Dietary Plan Assignment

Objective: This assignment is designed to assess each student's ability to synthesize the major concepts covered in this course including: dietary record keeping, accurate label reading, and the creation of a diet plan that addresses adequacy, variety, and calorie control.
Students will submit a typed, three day diet plan that addresses their individual dietary needs as identified above while accounting for individual preferences related to the selection of specific nutrient dense foods that meet their dietary reference intakes based upon their age, gender and any special dietary considerations, e.g. pregnancy, desire to lose/gain weight, diabetes, etc.

You are to create for yourself and submit to me a typed dietary plan covering three days. The document must include a summation paper that assesses your previous eating habits and one that indicates what changes you implemented into your dietary plan including information related to recipe alterations, inclusion of different foods, e.g. added a banana at breakfast, stopped eating In-and-Out Double-Double hamburgers, etc. The completed document must include: a summation page, a three day dietary plan (a separate plan for each day). Also please be sure to submit your assignment as one document within the Assignments area of Blackboard.

The alterations to your proposed dietary plan should allow you to introduce deficient energy yielding nutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein), vitamins and minerals and fiber into your diet while eliminating or reducing excessive intake of calories, fat and/or specific vitamins and minerals that constitute a toxicity risk. The need to add or delete food items from your diet should have been identified during the diet diary assignment and various journal activities that were completed previously.
The dietary plan you design is something you should be able to implement immediately without needing to buy any specialized equipment, and your dietary plan should reflect an understanding of nutrition principles as outlined in the text and lecture materials.
If you do not own measuring spoons, cups, bowls, etc. or a food scale, you may need to purchase these items to get accurate data.

Here is how you will be evaluated for your Dietary Plan assignment:

The dietary plan assignment is to be typewritten and saved in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format. The order of presentation is as follows: summation followed by the dietary plan (three days). Each day of the dietary plan is to be submitted on separate pages and in table format (see example below). Each day must be clearly labeled. Your completed packet will include a 800-1000 word summation followed by the three day dietary plan, approximately 4-6 pages. You must combine the summation and the three day dietary plan into one document. I will not evaluate any assignments that are submitted incorrectly-- sorry!

SUMMATION (15 points)

In a 800-1000 word (~2 pages), typed synopsis you are to reflect upon your discoveries made regarding your eating habits and make an evaluative judgment about them. Be sure to include details regarding the specific changes you made based upon what you have learned about nutrition and the negative effects your previous eating habits were having on your health assuming you were not eating a perect diet at the time you recorded your two day diet diary.

The assignment you submit should include an explanation and description of the changes you made from the diet diary assignment completed earlier in the semester.

Your explanation and description should include the following paragraphs:

  • First Paragraph: Identification of your current energy need and your BMI. Your current energy need should be based upon your desire to maintain your current weight, gain weight or lose weight. You should enter your preferred weight on the Daily Calculator web site. Additionally, you should also identify whether your BMI falls within normal ranges or whether you are underweight, overweight or obese and how your energy need addresses your current BMI status. Also, include any statements of agreement or disagreement of the calculations for energy needs based upon personal experience and/or agreement/disagreement with BMI calculations. Be sure to include any reasoning behind extra calorie consumption or a calorie deficit in your plan. Justify why there is a deficit or excess and how this will contribute to desired weight gain or weight loss, if you believe your energy needs calculations are incorrect.
  • Second Paragraph: Explain the excesses and deficiencies you identified in your diet diary and explain how your proposed dietary plan addresses those excesses and/or deficiencies.
  • Third Paragraph: Describe the specific changes you made within your plan that addresses excesses and deficiencies in your energy, macronutrient, vegetable, fruit and fiber intake. You need to be specific!
    • If your dietary practices perfectly addressed your needs in each of these areas, please explain how you consistently achieve this goal.
    • If you are underweight or overweight you should identify how your plan addresses either an increase or decrease in your energy intake to get your BMI within the healthy range.
  • Fourth Paragraph: Explain how the changes you propose will not only reduce the likelihood of a nutrition related disease, but also describe how the proposed changes will provide potential health benefits.
  • Fifth paragraph: This is your conclusion. Briefly summarize the major points from the previous three paragraphs and evaluate the worth of going through the process of creating a three day dietary plan.

If you are unhappy with your current weight, either you wish to gain weight or lose weight, please enter your preferred weight in the Daily Calculator so you can create a diet plan that addresses your caloric need based upon your preferred weight. Your goal is to account for the same number of calories per day as your body requires based upon the the Daily Calculator web site. Please remember that total energy need is an estimate based upon averages. Some individuals may need higher or lower amounts of calories to maintain their weight. Review Units 8-10 for additional details regarding energy need.

DIETARY PLAN (80 points)

After analyzing your eating habits and examining the factors that influence your food choices, you are going to create a new, three day dietary plan. This new dietary plan may incorporate foods you enjoy that may not be considered nutrient dense, but you must incorporate nutrient dense foods that address your dietary reference intakes and the USDA recommendations for 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables and 2 to 2.5 cups of fruit each day. To calculate how much energy in the form of calories your body needs, complete the Energy Needs calculation found at the Daily Calculator web site. Within your dietary plan you must include nutrient information for each individual food item as well as combined daily totals for each nutrient, e.g. carbohydrate, total fat, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, trans fat, protein and fiber grams. Also, be sure to include the number of servings of vegetables and fruits for each of the three days (see Figure 2). You will also provide totals for all three days for each of the categories, e.g. carbohydrates, fat from all five types, protein, fiber grams and servings of vegetables/fruits. A portion of the grade you receive for your plan will be based upon the accuracy of the information you present. For example, you must properly identify the number of calories, grams of each macronutrient (carbohydrates, total fat, saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, protein and fiber) for each food and drink item you list.

