Brief Diet Assessment for Individuals

I.  Thinking carefully, complete the following report of your usual eating habits (usual means the majority of the time, or 5-6 days of the week):

Dietary Habits

               a.      ____ Eat  fewer than three times a day

               b.      ____ Make food choices that do not meet the Food Guide Pyramid recommendations

  •                                 Yes         No   6–11 servings starches         
  •                                 Yes         No   2–3 3-oz servings meat/substitute
  •                                 Yes         No   3–5 servings vegetables      
  •                                 Yes         No   2–3 servings fruit
  •                                 Yes         No   2–3 servings dairy foods     
  •                                 Yes         No   Eats mono-/polyunsaturated  fats
  •                                 Yes         No   Not over 0% of calories from sugar
  •                                 Yes         No   Not over  1- 2 drinks alcohol/day
  •                                 Yes         No   Low to moderate use of salt             

               c. ____Consume more than 400 mg caffeine/day

               d. ____Uses nutrient supplements:

  •                                 Yes     No     Less than 100% DRI __________
  •                                 Yes     No     About or equal to DRI __________
  •                                 Yes    No      More than 500% DRI or > than UL _

II. Food Choices Ample for Meeting Basic Nutrient Needs for Most Healthy People

                (Aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans*)

4–8 oz protein foods daily including 6 oz fish weekly

3–4 servings of whole grains plus three servings of other grain foods daily

2–4 servings or more of high nutrient vegetables daily

2–4 servings or more of high nutrient fruit daily

2–3 cups milk/yogurt or low fat cheese as a substitute

Fat intake as appropriate for the calorie needs of the individual; at least 3 tsp per day, preferably monounsaturated including omega-3 fatty acids

No more than 1 oz ( 2 Tbsp) alcohol per day for men;

No more than ½ oz ( 1 Tbsp) alcohol per day for women                                                                      

* Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion,  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Help with planning menus for meeting nutritional needs can be found at

III. Compare the above report to the following summary of the contributions of food groups.

Major Nutrient Contribution of Food Groups

Food Group

Major Nutrients Contributed by Many Foods from This Group,

which May Be Deficient

if Food Group is Omitted or Eaten in Less than the Recommended Quantities

Dairy ( Milk, Yogurt, Cheese, Ice cream)

Calcium, Riboflavin, Protein, Carbohydrate (except in cheese), Potassium, (in milk and yogurt) and Vitamins D and A (in milk if fortified)

Beef, Pork, Chicken, Fish, Eggs

Protein, Iron, Niacin, Fat, Zinc


Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folic acid, and Iron if enriched carbohydrates omitted;

Also Zinc and Magnesium if whole grains omitted

Folic acid and iron if peas & beans omitted;


Vitamins C and A, Folic acid, Carbohydrate (in some vegetables), Potassium, Magnesium (in green vegetables)


Carbohydrate, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Potassium

Fats and Oils

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, Vitamin E