- Recipes are appropriate for programs based on the 2010 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Recipe must include yield. Serving size is preferred but not mandatory.
- Recipes appear to be accurate/tested.
- Recipes use low cost, readily available ingredients.
- Recipes use precise and simple measurements.
- Recipe instructions follow the order of ingredients.
- Recipes can be prepared relatively quickly. Those that include an estimated amount of time to prepare and cook are given preference.
- Recipes are easy to read with clear and few instructions.
- Recipes use no more than 15 ingredients.
- Recipes list basic equipment needed.
- Recipes follow appropriate food safety precautions and/or cooking temperature recommendations.
Many of the recipes in the Recipe Finder have been submitted by programs that have received funding from the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Each recipe has been reviewed by a Registered Dietitian at the Food and Nutrition Information Center, and has been analyzed for nutrient content to create the Nutrition Facts label. Dietitians use these criteria and other internal guidelines to evaluate recipes for inclusion into the database. Professional judgment may allow a recipe to be included that meets most but not all of the criteria (e.g., recipes may lack serving size or preparation time).
Every effort has been made to include those recipes appropriate for use when teaching the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Recipes taken individually may appear higher or lower than recommended in certain nutrients, but when consumed as part of an entire day's intake, would contribute to a healthy diet. For example, a food such as a cream sauce may be high in saturated fat. However, an appropriate serving size can be included in the diet and meet the recommendation that total saturated fat intake should be less than 10 percent of total calories daily.