When your clients seek guidance on their nutritional journey, it’s important that they have a network of support available. For many, the internet is part of that network and is often a safe space to search for information and navigate dead ends.
Your online content can help maintain proper guidance and ensure a client has what they need when you can’t be physically present or available. It can bridge the gaps between visits, especially when it is content that is practical, interactive, and relevant.
1. Make Recipes Searchable and Customizable:
Recipes are often step one in menu planning and the answer to the client’s inevitable question, “What am I going to eat now?”
The recipes should first be easily searchable whether by calorie count, the main ingredient used, occasion for the meal, allergy restrictions, or cuisine preferences. More ways to search means more success in finding the right meal.
Recipes should also provide how many servings they make as well as nutrition stats per serving. An even more impactful approach is building in variability exceptions. For example, an exception for when your client’s family is coming to dinner tomorrow and now the client needs to make six servings versus two servings. Or when your client’s co-worker can’t eat dairy, so a substitute needs to be made. How do those changes affect the nutrition stats of the casserole the client planned to bring to the potluck? Having a way to adjust will help keep clients accountable when the inevitable flux of life forces adjustments to a plan.
2. Demystify What Clients Should Eat with Interactive Nutrition Logs:
When a dietitian and client go over a nutrition plan, tips for success and best practices are often outlined, including logging foods the client eats so they stay within a dietary boundary. Keeping this balance book is especially helpful at the starting line, when a client is beginning to learn what foods provide what nutrition. It is even more useful in the recipe-choosing part of the plan. To know what one wants to eat, versus what foods are going to not only be enjoyable but fit into the parameters of a specific diet, is best left without any guesswork involved.
When a client has the option of this balance book being a technological companion, such as an interactive worksheet or app, it can be used not only during the crucial planning stage but when uncovering the effects that the mystery bag of chips someone left in the kitchen could have on their hard work as well. By encouraging the two going hand in hand, a week’s plan begins to take shape. The questions of what and how much to eat in order to find success by week’s end are answered. This demystifying process can have a very empowering effect and lead to educated decision making.
3. Calculate and Convert Quantities When Building Grocery Lists:
With recipes in one hand and a nutritional information outline in the other, the client may still find themselves unsure of how much to get from the store. How much sour cream needs purchased if one recipe calls for one cup and the other for ¾ of a tablespoon? How many heads of cauliflower is going to produce the two cups called for in a recipe?
Through practice, time, and the proper tools, the client will become familiar with measurements and terms, but having this information at hand when shopping can result in less waste, less trips to the grocery store, and less impulse buying.
When offering a grocery list building app or feature, ensure that a comprehensive list can be made, which includes combining duplicate ingredient totals, such as the sour cream example above. Knowing how many tablespoons are in a six ounce can of tomato paste may not have been a goal in mind when your client began their mission, but the byproduct will save time in the future.
4. Don't Forget the Budget Builders:
For many on this journey, learning what is in food helps them make better choices, but they may also hesitate to make those changes when healthier choices seem financially unattainable. To embark on a dietary journey and stay the course, financial security is important.
While some clients may learn that they spent far more on convenience foods than whole and healthy foods, others may need to adjust their store of choice to afford better ingredients.
By offering your clients a budgeting tool, they learn how to save through attentive budgeting. This can be beneficial for those who were actively spending more on convenience foods to see the fruits of their labor not going to waste in their wallets or bodies.
5. Create Bite-Sized Task Lists:
Let’s say a client has picked out their recipes, followed their outlined diet with no exception, purchased groceries, and even saved themselves a dollar on meat this week. Great right? Well, what if they see the week ahead and feel deterred by the amount of work they will now need to do on top of their jobs, raising children, and proper selfcare?
To alleviate some of these symptoms of grocery shopper’s remorse, give them a plan built with bite-size tasks. Focusing on preparing items for the next day (cutting up vegetables, preparing the sauce), with some tasks couched for execution (making the fresh hot steak, toasting the baguette), is a setup for success.
For a client to be their own sous-chef, either they will need to have attended a culinary school, worked in a restaurant, or be provided a tool to help with the plan. This tool can be something as simple as having an interactive worksheet filled with the tasks for each recipe, organized by food (dairy, vegetable, fruit, meat, poultry) and task (cut, measure, bring to room temperature, sauté), and then organized by the day of the week with the prep work being done on a weekend or day off. The task-building tool you provide can be made even more interactive with tutorial videos on a YouTube channel or interactive Zoom programs with a locally sourced chef eager to teach.
When clients begin the journey of changing their eating habits, it can stir up a lot of emotions. They may feel scared, overwhelmed, and put off by being without the comforts of the familiar. But with interactive content made accessible, a client has the opportunity to learn about the world of food around them, make educated decisions, and get a taste of success. And when clients succeed, their mentor succeeds, too.
About the Author:
Margaret Lill is an innovative content creator based out of Cleveland, Ohio. With six years of B2B marketing and content creation experience, she aspires to inform and educate through the written word. Click here to contact Margaret.