Basic nutrition tracker | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Basic nutrition tracker

Plan and track your food intake, but don't expect recipes or meal plans.

Mealformation is a multifunction food tracker that allows users to create meal plans, track their food intake, and analyze their nutrition. Overall it is a solid program, although some aspects of it could be more intuitive or better explained.

The interface is fairly straightforward, with various functions--personal profile, a food database, a recipe database, and so on--organized in tabs. The thing that threw us about the program is that it's never made clear what content is included and what content has to be user-generated. It turns out that the program does contain a fairly large database of foods, meaning that users will be able to find much of what they eat in the database and pull up the nutritional information automatically. The recipe database, on the other hand, contains only a small number of recipes, and as far as we can tell, there are just two meal plans; these seem to be present for the sake of example. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but users who are expecting recipes and meal plans may be disappointed, especially as there are other online resources that provide these features for free. We were frustrated that the built-in Help file didn't address any of these issues, although it does provide a sufficient explanation of the program's functions.

Mealformation is free to try but is time- and feature-limited. The program comes as a ZIP file but uninstalls cleanly. We recommend this program to users who need an easy way to plan and track their food intake, although there are other options that provide more content.

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