Using the Nutrition Program for NEA 2

You can download our resource for NEA 2 on this link.

This shows how the Nutrition Program cab be used for different sections of the Tasks.

If you are a Nutrition Program subscriber, email us for a free copy.

key words NEA 2

Key words used in NEA 2

The chart shows key phrases from exam boards for NEA 2 where The Nutrition Program can be used.

  • The exam boards have similar points to cover
  • Research to find dishes that fit the task –
  • Explain how the dishes meet nutritional needs – look at Traffic Lights, RI, and if they fit with a meal.
  • Look at sensory properties – use The Nutrition Program to draw up a Star Profile.
  • Carry out nutritional analysis of dishes – produce a food label using Nutrition Program
  • Portion control
  • Analyse the nutrition – annotate the food label.
  • Carry out sensory analysis and add tasters, then write evaluation – all done through Nutrition Program.
  • Use sensory descriptors – the Nutrition Program has a Tasting Word Bank
  • Cost the dish – the Nutrition Program has costs of ingredients
  • Conclude and think of improvements.

Tasting word bank

The Nutrition Program has a Tasting word bank which you can use for sensory evaluation for NEA 1 and NEA 2 and make a Star Profile.

Find words for

  • Taste, flavour and smell

    Tasting word bank in Nutrition Program

  • Appearance
  • Nutrition

Click the words you want to use and add them to Descriptors for your Recipe.

This example shows how to make a Star Profile for a Fruit salad.

Choose the tasting words – the sensory descriptors – you want to use and give them a Rating mark.

So Fruit salad should be

  • colourful 5/5
  • crunchy 4/5
  • sweet 4/5
  • healthy 5/5
  • attractive 5/5

The Nutrition Program draws the Star for you. Download as JPG

Now add a Taster (Jenny in this example) to taste your fruit salad and get them to score their results.

Now you can Evaluate the results of the fruit salad and see if it needs improving.

Just fill in the spaces for Evaluation.

Download the JPG to present in your work.

You can annotate the Star with more comments.

The final Star Profile compares the results of fats in pastry to see how they taste. You can add several types of pastry to the star to compare results and annotate.

Star profile fruit salad

Star profile with Evaluation filled in

Star profile with completed tasting and Evaluation.

Star Profile with annotation

Star profile for fats in pastry with evaluation

Star profile of fats in pastry with annotation.

This video shows how to do it

Sensory analysis video

Portion sizes for NEA 2

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.

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.