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What is Turtle Nutrition

Turtle Nutrition is a programmatic way to explore the nutritional content of the foods we eat.

Turtle Nutrition is a fork of Activities/Turtle Art that includes blocks to extract the nutritional content of food. These data can be used to plot charts, create formulas, calculate the nutritional content of recipes, and maintain a log of food eaten.


Where to get Turtle Nutrition

How to use Turtle Nutrition

Please refer to the Activities/Turtle Art pages for basic instructions on how to use the block interface and the details of various toolbars.


get calories
returns a number that corresponds to the number of calories in a food item
get protein
returns a number that corresponds to the amount of protein in a food item
get carbohydrates
returns a number that corresponds to the carbohydrates in a food item
calories eaten
the number of calories eaten
protein eaten
the amount of protein eaten
carbohydrates eaten
the amount of carbohydrates eaten
get fiber
returns a number that corresponds to the amount of fiber in a food item
get fat
returns a number that corresponds to the amount of fat in a food item
consume a food item and add its nutritional content to the total amount eaten
fiber eaten
the amount of fiber eaten
fat eaten
the amount of fat eaten
digest meal
reset the nutritional content eaten to zero
get name
returns the name of a food item as a string
add food
(in versions 202.1+) the 'add food' block lets the user add new foods to the food palette


food blocks
various foods that can be used with the program. See below for instructions on how to modify the activity to add your own foods: apple, banana, orange, cake, cookie, bread, corn, potato, sweet potato, tomato

In the example below [1], the "get calories" block is used to extract the number of calories in several foods. Those data are then used in a bar chart.



Learning with Turtle Nutrition

Most activities around learning about nutrition as based on the relaying of facts and advice. This activity offers a different approach: computation.

forward get_calories banana

Extending Turtle Nutrition

While it is not trivial to extend Turtle Nutrition, it provides a good opportunity for exploration.

  1. Have the learners make lists of common foods
  2. Make or find pictures of these foods
  3. Look up the nutritional content of these foods: calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fat [2]
  4. Create SVG images for the foods similar to [3]
  5. Edit [4] to add your new foods to the food palette


Note: As of version 202.1, there is an "add food" block that will replace Steps 4 and 5 above.

Feel free to ask for help if needed.

Reporting problems

Please file bugs at [5].

To list all open tickets of Turtle Nutrition, see [6].


  • Walter Bender wrote and maintains the code.
  • Brian Silverman is the first author of Turtle Art.