Cooking for a family of 7

amayah04 Posts: 4 Member
Hello everyone, I'm a little confused on how I can track my daily meals while also cooking for my family. We will be eating the same foods, so no separate meal for them and me. An example of what we eat for breakfast would be. Ten large eggs scrambled with cheese, 2 cups of oats with 2 part milk and water, and also 1/3 cup of sugar, and 13 pattie sausages. How can I track my calories with this meal? I also love cooking casseroles for dinner, how do I log my portion size for casseroles dishes


  • HeidiCooksSupper
    HeidiCooksSupper Posts: 3,830 Member
    You're going to need to do a good bit of arithmetic and measuring but once you have your regular cooked meals entered as your own recipes, you can use them to figure out how much of anything to load onto your own plate.

    The things to remember are to include all ingredients in your figuring and to weigh the resulting whole recipe. Once you do that, you can determine your own servings, how many calories you want them to be and how much your serving weighs.

    Let's say, for example, the ten large eggs (10 x 70 calories) scrambled (in 2 tbsp butter? - 2 x 100 calories) + 6 ounces of cheese (6 x 100 calories) weighs 28ish ounces (about 795 grams) and totals 1500 calories.

    You want 250 calories of this on your plate. (250/1500) x 795 is how many grams of it to put on your plate -- and trust me, in a case like this grams are easier to weight accurately on the scale than ounces.

    A 250 calorie serving of your eggs as described would be 132.5 grams of it -- say between 130g and 135g. Once you've scooped yours out of the communal bowl and weighed your serving, the rest can have at it.

    Repeating, the things to remember are to
    --include all ingredients in your figuring. Water for example has no calories but it adds a lot of weight to a pot of soup!
    --weigh the resulting whole recipe. Remembering to weigh the pot it will be in or wrestling a hot pot onto a scale is a pain so sometimes just adding the initial weights of the ingredients is close enough. Some things, though, lose a lot of weight in cooking. If your pound of raw sausage turns into 1/2 a pound of cooked sausage plus a lot of fat that gets drained away, you probably want to weigh after cooking and use a "cooked and drained" calorie figure.
    --if your calculation of a serving comes up with a wildly improbable amount, check you arithmetic. I have the habit of multiplying 10 x 20 and getting 2000 instead of 200.
  • Evamutt
    Evamutt Posts: 1,742 Member
    I agree with above, enter your family meals in the recipe builder decide what portion your going to eat then weigh it out. I'd like to add-don't delete your recipe once ya'll eat it. You can edit it if you use different ingredient or amounts
  • KimiAR
    KimiAR Posts: 117 Member
    I usually cook my eggs seperate from anything I make my kids. That helps. Plus the patties are easy to add. Dinner can be trickier. I just try to find something similar in the data base and eat a huge salad with it. That has worked well for me in the past (a lot of time I will just put the dish over salad even). You may have to seperate your own stuff out... yes it’s more of a pain/headache but if that’s what it takes then do it.
    (Ps. We have 7 too💕)
  • amayah04
    amayah04 Posts: 4 Member
    Thanks y'all for the help. I will be using this helpful information.
  • moonangel12
    moonangel12 Posts: 971 Member
    It’s been a learning curve for me as well (family of 6). I have several go to recipes and have them entered in. Soups I haven’t figured out precisely yet because I make such a big pot at one time it maxes out my scales so I normally end up over estimating based on number of servings (I will say I had 1/10 of what I made when really it stretched way further than that, but it wasn’t a heavy hitter anyway so it worked out OK - I was satisfied and within my calories for the day). I also am “a little of this, a little of that” kind of cook so That throws a wrench in tracking as well. In time you will get much better at guesstimating (make it a game to see if you can guess how many grams are in the pinch of shredded cheese or slice of ham, handful of potato chips, etc.)
    for example: I did chicken stroganoff over mashed potatoes tonight. I weighed out my potatoes, entered in a little less than the total weight under “russet potatoes” then added in some entries for butter, cream, chicken stock to round it out (I knew how much went in to the whole pot so I just did a fraction for my serving). The stroganoff I drained the liquid, put most of the weight under “chicken breast”, a little more for mushrooms and onions, then added in sour cream to account for the calories in the liquid part of the sauce (mostly water/chicken stock). It’s not super accurate, but I am to the point in my WL journey I am comfortable with the process enough to do it this way.
  • Anthem76
    Anthem76 Posts: 81 Member
    I know you said no separate cooking/meals and that you would be eating the same thing your family eats. But that would NEVER work for me in my family, as my family members have very different goals than me, which is weight loss. I cook for a family of 6, which includes my husband and 4 sons (who are all thin/fit, active, and hearty eaters). They need high calorie food and lots of it! While losing weight, I keep my own food very basic. It's tasty and satiating, but also easy to cook, weigh, and log. I eat a lot of salads, veggie omelettes (with loads of veggies), huge bowls of cooked frozen veggies with some chicken and cheese thrown in. These meals can be made/weighed in just a couple minutes. On weekends, I bake a bunch of chicken, which I then dice and freeze to add to salads or veggies. Sometimes I make a big batch of something like bean/veggie soup that I can eat from over a week. I like knowing exactly how many calories I'm eating. I've explained to my kids why I'm eating separate food for the time being. They understand and have been encouraging. Once I'm in maintenance, and have more calories to play with, I will probably return to eating more of what they eat. I anticipate keeping one salad meal a day though. It's lower calorie, but fills me up and lets me bank extra calories for something more caloric later in the day or week.

    Is there some reason why you need/want to eat the same thing as your family?
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,072 Member
    edited June 2020
    MFP has a great recipe builder. Recipe Builder + kitchen scale + dry erase noteboard in the kitchen are tools I use often.

    For dinner tonight I made a baked pasta. I entered all the ingredients based on weight into the recipe builder. This is where the dry erase board comes in handy - I have one stuck by magnets to the side of the fridge. I jot down the items I add in, and their weight, as I'm cooking.

    MFP counts the total calories of the dish when I then enter the details into the recipe builder.

    Using the food scale, I weigh the dish used (and make a note of it on my board). When the baking was done, I weighed the final dish w/ pasta in it. (Cooked weight will be different than raw weight as the moisture changes.) Subtract the weight of the dish, and my pasta for the family dinner was 2070 grams. I made the recipe equal to 2070 servings. I weighed what I put on my plate (311 grams) and so logged my dinner as 311 servings. I put aside some for lunch for me tomorrow, which weighed 288 grams.
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,633 Member
    everyone in my house eats the same thing. learn how to use the recipe builder.