Sometimes the tricks for carb counting that I’ve been looking at in the last few posts don’t apply. Then what do we do? The following steps are how I work through these situations:

- Add up the carbs in the whole batch of what I’m making.
- Figure out how much of the stuff I made. This can be weight, volume, or count.
- Divide the total carbs by how much to find out how many carbs are in one thing, or how many carbs are in 1 gram of food, or how many carbs are in some reasonable volume of food.
- Write down this number so that I can use it until the food is gone. I often write it down so that I can reuse it every time I make the same recipe.

First let’s look in more detail at step 1. To find the carbs in the whole batch, I first think about which ingredients have carbs. I’ll post later some help with this. Then I make a list of the ingredients with carbs, and how much of each I used. I calculate how many grams of carbs are in the amount used of each ingredient. Then I add the carbs for the ingredients together, which gives the total carbs in the whole batch.

The hard part of step 2 is knowing whether to use weight, volume, or count. I count the items if the items are distinct and all of the same shape and size. This works for cookies that are all the same, cupcakes, or rolls. If I don’t use count, I think about how I want to measure my child’s portion. For bread or cheesecake, I cut a portion and then weigh it, so I use the weight of the whole batch. For lemonade, I measure a portion in a measuring cup, so I use the total volume of the pitcher of lemonade.

Step 3 is a single mathematical calculation, and so I’m not going to add any comments on it.

For step 4, the only explanation I want to give now is exactly what I write down. I always write the number I calculate in step 3 somewhere I can find it for as long as I expect the food to last. If it’s something I store for a while, I often use my label maker. If I expect to make the recipe the same way every time, I also write on my recipe the number from step 3. If I carb count by number of items like cookies or biscuits, I instead write on the recipe the number from step 1, because then I can easily recalculate if I make the food a different size the next time. Also, even though I use a disher for cookies, I never seem to get exactly the same number out of a recipe.

The remaining posts in this series will be a few examples of this procedure.