Additionally, you will be evaluated on sufficiency. Does your plan meet your energy needs and macronutrient goals? Does your plan address adequacy and variety? Therefore, the dietary plan you create should not repeat any of the same meals during the three day time period to ensure you are achieving adequacy and variety in your dietary plan. Remember, variety is the spice of life, and it may prevent any toxicity, or deficiencies in your diet. Failure to include a minimum of 1200 kcalories per day, or a minimum of 20% of total kcalories from fat will result in a failing grade. Most women need an average of 1600-2200 calories per day while most males need 2200-2800 calories per day. The average carbohydrate intake should be between 225-300 grams for females and 300-375 grams for males; average fat gram need is 40-65 grams of fat for females and 65-95 grams of fats for males; protein intake should be approximately 50-100 grams for many women and approximately 60-150 grams for many men (body weight divided by 2.2 and the quotient multiplied by .8, e.g. 150 lbs./2.2 = 68.2 kg * .8 = 55g of protein needed on average daily); Fiber intake should be between 25-35 grams each day.
Please review the Energy and Macronutrient web page that will explain how you will calculate your percentage of calories for energy, carbohydrate, fat and protein and review the Grading Rubric thoroughly to see how you will be evaluated on this assignment.

VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure you are recording the grams of carbohydrates, fat, protein and fiber from each of the food items and NOT the calories from carbohydrates, fats, proteins and fiber. This is critical! You also need to record the total calories each day for the food and drink items you consume.



Dietary Plan Day One - Example
Food Item/Serving Size Calories CHO Total Fat SatFat MonoFat PolyFat Trans Fat Protein Fiber
Banana (1 medium) 105 27 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
Oatmeal (2/3 cup) 319 57 5 1 2 2 0 11 8.5
Whole Grain Toast
(2 slices)
138 23 2 .5 .5 1 0 7 4
Smart Balance
(1 Tbsp)
47 0 5 1 2 2 0 0 0
Raisins (2 Tbsp) 123 33 0 0 0 0 0 1 1.5
Brown Sugar (2 Tbsp) 105 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Whole Grain Bread
(2 slices)
138 23 2 .5 .5 1 0 7 4
Turkey Breast (3 oz.) 85 0 <1 0 0 0 0 20 0
Provolone Cheese
(1 oz.)
100 <1 7.5 5 2 0 0 7 0
Red Lettuce (1/2 cup) 2 <1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tomato (1/4 cup) 8 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .5
Orange (1 medium) 69 18 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
Grapes (1 cup) 104 27 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Aussie Bite (1) 130 15 7 3 0 0 0 2 2
Blackberries (1/2 cup) 31 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 4
Shrimp (5 oz.) 103 1 1.5 <1 <1 <1 0 20 0
Stir Fry vegetables (2 cups) 30 6 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
Szechuan Stir Fry Sauce (2 Tbsp) 50 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Grapeseed Oil
(1/2 Tbsp)
60 0 7 1 2 9.5 0 0 0
Udon Noodles (2 oz.) 190 37 1.5 0 0 0 0 8 3
Crunchy Noodles
(1 oz.)
146 15 9 1 0 0 0 3 0
Nonfat Frozen Yogurt (8 oz.) 300 36 9 5 2.5 0 0 6 3
Raspberries (1 oz.) 16 4 <1 0 0 0 0 <1 2
Blueberries (1 oz.) 21 5 <1 0 0 0 0 <1 1
Daily Totals 2420 297g 59g 18g 12g 16g 0g 98g 42.5g
Goals for Calories/Macronutrients *2500 *375g *56g 19g 19g 18g 0g *125g *35g
Percentages of Goals for Calories/Macronutrients 2420g/
Vegetable Servings 5 Fruit Servings 5  

*Based upon 2500 calories and 60% carbohydrates, 20% fat, 20% protein and 35g of fiber.

The example above (Table: Dietary Plan Day One - Example) is only representative of one day. For this assignment you need to submit a three day plan.

The rubric for evaluating your Diet Diary assignment is located within the Assignments area of Blackboard. Please reference the rubric prior to submitting your Diet Diary assignment.

Dietary Plan Checklist
Did You Remember to Include the Following in Your Assignment:

- A reference to your individual energy need from the Calorie Calculator web site?
- A reference to your Body Mass Index calculation?
- Descriptions of your macronutrient intake and a specific and detailed plan explaining how your proposed plan corrects for excesses and/or deficiencies identified in the diet diary assignment?
- A reference to your proposed vegetable and fruit intake and how you made necessary corrections based upon your diet diary assignment?
- Three tables-- one for each day of your proposed plan?
- All tables include all food and drink you plan to consume (excluding non-caloric beverages)?
- The serving sizes, energy and nutrients for each serving you plan to consume are listed in the table?
- Totals for each day of energy and each macronutrient you plan to consume?
- Accurate calculated percentages that fall within the acce[ptable ranges for each category, e.g. calories, carbohydrates, fat (all five categories), protein and fiber?
- Totals of all categories (calories, carbohydrates, fat from all five types, protein, fiber grams and vegetable/fruit servings) for all three days?


Web sites for finding the amount of calories in various food items, reading labels and understanding serving sizes:


Dietary Plan Grading Rubric

The rubric for evaluating your Dietary Plan assignment is located within the Assignments area of Blackboard. Please reference the rubric prior to submitting your Dietary Plan assignment.

Please see Dietary Plan Example for a completed assignment that received an 'A' grade in a previous semester.