Long-term good health is made possible by healthy lifestyles. It's likely that you've recommended a specific diet plan or change in eating habits to a patient in the past, but providing nutrition resources to all patients is a great way to support healthy habits. March is National Nutrition Month, so consider sharing these resources with your patients and encouraging them to make healthy food choices all year long.
This website from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is a family's one-stop shop for basic nutrition info. Any basic questions about nutrition can be answered here, with sections for parents and children to make navigation easy. This website has a breakdown of the MyPlate dietary guidelines, a nutrition question of the day, and an easy guide to understanding food labels. Tell your patients to keep this site bookmarked and refer to it regularly, for easy answers to a broad range of questions.
If your patients are trying to lead healthier lifestyles without sacrificing the foods they love, point them to this food substitution chart from the Mayo Clinic. Here, you can easily see which ingredients could be swapped out for lower-fat or lower-sodium versions. Clicking at the In-Depth link at the bottom of the chart leads to the entirety of the Mayo Clinic's nutrition resources, too, so introducing this website to patients is a great first step into the world of nutrition.
Don't brush off the goofy rhyming name--this interactive tool from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute is as important for adults as for children. These quizzes and informational slides from the NHLBI detail how portion sizes have changed within the last 20 years. