How to: Add a Custom Food & Recipe to MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal (MFP) is a valuable & powerful tool in your arsenal to keep track of your nutrition. The interface is clean, the database of commercial foods and products is massive, and the interoperability between web & iOS is almost flawless.

But one of the best features is the ability to add your own custom foods & recipes. I have been adding the Racing Weight recipes as I make them to My Foods so that I can add their nutritional data on the fly in the future. If I encounter a recipe without nutritional data (like my buffalo hummus), I can recreate the recipe in MFP to generate the nutritional data (and also have it available for later).

Today, I will provide a step-by-step walkthrough of how to add a custom food & recipe to MFP. The first thing to mention before we get started is that creating a custom food or recipe can only be done from the web. The iOS app does not support this feature (and there is no indication that they are planning to add it). But since they integrate so well, it is a minor issue, at most.

(Click on thumbnails for larger version)

Creating a Custom Food in My Fitness Pal

Step 1: Log into MFP

MFP LoginEither login to MFP or create a new account so you can get access to the website. Nothing here to trip you up, just a standard website login.

Step 2: Go to the Foods tab

Main MFP ScreenIn the header, you will find the Foods tab. This is where we will be working for both the custom food & recipe. Click on Food to go there.

Step 3: Select My Foods in the Food Tab

MFP Food TabThe Food tab will default you to your daily menu, which is normally exactly where you want to be. For now, however, we need to go deeper and select the My Foods option at the top to go into the screen where we can create our custom food. Click on My Foods to continue.

Step 4: Select the Custom Food Button

MFP My Foods ScreenThose of you playing our home game should be very unsurprised to learn that we are going to click on the Custom Food button at the top right of the page. Actually creating the custom food is a two step process, so click on Custom Food to get started with step one.

Step 5: Enter Name & Source Information (Step 1 of 2)

MFP Custom Food 1 of 2Simple screen, just two text fields and a button. Enter the source of the food (I am making the Bean, Corn, & Cheese Quesadilla from the Racing Weight Cookbook, so my source is “Racing Weight”) & the name of the food (“Bean, Corn, & Cheese Quesadilla” in my example). Then click on the Continue button.

Step 6: Enter Nutritional Data Information (Step 2 of 2)

MFP Custom Food 2 of 2Enter the nutritional data for the food here, including serving size and macronutrient numbers (In my example, the serving size is “1 Quesadilla” with 450 calories, 10g fat/61g carb/28g protein). Click on Save at the bottom and you are ready to add your custom food to your daily meal plan!

MFP Save Custom FoodIf you don’t know the nutritional data, don’t worry. We will learn how to use the custom recipe option in MFP to determine the nutritional data. Useful! So let’s do that now…

Creating a Custom Recipe in My Fitness Pal

Step 1: Follow Steps 1 & 2 from the Custom Food guide above to get to the Food tab.

Step 2: Select Recipes from Food Tab

MFP Food Tab 2Just like above, there is a option at the top menu that will get us where we are going. Click on Recipes in the top menu to move on

Step 3: Click on Enter New Recipe Button

MFP Recipe ScreenAgain, just like the custom food guide, there is a button that will allow us to begin the process of entering a recipe into MFP. Click on the Enter New Recipe button and get started.

Step 4: Enter Name & Serving Info / Begin Inputting Ingredients

MFP Recipe Nutrition CalcWe are going to do the bulk of our work right here. So do the following: (1) Enter the name of the recipe (“Chicken, Bean, Corn, & Cheese Quesadilla” in my example), (2) Enter the serving size (1 person/1 quesadilla in my example), and (3) Click on Add Ingredient to add the ingredients in your recipe.

Adding ingredients to a recipe is just like entering foods into your daily food plan. You can add a generic ingredients, like “Bell pepper, green”, or specific brand name ingredients, like “Fage Greek Yogurt 0% Fat – Greek Yogurt” to the recipe.

Continue to add ingredients until you have input all of the ingredients in your recipe. The nutritional info will update as you do so. Once you are finished entering ingredients, click on the Save button at the bottom and you have your custom recipe saved. Congratulations, now you can use the nutritional data for your custom food or use the recipe itself!

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