 18, 2012 5:11 PM
QUOTE:

I take a different approach. It's a bit of a pain and more work, but I see better results. I weigh my serving out and cook it separately than my husbands. I find it easier than "guessing" what a serving is because when it was all cooked together, I overestimated myself.

So, I guess, if you have the time and are willing to do a few more dishes, I find it easier for me to make mine separately then lump it together and try to sort it out. There are some things this doesn't apply to but it works for the most part.
i am new at this but ditto plus some stuff i change my ingredients to make healthier
April 18, 2012 5:15 PM
QUOTE:

I create a recipe with all the ingredients used in the meal in full quantities (eg. 400grams of mince, 2 cans of tomato soup, etc). Then I will divide the recipe up into serving sizes (this is easy because there's only 2 of us, so I usually do 2 serves). With a soup, I would recommend doing the recipe, weighing it up and creating serving sizes based on the weight. Then you can measure out a portion of it and know roughly how many calories in it.
Hope this makes sense.


This^^
  13062253
October 8, 2013 8:16 AM
I made a batch of sour cream enchiladas that produced 11 enchiladas. In the my recipes calculator tool on mfp do I say the number of servings just for the flour tortillas is 11 or 1? I am trying to save the entire recipe for future use. Thanks in advance!
October 8, 2013 8:23 AM
QUOTE:

I made a batch of sour cream enchiladas that produced 11 enchiladas. In the my recipes calculator tool on mfp do I say the number of servings just for the flour tortillas is 11 or 1? I am trying to save the entire recipe for future use. Thanks in advance!


I would put the entire thing in the recipe builder, so if you use 11 tortillas in a recipe then when you add your ingredients add 11 tortillas, same way with all the other ingredients for the whole pan. Then at the top you could make it 11 servings which would tell you what each individual enchilada would be. That way if you actually eat 2 enchiladas then you would put you had 2 servings in your tracker for that meal. Hope I didn't confuse you more!
  10233165
October 8, 2013 10:01 AM
Thank you!
October 8, 2013 10:09 AM
All of the above, sometimes in the event I don't feel like guesstimating servings on the recipe I do put 1. And when I divide the dish into servings on plates or into tupperware I then enter the food item on my diary and put the amount as .25 or .50 depending on that.
January 29, 2014 2:12 PM
I have not found anyway of typing in ingredients and having it calculate the calories.

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