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 http://www.jennyridgwell.co.uk


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.

Sugar in cakes

Sugar used in cooking comes from either sugar cane or sugar beet

Intrinsic sugars are contained within the cell structure of foods such as fruit and vegetables.
Extrinsic sugars are sugars added to a product during preparation such as caster sugar added to make cakes.
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition recommended that free sugar should be no more than 5%
of daily energy.
Definition of free sugars – those sugars added by manufacturers and cooks plus sugars from
honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices.

Functional properties of sugar (sucrose)
• Provides sweetness to products.
• Dissolves and made into a syrup.
• When heated will caramelise and provide golden brown colour to the product.
Combined with yeast will speed the fermentation process.
• Helps aerate a mixture during the creaming method when combined with fat.
• Acts a preservative in jam.
• Keeps the product moist.

“Sugar gives us that delicious texture and crumb, the lovely golden brown colour and it prolongs how long we can store our bakes”
“Sugar also keeps baked goods moist so sugar-free versions may need to be wrapped in cling film before storage to prevent drying out.” Good Food’s Nutritional Therapist Kerry Torrens

Health risks of too much sugar in your diet
• Tooth decay
• Obesity
• Type 2 diabetes.
Ways of lowering the sugar content in dishes
• In most baked recipes you can reduce the sugar content by up to 30% but test the recipe!
• You can use artificial sweeteners which often provide no calories. They are sweeter than
sugar but some lose their sweetness when heated so the cake will collapse.
• If using fruit that has edible skin such as apples, remove the skin as it is has a sharp
flavour and needs extra sugar to make it more edible.
• Use dried fruit in a cake mix. Fruits such as raisins, apricots or figs are high in natural

Working characteristics – how the ingredient behaves, its performance or how it is used to its best advantage, when in a recipe cooked on its own, or as an accompaniment.
Functional properties  – the purpose for which the ingredient is being used and can be linked to its: structure, nutritional value, taste, texture, appearance, shelf life.

These are exam board definitions – I think they mean the same!!!

Sugar substitutes  – alternative ingredients Xylitol

Sugar explained

Stevia Agave 

Sugar free baking   – blog with information on sugar