Create a recipe – Overview


This article steps you through entering a recipe so that it is ready for nutritional analysis. This article is also available as a video tutorial, click to play below.  

Video tutorial 


You can create a recipe as a general resource for your workspace. This recipe is then available for you to include in all meal plans and food records wherever they are in your workspace.

You can also create a custom recipe for a specific client. This recipe is then available for you to include in this client's meal plans and food records.

Create the recipe

To create a new recipe for the workspace:

  1. Open or create a workspace.
  2. On the sidebar, click Resources.
  3. In the navigation pane, click New and select Recipe.
  4. On the General tab, enter the name for the recipe.
  5. Enter optional information as required (see below).
  6. Click Save.  

When you click Save, the recipe appears in the navigation pane.

To create a new recipe for a specific client:

  1. Open the workspace containing the client.
  2. On the sidebar, click Clients.
  3. In the navigation pane, select the client.
  4. In the navigation pane, click New and select Recipe.
  5. On the General tab for the recipe, enter its name.
  6. Enter optional information as required (see below).
  7. Click Save.

After you click Save, when you select the client in the navigation pane, the recipe is listed for that client. The recipe is also shown in the client's Resources tab.


The optional fields on the General tab are:

  • Id 1 – Assign a searchable ID number.
  • Id 2 – Assign an alternative searchable ID.
  • Tags – To add a tag(s) for organising and searching for this resource, hover over the field, and click Add resource tag.
  • Description – Add a description of your recipe.
  • Notes – Add notes about the recipe.

Add the ingredients

To add the recipe ingredients:

  1. Click the Ingredients tab.
  2. Click the empty ingredient row and begin typing to search for your first ingredient.
  3. To select an ingredient from the list, use the mouse to click the ingredient (or use the arrow keys to highlight the ingredient and then press Enter).
  4. Enter the amount of the ingredient as a number and a unit, for example, 1 cup. Select the unit of measurement from the dropdown list and press Enter
  5. Optional: Make a note about the ingredient. 
  6. Repeat these steps until all your ingredients are entered.
  7. Click Save.


Optionally, you can group ingredients in your recipe into sections. For example, a cake recipe might have a Cake, a Filling and an Icing section. See Add or edit sections for ingredients

Set retention factors for ingredients

Nutritional changes can occur during the cooking process. To reflect these changes in the recipe analyses, set a Retention Factor for affected ingredients.

To set retention factors for ingredients, on the Ingredients tab:

  1. Point to the first ingredient and click the  Ellipsis button that appears.
  2. Select Set Retention Factor
  3. In the Select Retention Factor Group box, search for and select a food similar to this ingredient on which to base your retention factors.
  4. In the Select Cooking Process box, choose from the list of cooking methods.
  5. To move to the next ingredient in your recipe, click Next, and set the appropriate retention factor.
  6. Repeat as required. 
  7. When you have finished applying retention factors, select Apply.
  8. Click Save.

The retention factors you've set are show next to each food on the Ingredients tab, as shown in this example:


Setting retention factors for ingredients accounts for vitamin, mineral and alcohol loss during cooking. When an ingredient is used in a very small quantity you can often ignore it.

Set the serves for the recipe

You can set serves either as a number of serves or as the weight of one serve.

To enter the serve information for the recipe, on the Ingredients tab:

  1. Select Number of serves or Serve weight (g).
  2. Enter the number of serves or the grams per serve, as required.
  3. Click Save.


Setting the serve information enables you to view the nutritional analyses per serve in the analysis pane

Set the yield for the recipe

To ensure an accurate analysis per 100g for a cooked recipe, set the recipe's yield. You can set the yield using either a yield percentage or a final weight of the cooked recipe.

If you do not know the raw weight to calculate the percentage, you can toggle the Yield button to say Final Weight and enter the weight of the cooked recipe. FoodWorks does the same calculation but uses the tally of entered ingredient amounts as the raw weight in the calculation.

To enter the recipe's yield, on the Ingredients tab:

  1. Select Yield (%) or Final weight (g).
  2. Enter the number for the percentage or the weight in grams, as required.
  3. Click Save.


  • Yield (%) describes the percentage weight change that occurs during the cooking process.

    For example:
    If raw weight = 1810g and the final weight =1665.2 then the Yield (%) (or moisture change) for the recipe = 92% (1665.2/1810)

  • Entering the yield changes the nutritional analyses slightly to reflect water and alcohol losses during cooking. Setting the yield adjusts the total weight, water and alcohol values. In turn, this changes the concentration of other nutrients. 

Enter a method

To enter the recipe's method:

  1. Click the Method tab.
  2. Enter the instructions.
  3. Click Save.


The text you enter on the Method tab does not affect the recipe nutritional analysis. To account for the nutritional changes that occur during cooking use Yield and Retention Factors.

Override the calculated nutritional results

By default, the nutritional analyses for your recipe are calculated from the ingredient and yield information. For a recipe it is rare that you would override the calculated analyses, so you can often skip the Overrides tab.

However, in some cases you might choose to override these calculated results. For more information, see Enter or edit nutrient overrides for a recipe.

Add common measures

You can add your own common measures to your recipe, such as slice or bowl.

Then, when you use this recipe as an ingredient in another recipe or as a food within a food record or meal plan, you'll have the option to use the common measures you've created. (If you do not add common measures, you'll have the standard options available such as g, kg, serve.)

To set common measures for the recipe, on the Measures tab:

  1. Enter the name of the common measure.
  2. Enter the corresponding weight in grams.
  3. Optional: Enter a description of the measure.
  4. Click Save.


Other options for measures include:

  • Default measure – Select this box to make this common measure the default (or first) response in other recipes or food records where this recipe is used as an ingredient or food.
  • Copy measures from – Click Copy measures, then use the search box to find a similar food or recipe to base your common measures on.

Enable volume measures for a recipe

You can enable volume measures (e.g. cup, mL and L) for a recipe. This is especially helpful if the recipe is a liquid.

Then, when you use this recipe as an ingredient in another recipe or as a food within a food record or meal plan, you can use volume measures to enter the quantity.

To do this, you determine the Volume Conversion Factor (VCF) by entering how much a certain volume of this recipe weighs.

If you also select the Liquid checkbox, the analyses for the recipe are also shown per 100mL.

To enable volume measures, on the Measures tab:

  1. Enter the number of millilitres (mL) and its accompanying weight in grams (g). For example, in the Volume cell enter 100mL = 115g
  2. Select the Liquid checkbox if you wish to show the analyses per 100mL. 
  3. Click Save.
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