There is a lot to consider when starting your own private practice as a dietitian. You’ve got to build a client base, create a website, set up a blog, and start creating recipes. Plus, there’s everything that comes along with being an entrepreneur—establishing a schedule, working on your self-discipline, and finding strategies to stay organized.
Although there’s a lot of uncertainty when branching out in the world of dietetics, one thing is for sure—you’re going to need a solid nutritional analysis software. Not only will this allow you to provide nutritional information for the recipes you create, it will be an invaluable tool when consulting with clients and meeting your own business goals.
Setting Yourself Apart
You probably know better than anyone just how many recipes are online. One simple search for “pasta primavera” yields over 12 million results. There are, however, significantly fewer (around 500,000) results for “pasta primavera nutritional information.” And it’s likely that just a fraction of these recipes actually contain detailed nutrition information from a registered dietitian. Providing nutritional information for your recipes is a great strategy to set yourself apart in an extremely saturated corner of the internet.
So what kind of information should you provide? Well, that’s up to you, but as people continue to learn more about nutrition, they desire more information about the recipes they make and the food they eat. Therefore, choosing a nutritional analysis software that does a complete and comprehensive analysis of your recipes is a must.
MenuCalc, for instance, provides the standard information included on an FDA nutrition facts label (calories, fat, carbohydrates, sugars, etc.), but it also includes complete vitamin and mineral amounts and FDA-approved nutrient content claims (NCCs) for your recipes (like low-fat, high-fiber, low-sodium, etc.). With all this information, you can pick and choose what to share with your recipes and even categorize them on your site according to their NCCs.
A Tool for Customized Consulting
The above-mentioned features will also be extremely useful when you start seeing clients one-on-one and creating meal plans and recipe packages specifically for them. For example, if you want to put a client on a high-fiber diet to support digestive health, you could pull all your recipes with high-fiber NCCs and compile them into a neat and tidy recipe package.
Another way to use nutritional analysis software in your private practice is to analyze and customize a client’s personal recipes to meet the guidelines you’ve set out for them. One of the biggest challenges dietitians face is getting clients to transition to new foods, but revamping their current favorite meals is a great in-between step.
Imagine, for example, that you ask a diabetic client to bring in their favorite baking recipes. You can enter them into MenuCalc’s software, instantly analyze them, and then tweak the amount of sugar until you get an appropriate amount per serving. Or, you could substitute lower glycemic sweeteners for the sugar. You can then export these adjusted recipes to another program, like email or Microsoft Word, to send to the client. Showing them the nutritional information before and after your adjustments will help them understand why you made the changes you did. Using the nutrient comparison tool is especially helpful for situations where you want to know how each specific ingredient contributes to the overall values.
Staying Organized as an Entrepreneur
As a dietitian, keeping your recipes organized is important, especially as you create more and more of them. Having them all in one secure place and in one uniform format is without a doubt your best bet.
Software like MenuCalc allows you to store all your recipes in your product library so everything is organized and easy to find. The advantage of the software being web-based is that you can access your account from any computer with a secure login. Plus, your recipes are backed up after every session, so you don’t have to worry about losing your information—something that can happen if you use a CD-ROM nutritional analysis program and your computer crashes or is stolen.
Starting Your Practice on the Right Foot
Having a reliable, easy-to-use web-based nutritional analysis software for your private dietetics practice is critical in helping both you and your clients succeed. It’s an invaluable organizational and analytical tool that you’ll turn to time and time again to analyze and makeover recipes. Plus, for the new entrepreneur, web-based software is the most affordable option. MenuCalc offers three different pricing tiers depending on how many recipes you need to analyze each month, so you can find the perfect fit for the needs of your new practice.
Starting your own practice as a dietitian is exciting for many reasons. Not only do you get to design it however you’d like, you have the opportunity to help others make positive nutritional changes that will lead them on a path towards better health. And by putting your thoughtfully crafted recipes and expert advice out on the internet, you never know how many lives you’ll touch.