Studies of feeding behavior in genetically tractable invertebrate model systems have been limited by the lack of proper methodology. We introduce the Capillary Feeder (CAFE), a method allowing precise, real-time measurement of ingestion by individual or grouped fruit flies on the scale of minutes to days. Using this technique, we conducted the first quantitative analysis of prandial behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. Our results allow the dissection of feeding into discrete bouts of ingestion, defining two separate parameters, meal volume and frequency, that can be uncoupled and thus are likely to be independently regulated. In addition, our long-term measurements show that flies can ingest as much as 1.7x their body mass over 24 h. Besides the study of appetite, the CAFE can be used to monitor oral drug delivery. As an illustration, we used the CAFE to test the effects of dietary supplementation with two compounds, paraquat and ethanol, on food ingestion and preference. Paraquat, a prooxidant widely used in stress tests, had a strong anorexigenic effect. In contrast, in a feeding preference assay, ethanol-laced food, but not ethanol by itself, acted as an attractant.