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How to Calculate Calories in Homemade Food

author image Leigh Wittman
Leigh Wittman has been writing professionally since 2007. She writes primarily on health, career advice, outdoor pursuits and travel for various websites. Wittman is a licensed nurse and studied nursing at Arizona State University.
How to Calculate Calories in Homemade Food
Figure out the calories in a homemade meal. Photo Credit Warren Goldswain/iStock/Getty Images

Homemade meals are often the tastiest and healthiest options while on a diet. Though homemade foods do not have nutrition labels to aid in calorie counting, determining the calorie content in your favorite homemade dishes only takes a few minutes. “Contemporary Nutrition" suggests compiling the nutritional information of your homemade dishes in a recipe holder or binder for quick, easy access to save yourself time in the future.

Step 1

Write down all of the ingredients of the homemade dish. Include the amount of each individual ingredient. For example, if you were making spaghetti with meat sauce, your list may include 6 cups spaghetti, 12 ounces tomato sauce and 1 pound ground turkey breast.

Step 2

Look up the calorie content of each of the ingredients in your homemade dish. For example, according to USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, 6 cups spaghetti, 12 ounces tomato sauce and 1 pound ground turkey breast have 1,319 calories, 88 calories and 681 calories respectively.

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Step 3

Add the calories of all of the ingredients together. For example, 6 cups spaghetti, 12 ounces tomato sauce and 1 pound ground turkey breast have a total of 2088 calories.

Step 4

Divide the total calories of your homemade dish by its number of servings to determine the amount of calories in each serving. For example, if your spaghetti dish serves six people, divide 2088 calories by six, to arrive at the product of 348 calories per serving.

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  • “Contemporary Nutrition”; Gordon M. Wardlaw and Anne M Smith; 2007
  • "Basic Nutrition and Diet Therapy"; Staci Nix; 2005
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