The Nutritional Analysis Project is the first marking period project for all students in Mr. Zunick's Biology and Honors Biology classes.


Nutritional Analysis Project

The purpose of this project is to examine the nutritional quality of the foods you eat over the course of 3 days and compare it to recommendations provided by the federal government.

This assignment is broken down into 7 parts:


Download the Food Tally Microsoft Word document.  (Right click on the link to save it to your hard drive.) 

Keep a list of all the foods you eat and drink over three days.  One of the days must be a weekend.

Be as specific as possible when recording this information.  For example, don't write "milk" -- write "whole milk", "skim milk", etc.

Include the quantity of food and the method in which it was prepared.  For example, don't write "broccoli" -- write "4 ounces steamed broccoli", "6 florets raw broccoli with ranch dip", etc.


Log onto My Food Record at and select “One Day Analysis” from the “Analyze” menu.

First, enter your personal information (gender, height, weight, and birthday) in the appropriate fields.

You are now ready to begin entering food for the first day. In the box labeled “Search For Food”, type the first food item that you ate on the day 1.  Then click on "Search".

Next, scroll down the list of foods until you find one that best describes what you ate.  You might have to click on the “>” button to see more results.  Click on the “Select” box to the right of the food item. 

Choose the appropriate unit for serving size from the pull-down menu.  Then type in the value for this unit.  For example, to enter 14 grams, select "grams" from the pull-down menu and type in "14".  Select "Add this Amount".  STUDENTS OFTEN EXPERIENCE TROUBLE DURING  THIS STEP.  BE CAREFUL WHEN SELECTING THE CORRECT UNITS FROM THE PULL-DOWN MENU.  Then click on "Add Food".

Continue entering foods in this manner until all everything you ate and drank for the first day has been entered.  Water, medicine, and illegal substances should not be entered.

You can delete or make changes to entries by following the prompts. 

When finished, click on "Save & Analyze Day".  Print this screen.    Label the printout “Day 1”.  STUDENTS SOMETIMES FORGET TO DISPLAY ALL NUTRIENTS.  YOU WILL BE MISSING DATA IF YOU FORGET TO DO THIS!

Now go back to and follow the same directions for days 2 and 3.  When you are finished, you should have separate analysis printouts for each day.



Download the appropriate Nutrient Calculations Workshop Microsoft Excel document.  Select the file for a MALE or a FEMALE.

For each nutrient, enter the values for each day (the “Amount” column on your printouts) under the columns that are marked "Day 1", "Day 2", and "Day 3".  Microsoft Excel should automatically calculate the average amount in the column labeled "Average Intake".

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for each nutrient has already been entered for you.  Microsoft Excel should automatically calculate the degree to which you received the RDA in the column labeled "% RDA".


Log onto My Food Record at and select “Exercise Burn” from the “Exercise” menu.  aEnter your gender, height, weight, and birthday.  Click "Submit".  

Enter the required information:  minutes to exercise and weight.  You should enter “60” minutes to exercise.

Next, select a category, such as bicycling, sports, etc.  Then click “Search”.  Select an exercise that interests you and click on “Calculate”.  If you get an error message, then you probably will need to lower the number of minutes.  You can enter 10 minutes of exercise and then multiply your result by 6 to obtain the number of calories burned in an hour.

Use this function to find fun activities that you could do to burn calories.  Record at least 10 activities on a sheet of paper.  Include the number of calories that you would burn in 60 minutes.


Download the Nutritional Analysis Report Microsoft Word file.

For each nutrient, enter the "Average Intake" and "% RDA" values.  This information can be found on the Excel file that you completed in part 3.

Enter the recommendation ("Increase", "Decrease", "Keep the Same") that is most appropriate.  If you should eat more of that nutrient, write “Increase”.  If should should eat less of that nutrient, write “Decrease”.  In general, if the % RDA lies between 90%-110%, the recommendation should be "Keep the Same".

In the space provided, list a minimum of 10 foods that supply the nutrient that you are evaluating.  Underline at least 5 that you enjoy eating.

In the space provided, list 2-5 major functions for each nutrient.

In the space provided, list 2-5 deficiency symptoms for each nutrient.  A deficiency symptom is what happens to your body if you don’t get enough of that nutrient.

You can find some information by viewing the National Agricultural Library at

You can find additional information by viewing Essential Nutrients at

NOTE:  The last section of the report asks about calories.  Enter the 10 activities that you can do to burn more calories.  Include the name of the activities and the number of calories that you would burn in 60 minutes (see part four).


Write a conclusion to your Nutritional Analysis Report.  Space is provided on the last page of the report file.  The conclusion should be a minimum of 5 paragraphs.

Discuss any data that is surprising or that does not appear to be correct.

Discuss whether or not you thought this project accurately analyzed your diet.  Explain.

Include personal comments that specifically relate to your data.

Discuss knowledge about nutrients or your diet that you learned by doing this project.

Make sure to follow the claim-evidence-reasoning model when analyzing your data.

Include a full introductory paragraph and a concluding paragraph.


Print out the Grading Rubric.

Staple the following pages together in this order:

     1.     Grading Rubric

     2.     Nutritional Analysis Report (6 pages)

     3.     Nutritional Calculations (1 page spreadsheet)

     4.     Daily Nutrient Printouts from Part 2 (1 page for each day)

     5.     Food Tally Sheets (1 page for each day)

Do NOT place the stapled packet into a folder, binder, etc.