Sponsored by the USDA, this website contains all of the information that you could ever want to know about the recently redesigned Food Guide Pyramid in it’s new form – MY PLATE. This interactive site describes the recommendations represented on the Plate breaking the information down into each food group, contains helpful information on physical activity, and allows users to record and analyze their own diet using the Menu Planner.
How to use Menu Planner:
- While on the home page, click on Plan a Healthy Menu on the right under I WANT TO…
- As a new user, fill in your information on the left and submit.
- To be able to save your meal entries and use Menu Planner as a returning user, click on the Register tab and create a username and password.
- Click on the Menu Planner tab to begin entering food items.
- Search for different food items and choose the correct food item.
- Enter in the correct amount and choose the meal time. The food item will drop into the corresponding food group, comparing your actual intake to your personalized recommendations.
- To see a detailed report of your intake, click on the Reports tab.
- Daily Menu Report compares your actual intake to your goal intake, showing areas for improvement. You can also see your caloric intake, consumption of “extras,” and saturated fat intake for the day. You can also find tips for taking the next step toward healthier living using My Next Steps found in the bottom right-hand corner of the page.
- Weekly Menu Report is similar to Daily Menu Report, but compares actual intake to goal intake for a 7-day period.
Even though this site might take some time to use, the reports can be extremely helpful in tracking caloric intake as well as identifying areas for improvement in order to eat, live, and feel healthier.
Are you wondering how many calories were in that Crunchwrap Supreme that you devoured from Taco Bell last night? Ok, probably not. But if you are ever curious, check out CalorieKing to find nutritional information for thousands of common foods and beverages. There is no need to join and pay for this service. All you have to do is click on Food Search to search the database for free. Just type in your food and click Search.
Obviously, this website does not contain nutritional information for every single food item; however, you can find nutrition facts for the following and more:
- restaurant menu items
- snack foods
- fruits and vegetables
- frozen/convenience meals
- condiments and extras
- alcoholic beverages.
This is just one easy way to know the nutritional content of some of your favorite foods and drinks. You might even be able to surprise your friends by knowing how much sugar is in that venti White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks….you can look that one up for yourselves….
* The Vanderbilt Wellness Resource Center does not endorse the content found on this website, but believes the search option to be a helpful resource for obtaining nutritional information.
Even if you don’t have a fully stocked kitchen in your dorm, you can still benefit from the information that Cooking Light provides on their website…..even without the magazine subscription! Cooking Light has committed itself to providing recipes that are not only delicious, but good for us too. Their site contains information on various foods and cuisines, helpful cooking tips (for those of us who never stand a chance of being a contestant on Top Chef), and reliable and easy-to-understand information on nutrition and health. And in case you are curious, each recipe also lists its nutritional information.
Interested in knowing more about nutrition and what it actually means to eat healthy? From this page, check out articles highlighting topics such as healthy living and eating habits, the best and the worst menu choices, portion control, the importance of calcium and other vital nutrients found in food, guide to smart holiday eating, what to eat before/after a workout, and even why chocolate is good for us.
So, now you’re on your own without a wonderful mom to cook delicious dinners for you every night. You watch the Food Network and decide to be a little adventurous and offer to cook dinner for your friends this weekend. And no, you cannot make them mac and cheese from a box. Check out this section for instructional videos, definitions, explanations, and how-tos for almost any cooking technique, utensil, or ingredient you may need to pull off the perfect dinner party. Your mom will be so proud.
Quick and Healthy:
If you’re looking for a healthy recipe, but don’t have the time, energy, resources, or money to get to the store to purchase a bunch of fancy ingredients, this section is for you. This page highlights “Superfast” meals such as pasta dishes, appetizers, sides, desserts, and more with many of the recipes containing 5 ingredients or less – perfect for those of us without access to a fully stocked walk-in pantry. Next time you offer to bring an appetizer to a party, try the Tex-Mex Pinto Bean Spread or the Spinach-Parmesan Dip –guaranteed to please.
Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator
BMI is a measure of body based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. BMI has limitations. It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build and it may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass.
- Underweight = <18.5
- Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
- Overweight = 25-29.9
- Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
A body fat assessment performed at the Vanderbilt Wellness Resource Center for free would be a better indicator of body fat percentage.