Conagra Science Institute – Nutrition Resources for Health Professionals

FOOD VALUE ANALYSIS TOOL

Do you counsel your clients about the trade-offs of cost, convenience, food preparation skills, and nutrient content of foods made at home from a recipe vs. already prepared? Is nutrition the deciding factor? Does the convenience of preparing a meal quickly factor into their decisions? Do you discuss the value of the client's time to prepare foods?

The Food Value Analysis Tool, commissioned by ILSI North America and developed collaboratively with RTI International and NC State University, offers health professionals a helpful resource to guide client discussions about food-selection decisions and barriers to meeting the dietary guidelines. Cost, convenience, nutrition, and food safety concerns are calculated into the Food Value Analysis Tool so that nutrition educators and clients can discuss trade-offs between various food preparation options.

To introduce the Food Value Analysis Tool, we've developed four demonstration examples. These are snapshots of the types of data and information the Tool contains.

Each demonstration example asks you to consider your client's situation to select foods that factor in cost, preparation time, food preparation skills, and individual food preferences. Each demonstration will result in a comparison of the food for cost, time, and nutrition based on the preparation method. Ready?

TO GET STARTED HERE, SIMPLY:

  1. Select the recipe/food you want to compare. There are more than 100 food options on the website, but for the purpose of these demonstrations we've selected four.*
  2. Select an hourly wage assumption for the client (that is, what is the value of the time to prepare the food).
  3. Click OK.
  4. Review how these preparation methods compare for time, value, and nutrition.
  5. After you review your results, we have a few suggestions about ways to use the tool with your clients.
  6. Explore additional readings about the Food Value Analysis Tool.

See how preparing cooked tomatoes at home differs from buying a canned variety.

CHOOSE YOUR
HOURLY WAGE

i
fresh canned
i ACTIVE
PREP TIME
13 minutes MINIMAL
i VALUE OF
PREP TIME
$4.22 $0.00
i COOKING
TIME
60minutes
(conventional)
3minutes
i CALORIES
(% OF DAILY VALUE)
22
(1.1%)
20
(1%)
FOR A MORE DETAILED REPORT

Visit www.FoodValueAnalysis.org for more comparisons such as nutrients per serving, food groups per serving, and food safety watch outs.

* This is a sample of the Food Value Analysis Tool, commissioned by ILSI, North America, and developed collaboratively with RTI International and NC State University.

Suggested Ways to use the Food Value Analysis tool with your Clients

Consumers face countless food choices and decisions every day. The Food Value Analysis Tool provides a vehicle to open conversations about some of these choices. For example, it can be useful to:

  • Discuss amount of time a client has to prepare a food.
  • Discuss client barriers to preparing food (i.e., time, budget, food preparation skills).
  • Explore food preparation options and how to make small changes in dietary patterns to improve diet quality.
  • Compare nutritional profiles of home-prepared and packaged foods.
  • Discuss differences in preparation time of foods and the time-value factor.
  • Review food safety concerns associated with food and preparation methods.

Additional Readings about the Food Value Analysis Tool:

Price, nutrition, time, and other trade-offs

Mary Muth, Shawn Karns, Michal Zmuda, Michaela Coglaiti, Makr Koyanagi, Kiyah Duffey, Carolyn Dunn, Helen Jensen, Christian Gregory. Nutrition Today (2014) 49(4):76-184.

See Full Article

Utility of a new food value analysis application to evaluate trade-offs when making food selections

Alison Kretser, Carolyn Dunn, Ray DeVirgiliis, Katrina Levine. Nutrition Today (2014) 49(4):185-195.

See Full Article
 
 

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