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Covent Garden soups

I'm pretty new to SW and to be honest, these syn calculations confuse the life out of me! For example, when I use the brand calculator for New Covent Garden soups the syn value is always loads higher than if I use the manual syn calculator.

An example - minestrone : by brand, 5.5 syns for 300ml, 11 for 600ml.

Calculated manually from nutritional information on carton :
Energy - 156kj/37kcal
Protein - 1.4g
Carbs - 5.8g
Fat - 0.9g

= 1.5 syns 300ml, 3 syns 600ml.

The same thing with winter vegetable. 16 syns per carton by brand, 4 syns manually.
Chicken - 28 syns by brand, 7 syns manually.

Which should I believe and are there these discrepancies with absolutely everything?

I'm an online user and it made me pretty annoyed to find that I can't query this with Slimming World by email or letter but only by premium rate phone call @ 60p a minute!!
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Gold Member
are you selecting free foods, when working out the syns? As ready made soups don't qualify for any free food allowance, so you can just divide the calories for a serving by 20 to get the syn value.

hope that helps


Full Member
hi, I've just looked up in my food directory & I'm sorry to say that the higher values are correct. chicken = 28 syns for 600g carton & winter veg = 16 syns for 600g carton.
hi, I've just looked up in my food directory & I'm sorry to say that the higher values are correct. chicken = 28 syns for 600g carton & winter veg = 16 syns for 600g carton.
So what's the point of the Syns Calculator if it doesn't calculate correctly? If I was to make these soups myself with the ingredients they use, the only 'syn' in them is a little butter, the rest is free foods and at that mostly superfree.


Strutting her stuff
S: 17st12lb C: 10st7lb BMI: 22.3 Loss: 7st5lb(41.2%)
If you look at the ingredients of the chicken soup you can see that it has milk, cream, chicken fat, sugar and flour in it. This is where the syns will be coming from.

The winter vegetable one has milk, cream, tomato puree and butter in it.

The nutritional info you gave in your first post is for 100g not 300g according to their website. 37 calories for 100g so 222 calories for the whole 600g carton. Using the 20 calories to 1 syn rule of thumb that works out at 11 syns - the same as given online.


Full Member
yes, the packaging does state that the nutritional information is per 100g, not 300 as used in ur original calculation...
Sorry but I still don't get it. I used the online Syn calculator. It has boxes where you enter the calories, carbs, protein and fat per 100g as stated on the packaging. Another box asks for the portion size and when I put 300g, it gave me 1.5 syns.
Can someone else please try this for me because for the life of me I can't see what I'm doing wrong.


Strutting her stuff
S: 17st12lb C: 10st7lb BMI: 22.3 Loss: 7st5lb(41.2%)
You use the snackulator for foods with no free food allowance rather than the syn calculator. Soup does not qualify for a free food allowance so I think you are probably just using the wrong tool.

These are the foods with no free food allowance

Alcoholic drinks
Biscuits, including cereal bars and savoury crackers
Bread & crispbreads
Breakfast cereals
Cakes & bakery items, e.g. carrot cake
Crisps & snacks
Dressings & dips, e.g. salsa, salad dressing
Fruit - canned, dried and stewed
Pastry products (sweet & savoury), e.g. salmon en croute, apple pie
Puddings & desserts
Sandwich/deli fillers
Sandwiches and wraps
Sauces, e.g. jars of tomato-based pasta sauce
Soft drinks, including yogurt drinks fruit/vegetable juice and fruit smoothies
Soups, all varieties
Sweets & chocolates

For all these foods you can just use the 1 syn for every 20 calories rule.


Gold Member
Are you selecting a free food when you go into the syns calculator? As I mentioned you can't do this for ready made soups as they don't qualify for any free food.

If you look on the right hand side to the syns calculator you will see a little FAQ type thingy. I highly recommend reading through it as it should make the syns calculator more clear and will tell you which foods don't qualify for a free food allowance.

For non free foods you can then use the snackulator instead of the syns calculator.

You should then always refer to syns online first on the SW website for syn values of all foods and only if it is not listed and has a free food allowance use the syns calculator.
I must be really stupid because I'm reading this much differently than everyone else. I read it as the Snackulator is for "crisps, sweets, biscuits, cakes, pastries and puddings". The Syns Calculator
"Calculate whether a food's Free or Syns using the nutrition information on the packaging using the Syns Calculator". I know that ready made soup isn't free and using this method and choosing Extra Easy, following the instructions exactly as stated, I cannot make the minestrone soup any more than 1.5 syns for a 300g serving.


Gold Member
ready made soup is one of the foods that doesnt qualify for any free food, so you just need to enter the calories in the snackulator. Which works out as 2 syns PER 100g

Even putting the nutritional information into the syns calculator gives the exact same syn value of 2 syns PER 100g

I have just entered the nutritional information myself in the syns calculator, selecting NO free food. Then leaving the 100g box checked, entered the calories, protein, total fat and carbs. Then selected 300g as the portion size. (although I am presuming the entire carton is actually 700g.

The syn value for 300g is 5.5 syns
The syn value for 700g (full carton) is 13 syns

I can only assume you are somehow either selecting a free food or putting in the incorrect nutritional information somewhere or inputting the incorrect weight.

Like pointed out earlier, the snackulator can be used for ALL of the foods that Circes listed above, because neither of them have a free food allowance, so the syns are worked out by dividing the calories for a certain weight as given by 20, which will give you your syn value. The syns calculator will do exactly the same thing when there is no free food allowance, it is just the longer way to do it and is pointless for foods without a free food allowance.

Hope that helps.
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Full Member
S: 19st5lb C: 15st11lb G: 11st11lb BMI: 33.6 Loss: 3st8lb(18.45%)
Ready made soup seems such a waste of syns because of the no free food allowance. I'm sure that the majority of what's in it is free food, but it's so hard to tell, that the lot just gets syned, therefore you are having to syn all the veggies too, which is possibly why your calculations don't work out.

I make a batch of soup on a Sunday (Curried Lentil this week!), and keep some in the fridge or freeze it - totally free!


Gold Member
this is how each syns tool is explained on the Slimming World website:

  • Syns Online if you’re looking for information about a basic or branded food. You can search by manufacturer or do a quick search by keyword to find your product in a flash.

  • Snackulator
    It does exactly what it says on the tin! If you're looking for the Syn value of a branded snack – that’s anything that doesn’t get a Free Food allowance (like crisps, chocolate, puddings, pizza, pastries etc) – choose the Snackulator

  • Syns Calculator- If you've got the packaging to hand – and our Syns Online database doesn’t yet hold the product – choose the Syns Calculator.
so broken down, your first port of call should always be syns online first. If however your product isnt listed, then you use the snackultor for ALL foods that do not have a free food allowance, which is all the foods that Circes listed.

If it does have a free food allowance, then you enter the nutritional information into the syns calculator, selecting first your free food, then the nutritional information and ensure you have added the correct weight. If the nutritional information given is not for 100g but for a different weight, then you need to unselect the 100g box and select the per serving box and then enter the weight as given for the nutritional information in the package/portion size box.

But be cautious with the portion sizes, as the syn value given will be for that portion size which is not necessarily the whole package. You may need to multiply your syns.