Meal planning template example: The DASH diet
Using a meal planning template helps your nutrition clients (and your business) save money, improve health, and save a lot of time (like, A LOT of time!).
These templates are essential ready-made meal plans that you can tweak and customize so it’s perfect for your clients and programs. You can check the nutrition information in just a few seconds to see if it meets your clients’ needs or if it needs a little update.
At Meal Garden, we have dozens of meal planning templates - they’re based on dietary restrictions, health goals, cooking styles, or even lifestyles. For example, when it comes to dietary restrictions, we have ones that are gluten-free, vegetarian, egg-free, dairy-free, no sugar added, low FODMAPS, etc. As for health goals, we have meal plans for weight loss, high blood pressure, low glycemic, etc. And when it comes to cooking styles, we have them for batch cooking, 5 or 6 ingredients or less, dinners in 30-minutes too. As for lifestyles, we have meal plans for kids, busy parents, budget-friendly, etc.
So, let me choose one meal plan as an example and show you what’s inside. In this case, let’s dive into one of our ready-made DASH diet meal plans.
The DASH diet
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure in 14 days. It has been named "the best diet” for 8 years in a row by the US News & World Report, and has been shown to be heart healthy and effective for both weight loss and diabetes. It’s been called an “Americanized version of the Mediterranean diet”.
As a nutrition pro, creating a meal plan based on the DASH diet would follow their specified number of servings of grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat/non-fat dairy, lean meats/fish/poultry, nuts/seeds/legumes, and fats/sweets. In addition, it recommends high fiber and low to moderate fat intake. Plus, it follows the US guidelines for vitamins and minerals, including sodium.
Can you create a meal plan for this from scratch - absolutely!
But - with our DASH diet meal planning template you don’t have to start from scratch.
Meal Planning Template Example: The DASH diet
At the time of this writing, Meal Garden has at least three different meal planning templates based on the DASH diet alone.
Here’s a sneak preview of Tuesday’s meals in one of them:
You can see that the meals and snacks have been thoughtfully selected to meet the criteria of the DASH diet - yes, it’s already done for you!
Plus, the software automatically shows you the nutrition information for each meal/recipe, each day, and each week! Here’s what the day’s and week’s nutrition information looks like. You can see the nutrients per person, dietary servings of different food groups, and the macronutrient balance in this handy table:
Let’s say you want a specific nutrient level for your client or program, you can see at a glance which meal/recipe or day you need to make a small change to the template. You can easily swap out one of the recipes and exchange it for one of our thousands available. Then simply recalculate to double-check and you’re ready to go!
Plus, it automatically creates an accurate grocery list based on the number of servings you choose - whether your client is making it for themself (one serving), or their whole family (2, 3, 4. etc. servings). A nice feature is that it sorts the groceries based on which aisles of the store you’d find the ingredients! Aisles include: dairy & cheese, condiments, snacks & nuts, meat, canned food, vegetables, spices & herbs, cereals, beverage, pasta & rice, fruits, baking, frozen & refrigerated foods, baking, seafood, bread & bakery, and various. It looks like this:
Then, once your clients have gone grocery shopping, the software tells them which recipes have any advanced preparation:
As you can see, using a ready-made meal planning template can do wonders for your clients and your nutrition business. You don’t need to create recipes or meal plans from scratch, and you automatically get all the benefits of a full nutritional profile, grocery list organized by aisle, and a list of advanced preparation tasks from the recipes in your final plan. The DASH diet meal planning template was just one example of dozens available to you through Meal Garden.