How to show RI Reference Intake for recipes for GCSE

Step by step on how to use Nutrition Program to show nutritional value of recipes for different age groups.

I’ve chosen Fish cakes made with salmon and potato and served with tartar sauce.

First create the recipe in My Recipes. The Nutrition Program shows the nutrition for 100g and a portion. You can get this image by clicking Print.

You may want the cost of the recipe – just click Costs and do a screen grab.



Nutrition Program shows Costs for 100g, per portion and for the recipe

If you want to look at RI Reference Intake, go to Nutrition, scroll to bottom of screen and the bar chart pops up for RI woman, RI man and RI 5-10 year old.

Reference Intake bar chart

If you are making the dish for a child, teenager or adult, and you need the nutrition for that age group, go to My Meals.

Create a new meal – you could call it Fish Cakes – My example is for 11-14 year olds, Male, Lunch


Nutrition analysis teenager

In Find Recipe, add Fish cakes with tartar sauce which you saved in My Recipes.

Click Nutrition and you will see how the Fish cakes meet the needs of a meal. In this cake they provide 63% of meal intake which is good as you would serve other vegetables and a dessert or starter.

You can see from the traffic lights that this dish is a bit high in fat, so you can change the recipe.

Portion sizes for NEA 2

Portion sizes are needed for NEA 2 and you must show how your choice of dishes has the right portion control. But how do you know?
An average man needs 2,500kcal a day for a healthy body weight.

An average woman needs 2,000kcal a day for a healthy body weight.

Our video link shows how to use The Nutrition Program for portion sizes

How to find a portion size

Exam board NEA 2 marking statements



Planning  – Accurate portion control was evident Eduqas

Accurate and excellent knowledge of nutrition is demonstrated AQA  – need to have portion sizes to do this


Presenting – Demonstrates excellent portion control OCR 


You can check the portion size for meat, fish, chicken, fruits and vegetables on BUPA website

It’s a good idea to check out portion sizes of your favourite dishes using supermarket ready meals.

Sainsbury’s Ready Meals (Be good to yourself) give clues and their site shows portions.

How many portions does crumble serve?

What about the puddings?

So for your GCSE Food Preparation Assessment choose

Main course 350-400kcal portions – don’t forget you may serve with rice and vegetables

Desserts about 300kcal and portion 60-100g

Nadiya Hussain’s Pear and Blackberry crumble recipe which serves 4.

Each portion provides 856kcals – the average supermarket dessert provides 200-300kcal.

If portion serving were increased to 8 then the portion is reduced to 428kcal which is a healthier option.



New Videos for NEA 2 portfolio

Have a look at our videos to show how to use the Nutrition Program for NEA 2

Lots of tips on how to use the Program for your portfolio

How to carry out nutritional analysis of a recipe
How to make a recipe healthier
How to find the portion size
How to write the recipe method
How to cost a recipe
How to carry out sensory evaluation

Tips for NEA 2 – Food Styling

Presenting dishes for NEA 2

Presentation skills are essential for the final dishes for NEA 2.

When I photographed my dishes that I tested for Food Preparation Assessment NEA 2, they needed great improvement.


Vegetarian lasagne – very poor presentation needs garnishing

chicken pie

Chicken pie with flaky pastry needs some garnish and serving ideas

whisked sponge

Whisked sponge layered with whipped cream and fruit

This is my Pinterest Food styling NEA 2 board link

Food teachers – get your students to research how to style food for presentations and search for their dishes.


My Pinterest Food Styling board

Visit my website for recipes


NEA 2 Food Preparation Assessment

Food Preparation Assessment NEA 2

This resource, Food Preparation Assessment Task 2 is written to match the requirements of the exam boards AQA, OCR and Eduqas for the Non exam assessment Food Preparation Task 2 which contributes 35% of the total mark towards Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE.

Each exam board has a different mark scheme and uses slightly different wording but the ways to carry out research, planning, cooking, analysing and evaluating follow a similar process.

My aim in this resource is to break down the parts of the exam so that students can see a clear way to produce a portfolio of work within the page limits required. This resource can be used as a Practice Task before starting Exam Board Tasks for NEA 2.

The 3 hour practical is nothing new, and I’ve used a similar method of teaching from when I started in the 1970s. In those days the CSE exam also included things like ironing a shirt, cleaning football boots or starching a tray cloth. So let us be grateful that we have improved!

Challenges that I think you will face are

  • The internet provides thousands of recipe choices and students may waste time trawling for ideas – in the 1970s I had a box of trusted school recipes that worked and we used those. So steer them towards reliable websites shown at the end of this resource.
  • Creating a time plan with ‘dovetailing’ – there are clever ways to show this with Gannt charts and spreadsheets but I think cutting and pasting onto paper or working on a Word Table work fine.
  • Choosing dishes that are highly skilled – I think it is better to cook something delicious and to serve it attractively than to scale up the high skill ladder making flaky pastry and hollandaise sauce. Many high skills are high in fat – think of the pastries and sauces – what about healthier options?
  • Nutritional analysis – some of those high skill, fatty dishes are going to make the Traffic light labels go into red alert – so what do you do?! What size portions?!
  • Overthinking the presentation of the portfolio – there is a page limit, so think of writing fewer words, use annotations of photographs and charts, and find smarter ways to present things concisely.
  • The star profile – I think this is a powerful tool, quick to use and which can present your tasting results and evaluations easily – you can draw one by hand, use Excel, or make use of the Nutrition Program. I know it’s my program, but we have worked hard to make it student friendly.As always my thanks to Dave Smith, a London D&T teacher, for his drawings which raise issues with humour and liven the written word. Dave has been producing drawings for me since 1990, and they always make me smile.
    And thanks to Jill Oliver a retired, long serving HOD with vast food teaching experience who kept me up to date with the new GCSE and helped produce this resource.