Meal plans are a great tool for helping clients make healthy eating changes. At first it can seem overwhelming, but there are different levels to meal planning that are beneficial to the client and simple for you to create. We’ll look at the levels of meal planning so you can feel confident helping a client in session.
Level one is the most simple. Start with what the client is currently eating. Encourage simple swaps or additions that increase the nutrients in their food. Some ideas include:
Low glycemic fruit for high glycemic fruit
Whole oats for instant oatmeal
Adding baby kale to pasta sauce
Adding a vegetable side to their current lunch
Keep it manageable by aiming for a maximum of three swaps per session.
Level two involves slightly bigger changes by changing one meal at a time. While you can brainstorm on the spot, it is helpful to create lists of meal ideas that you can grab from. Lists of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas that are customizable to dietary needs will go a long way in session! Or, instead of creating your own, you can use an IFM or Redefining Weight Loss plans. Resources such as Eat Love, Real Plans, and That Clean Life create beautiful looking plans online.
Level three are the most in depth by creating meal plans for the whole week. Having go-to resources (such as those above) is helpful for this plan because brainstorming on the spot might be too much for you and the client. Also, online resources make the execution of a weekly plan much easier with a visual layout and clickable recipe links. These plans can be created on the spot in session by searching for recipes with the client, can be customized by the client, or completed by you for the client.
Whichever meal planning style you use with clients, have your reliable lists and resources will make the process much smoother.