How to Create a Meal Planning Assessment Tool To Help Build Plans Your Clients Will Love

How to Create a Meal Planning Assessment Tool To Help Build Plans Your Clients Will Love

Offering meal planning as a service can be an extremely powerful tool in helping your clients reach their health goals. A meal plan can map out the advice you are giving into an easy-to-follow framework. But have you ever spent hours creating a meal plan for a client, only to find out later that they didn't use it?

The frustrating reality is that many nutritionists make terrible meal plans. It’s easy for us as wellness professionals to get so caught up in the science, that we totally forget about the human element. We then risk creating a plan that isn't right for our clients, or even worse, will scare them away. This is obviously not what we want.

If you want to provide meal planning as a service, it's crucial to first conduct a meal planning assessment. In order to do this, you'll need a tool that will help you ask the right questions and capture the best information.

This post will cover how to set up your meal planning assessment tool, questions you may want to include and how to use the data to create epic meal plans your clients will love.

Setting Up Your Meal Planning Assessment Tool

If you use a software program to manage your client's files, you can easily upload your meal planning assessment questions to include in your consultation. You can also set up your meal planning assessment questions in a simple Word document or Google Doc.

The beauty of creating a meal planning assessment tool is that you only need to do it once. Once you have your initial meal planning assessment tool setup, you can simply make small adjustments overtime to help capture even better information.

Questions to Include In Your Meal Planning Assessment

Here are some questions to include in your meal planning assessment that will help capture the information you need to create amazing plans that your clients will love.

1. What is Your Current Relationship With Cooking?

With an understanding of their current relationship with cooking, you can provide recipes accordingly. Some people love to cook and others find it stressful. Understanding what category your client falls into is key for building a plan they’ll follow.

Understanding your client's relationship with cooking will help you provide meal ideas that are realistic and achievable.

Questions You Might Want to Ask

  • Who taught you to cook when you were a child?
  • What was the first meal you learned to make?
  • Is cooking therapeutic for you, or does it cause you stress?
  • What are your childhood comfort foods?
  • How much time do you typically spend cooking per day?

2. What Foods Do You Like and Dislike?

This one is painfully obvious, but it can’t go unmentioned.

If your client hates vegetables, don’t hand them a plan with a huge salad for every day of the week, and hope for the best. We know you want them to eat their veggies. We know it's what they need! But this approach is not going to help.

Begin by encouraging clients who are skeptical of veggies to sneak a handful of spinach into their smoothie. Maybe they’ll enjoy a plate of brussels sprouts if they’re cooked up with some bacon. Can they commit to trying just one salad recipe per week for now?

Let go of your superfood mentality and meet your client where they are at. Allow them to find ways to combine foods they want to eat with the foods you want them to eat. If their favourite breakfast is a coffee shop muffin, maybe start them with a homemade version rather than throwing a chia pudding recipe at them.

Questions You Might Want to Ask

  • What are your favourite foods?
  • Are there any foods you won't eat for personal, ethical, or religious reasons?
  • Do you think you eat enough fruits and vegetables?
  • What is your ultimate comfort food?

3. What is Your Current Lifestyle Like?

Understanding your client's lifestyle will have a big impact on how you build a meal plan for them. Again, you will need to start with where they are at. You will want to match the meal plan and recipe suggestions to your client's current lifestyle, not the lifestyle you hope they will have after working with you.

For example: If your client is a busy professional who regularly has lunch meetings, counsel them on how to order healthy at restaurants and focus on providing healthy breakfast and dinner recipes to fit in around their restaurant meals. If your client is a nurse who works 12-hour shifts, focus on batch-cooking and meal prep so he or she can just relax and put their feet up at the end of a long day. And if your client tends to get a lot of takeout, help them order healthier options, while encouraging them to try cooking some meals at home.

Questions You Might Want to Ask

  • How often do you eat out?
  • What time of day do you find it most difficult to eat healthy?
  • How much time do you realistically want to spend in the kitchen?
  • Do you mind eating similar meals over-and-over?
  • Describe to me what you eat in a typical day?

How to Use The Data to Create Meal Plans Your Clients Will Love

Once you have your meal planning assessment tool set up and you are collecting the right information, be sure to take it into consideration when building your client meal plans on That Clean Life.

You can use our tags and filters to key in your clients likes, dislikes and dietary preferences to quickly find the right meals to add to their plan:

Once you have found the perfect meals, simply add them to the plan. We will show you daily nutrient totals so you can keep the plan balanced, and automatically create your client's shopping list based on what you add to the plan:

When you are creating meal plans based on your client's unique needs, you'll get quicker results, have successful clients and your business will naturally grow.

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