Assess recipes

How to:

In FoodChecker you can assess foods and drinks as a ‘recipe’ or a ‘product’.

A recipe is any food or drink that you make on site by combining ingredients. Examples of recipes include sandwiches, pasta dishes, tea or coffee, fruit salad, yoghurt with fruit, etc.

NOTE: Some ingredients can be consumed by themselves, eg, apple, yoghurt, etc. These items should still be added to your menu assessment using the ‘Add recipe’ or ‘Add item’ button.


How are recipes classified?

For schools and retail/catering/vending assessments

FoodChecker will classify each recipe as GREEN, AMBER or RED based on the ingredients and the serving size that you enter.

You’ll get an overall classification for the recipe, and feedback on some of the ingredients with suggestions for healthier alternatives.

To classify a recipe, FoodChecker first works out if each ingredient is GREEN, AMBER or RED. Then it works out how much each ingredient contributes to the overall recipe.

Other factors can affect your recipe classification, such as:

  • A recipe can only be GREEN if it includes at least one fruit or vegetable item.
  • Recipes that are deep fried, or recipes that contain deep fried items, will automatically be classified RED (except for sushi and rice paper rolls).
  • For schools, all recipes that contain confectionery are automatically classified BLACK because confectionery is not allowed at any time. 

To learn more about how recipes are classified for schools and retail/catering, see page 25 of the Healthy choices: food and drink classification guide.


For long day care menu assessments

Recipes are not assessed individually because they are part of a one day or one week menu assessment.

You might receive feedback on some ingredients in a recipe, but you won’t get feedback on the whole recipe/meal.


Assessing recipes

You can assess recipes two ways:

  • in a menu assessment (all users)
  • in a vending machine assessment (not available for long day care or schools)
  • in a recipe assessment (school and retail/catering only). Read below for instructions.


My recipe bank / Common recipes

Here are two ways FoodChecker makes it quick and easy to enter your favourite recipes:

  • My recipe bank: When you add a recipe in FoodChecker, you can click ‘Save to recipe bank’ to store it in your account. The next time you want to use that recipe, click ‘My recipe bank’ and find it the list. You can edit the name and ingredients of you want to, or leave it as it is.
  • Common recipes: The ‘Common recipes’ section contains over 200 popular meals, snacks and drinks.

    To use a common recipe in a menu assessment, click ‘Common recipes’ then search the list for the one you want. You can edit the ingredients and quantities to match your own recipe, then add to your menu. You can also save your version of the recipe to ‘My recipe bank’ to use it in future.

Using recipes as ingredients

If you have a ‘base’ recipe that you use often (such as a sauce) you don’t have to enter all of the ingredients to a new recipe each time. You can save the base recipe once, then add it to any other ‘full’ recipe with one click!

For example, if your standard based for pasta sauce is onion, garlic and crushed tomatoes, you can save these three ingredients into one recipe called ‘Tomato sauce base’.
Then when you add the full ‘Spaghetti bolognaise’ recipe, you can add ‘tomato sauce base’ all at once, instead of adding ‘onion’, ‘garlic’ and ‘crushed tomatoes’ to the recipe one-by-one.

When you are in a menu or recipe assessment:

  1. Create the ‘base’ recipe: Click ‘Add recipe/item’, create the recipe (see link), then click ‘Save to bank’.
  2. Create the ‘main’ recipe, then add the base recipe as an ingredient: Click ‘Add recipe/item’, enter the name and details of the main recipe. In the ingredient field, start typing the name of the base recipe, then select the one you want from the drop down list. Continue adding the other ingredients and finish the recipe as normal.



View video in larger size.

  1. Sign in
  3. Select “Assess a recipe”
  4. Enter the recipe name.
  5. Enter the number of serves. 
  6. Click “Add more ingredients”
  7. Start typing the first ingredient. A list of matching options will appear. Click on the option that best matches your ingredient. You can type a little or lot of the name.
    For example, “chick”, “chicken”, “thigh” or “chicken thigh”.
  8. Enter the amount and unit of measurement.
    For example for 500g type “500”,, then select “Grams” from the list. For a 6 apples type “6”, then select “Whole” from the list.
  9. To add another ingredient, click ADD MORE INGREDIENTS and repeat the steps above.
    NOTE: Include all condiments, seasoning or finishes used in the recipe, including salt, sugar and oils/butter.

    TIP: Click SAVE TO RECIPE BANK to store it in your account for future use.

  10. Once you have entered all the ingredients, click FINISH RECIPE ASSESSMENT.
  11. Your result will appear on screen.
  12. Click SAVE ASSESSMENT AS PDF to save a copy of this report.