What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl Nutrition Criteria

About What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl

What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl provides recipes and resources to support building healthy and budget-friendly meals. The site includes both household and quantity recipes, many of which were developed specifically for the Food and Nutrition Service Assistance Programs to build menus that align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The features in What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl are geared to encourage key behaviors emphasized in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and include:

  • Detailed nutrition analysis to help consumers identify healthy recipes
  • Themed searching using nutrition messages to identify recipes corresponding to personal areas of nutrition focus
  • Nutrient filters to refine search results by specific amounts of nutrients including calories, saturated fat, and sodium

Recipes and menu planning serve as the building blocks for healthy meals and overall diet. Healthy meal patterns that meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are achieved by considering the overall food intake over a period of time and consuming a variety of foods. While individual recipes cannot meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, collectively they can contribute to meeting the recommendations.

About Recipes on the Site

  • Recipes are “MyPlate inspired” and emphasize nutrient-rich options from the food groups including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fat-free and low-fat dairy and lean proteins.
  • Minimize the use of ingredients that provide/contribute added sugars, saturated fat and sodium.
  • Recipes can be used in the context of a total diet to build healthy meals when paired with other meal components, such as serving a fruit or vegetable side dish along with your main entrée.
  • Total calories per serving will not exceed a reasonable proportion of an average person’s daily calorie needs.
  • Careful consideration is given to the nutrient profile of each recipe; key nutrients from the What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl include total calories, saturated fat, and sodium.
  • The nutrition information does not include optional ingredients, and salt is included in the nutrition calculation only when an amount is specified.
  • If there is a range provided for in the amount of an ingredient, the smaller amount is used. When a recipe lists a choice of ingredients, the first is used in calculations.
  • Cost calculations are based on the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) 2009 Food Prices Database. The costs presented for recipes are estimates based on national average prices derived using the 2009 Nielsen HomescanTM Panel. Though the average includes regional price variation, the price estimates may not reflect prices paid by individuals. The costs are updated as they become available.

About Recipe Submissions to the Site

  • Recipes submitted to What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl should align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Guiding Principles for this site (see above).
  • Aim to develop recipes that meet the What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl Nutrition Focus messages. For example, submit recipes that highlight whole grains; fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables; fat-free and low-fat dairy; lean protein or seafood.
  • Use SuperTracker’s My Recipe feature to determine if your recipe submission aligns with the Guiding Principles for the site.
  • Include a photo of your recipe.
    • Image files must be .png .gif .jpg .jpeg and less than 1000 KB.
    • Optimal minimum image dimensions are 310x200 (landscape recommended).
    • Images may not be copyright protected or include people.