What Are the Shortcomings of the Sample NutriBase Meal Plan?
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Starting with NutriBase 12, we've provided a "Sample Recipe" for you to learn from. This Meal Plan contains 30+ NutriBase Recipe with pictures. (You can view these Recipes individually by clicking the Recipe Tab, clicking the Folders Button, then selecting the Sample Folder.) This Sample Meal Plan contains a suggested eating plan for one week, then repeats this one week plan three more times to create a four-week Meal Plan. This Plan came to you with several shortcomings. Understanding these shortcomings will help you create better and more practical Meal Plans for your clients. Let's have a look...

1) Recipes that are designed to provide more than one serving are sometimes served only once. Yet many of these recipes are included only once in this Meal Plan. In a practical Meal Plan, the designer should make sure the recipes are scaled for the proper number of servings.

2) Some recipes appear more than once but are not used until several days after the first time they are used. (There's a good chance it may be spoiled or unappetizing by this time.) In a practical Meal Plan, recipes should probably be consumed on consecutive days (preferably) so the original recipe will be eaten without waste and while nutrition content is still good.

3) Not all Meal Plan days contain three snacks per day. Therefore, calories are not distributed evenly across each day. In a practical Meal Plan, calories should normally be distributed across all three Meals and all three Snacks. This helps to keep hunger from spiking during the day.

4) Opportunities for introducing a range of beverages are not always taken. Beverages add interest and help make a meal distinctive from previous similar meals. This plan uses only coffee and tea recipes and a soda from the nutrient database, then repeats them for every meal.

5) Snacks are not used to good advantage. Healthy snacks are a very good way to help your clients get through the day with variety, nutrition, and good hunger control. Consider creating a variety of snacks to use with your Meal PLans. Look into the NutriBase option to create recipes based on calories for serving sizes (look for the "Make it and Take it" option in your Recipes Help topics). This option allows you to tailor healthy snacks to pre-selected calorie levels.

Suggestions For Developing Better Meal Plans for Your Clients:

1) Construct your Recipes and use them as building blocks for your Meal Plans. Design with useful calorie levels (per serving) in mind. Build a collection of Recipes for a special need if your Meal Plan is designed to address a special need. Place your recipes for special needs into their own Folder (for example, put all your Low Sodium recipes into their own folder, all your diabetic recipes into their own folder, etc.).

2) Design your Recipes to provide the number of servings you intend to include in your Meal Plan within a given time frame. Of course, if your recipe is suitable for parsing into servings and freezing for future use, you can make larger batches. If not, however, be sure to make the amount you will need to incorporate into your Meal Plan within a reasonable time frame. Variety is a nicety, but in real life, eating the same thing for a day or two is the more likely reality.

3) Snacks are versatile and help you fill out a full day of a Meal Plan and most Meal Plans will be improved by distributing calories across the entire day.We suggest you create a family of, say 20 to 40 snacks. Place them in a Recipe Folder of their own called "Snacks." You can calibrate many of these snacks to fall in around 200 calories. Or have some in 100, 200, and 300 calorie levels. You can set calorie levels easily by selecting the option to "Specify servings in Calories" when you add an ingredient to a recipe. Once you have a "collection" of a few dozen snacks at calorie levels you deem useful, you can use then to fill in the Morning, Afternoon, and Evening Snack categories of your Meal Plans.

4) Beverages present a very good opportunity to make your Meal Plans more interesting. Scan the Web or your favorite recipes and come up with a dozen or so interesting and easy to create beverages. Lower calorie beverages are a plus, but smoothies, and other drinks that provide good nutrition are often worth the additional calories. A new folder called "Beverages" may be called for here.

5) Don't forget that you can always access the nutrient database for food items to use in your Meal Plans. Not everything a your Meal Plan needs to be a recipe, although some things (like coffee with sugar and cream or tea with sweetener) may make more sense as recipes because they contain multiple ingredients. Creating a Recipe for your morning coffee could save you time by saving y0ou from looking up two or three ingredients every time you have a cup to record in your Meal Plan of Food Log.

6) Beverage and Snacks can be used in a wide variety of Meal Plans. Creating a decent sized library of these can be a time saver in the long run.

This topic updated 09/05/2015

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