Is it necessary or even smart to include nutrition info with homemade blog recipes? Let’s chat about it!
Hey friends! I wanted to chat about something that I’ve had a hard time with for YEARS as a food blogger. Originally I was going to just do a little disclaimer explaining my feelings at the end of each recipe post, but I realized I had a TON to say. Like wayyyy too much to fit into a little disclaimer.
Why I am Torn About Including Nutrition Info with Blog Recipes
1. Nutrition Info isn’t Always Accurate.
Fun fact: nutrition labels are allowed to be as far as 20% off. Think about that for a moment. This is negligible for small items, but for things like a meal at a restaurant…that can throw things way off. Think about an “under 600 calories” option: if the meal says it’s 600 calories, it could actually be 720 calories. That’s kind of a lot.
On the same note, the nutrition info generators that we use aren’t necessarily accurate. Like if I type out “a handful of spinach” it will generate some crazy 200 calorie count, but if I do “one ounce” it will give a more accurate reading, like 10 calories. In the same respect, I’ve seen calorie counts that seem way too low. Like wayyyy too low. I don’t want to call out specific names, but one nutrition label generator seems a little misleading. It goes both ways. The nutrition info generator also might not know my exact protein powder I use and will come up with a general number that might not be accurate.
It’s also super hard to make a recipe with exactly the right amount of ingredients. Even with something as precise as baking, there’s no guarantee each cookie you make from my recipe (shout out to Sarah who just made my chocolate chip cookies and shared on Instagram!) will be the same size as I made. Right?
2. Nutrition Info Is Hard for the Average Person to Interpret
Where does the average person get their nutrition info? The internet.
Is the internet always accurate and well researched. Nope. With all of the food trends out there, it’s kind of hard to have a balanced perspective on things. So you could develop a fear of carbs and not make one of my delicious smoothie recipes because of the carbs. Hint: fruit = carbs = fuels your body.
3. Counting Calories can be Addictive and Dangerous
I have such an awareness of how addicting calorie counting or macronutrient tracking can be both from being a part of a healthy living blogger community AND experiencing it myself for a short period of time. Every time I would have to track my food and exercise for school, I would feel the urge to eat less to keep my calorie count below what was recommended OR feel like total crap if I was off of what was recommended.
Obsessing over every morsel you put into your mouth is NOT healthy behavior and I feel bad if I’m perpetuating that.
4. I Advocate Noticing How you FEEL When You Eat
(vs how Many Calories/Fat/Protein is in Your Food)
If the only thing you focus on with foods is the calorie count and/or the macronutrients and/or whatever you fixate on from the nutrition info…you will forget to listen to your body.
You will forget to enjoy your food.
You will forget that food is to fuel your body AND for the fun of eating with friends and family and trying new things.
What’s the point in having a chocolate chip cookie if you don’t take time to enjoy it and are only focusing on the calories or how “awful” it is for you??
Why I Ultimately Decided to Include Nutrition Info WITH MY RECIPES
1. It’s good to have an idea of what you’re putting into your body.
I know that some people are in a place where they are trying to get better about the way they eat. For a certain period of time (and randomly thereafter), it’s perfectly normal to pay attention to the nutrition info. I STILL do this when I’m curious or trying a new packaged food (or trying to compare foods although you should probably just look at ingredients). It’s good to get a general idea while also paying attention to how the food makes you feel.
2. Nutrition information isn’t just calorie counts.
You can find out so many things including vitamin content and macronutrients.
3. I don’t want readers to have to go to a different site to figure out nutrition information.
I like providing helpful resources for readers and if I can use a simple plugin that will give out general nutrition info…why wouldn’t I provide readers with that?
4. I’m curious about how “healthy” my recipes are.
(“healthy” because the word means so many different things to different people)
If I’m making semi-healthy cookies, I want to make sure the sugar content isn’t nuts. I also get super excited when the vitamin content is super high and enjoy highlighting that. I also wonder what a good portion size is and it helps to mess around with my recipe plugin to see exactly how many cookies are a reasonable amount to shove in my face at one time (even if I totally ignore it when I sit down to eat).
Chat with me in the comments…
What are your thoughts on this? Is it really that big of a deal or do I have legit points?