Nutrition Management Software

November 27, 2008

Nutrition Management Software
~James Dunn

There is a strong need in both institutional and home settings for managing nutritional balance. Hospitals, nursing homes, even restaurants, have a need to control recipes based upon diet control; the same need is in every home.

The “Imaging Tool” described previously would interface with software on a computer via Wi-Fi and would allow the user to input specific “Dietary Requirements” and user “Food Preferences” (likes and dislikes, allergies, diabetic, calorie content, time to make, …) and then calculate “Recipes”, for now, today, a week, or a month. The recipes would have pictures and a user rating for those previously prepared by the user; with recommendations for improvements based upon a small survey following the making of each recipe. Information provided would include an accumulation of produce that is needed to be picked up at the store, a list of what is currently on-hand, and a list of dietary supplements recommended that is not part of the recipes selected. Each recipe could be marked for substitution based upon user preference, and recipes could be provided by the computer to provide nutritional deficiencies rather than taking supplements.

Choices for recipes could be based solely upon what food is directly on-hand and perishables in the refrigerator. This would help to keep from throwing food away.

Pressing a function button would allow the user to verify the quantities of “Produce Available” in the pantry and in the refrigerator. The camera would have initially digitized the kitchen and pantry and from then on the location of all stores would be tracked. The computer would point to where to look for an ingredient that is on-hand. Scanning the partially filled bottle of spice for instance would determine if you have enough. One by one the user would check to see what ingredients do not need to be purchased.

While “Shopping”, the cost of each item would be automatically recorded so that at the checkout counter the customer would not be charged more than advertised. An item that is not available will signal the user to choose a different recipe not using that ingredient, or to use another spice or produce that has similar qualities as that which is unavailable.

The computer would assist the user when “Cooking” by displaying the recipe, providing instructions, giving alarms when different procedures are required, taking a picture of the final product for use later, and taking a quick survey as to the quality of the final product.

When “Storing” excess ingredients away, the camera would scan each item as it is put away to both mark the location, scan the list of ingredients (possible allergies), nutritional content, net weight, and to estimate the proportional amount on-hand for future recipes. This same function could be used initially to access all of the produce and quantities on-hand.

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