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How to keep a food diary


What is a food diary?

A food diary is a complete record of the food your child has eaten during a certain period of time. This record will help the dietitian know your child’s needs.

How do I complete a food diary?

  • Write down every food or beverage that your child eats and drinks each day.
  • Write down how much of the food or beverage your child actually ate or drank. Avoid using words such as “bites” or “sips”. Use standard sizes and weights when you can (tsps., cups, ounces, etc.)
  • Write down brand names of items.
  • Write down cooking methods of food, such as baked, broiled, fried, stewed, or microwaved.
  • Keep these records close to wherever your child eats and drinks. This will help you keep an accurate record.
  • Return the completed record to Nutrition Services or to your St. Jude dietitian.

Sample daily food and drink diary

Name: ________________________________________ Date: ________________________

Time (am/pm)
Food or beverage
Type and/or how prepared
7 am Oatmeal Quaker instant, apples and cinnamon 1 package
    1 tbsp margarine added  
  Milk Whole ¼ c
12 pm Hamburger McDonald’s regular ½
  French fries McDonald’s small ¾ order

Food diary

Name: ________________________________________ Date: ________________________

Please keep a 3-day record of all food and beverages consumed. Bring with you to your next outpatient visit.

Time (am/pm)
Food or beverage
Type and/or how prepared


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).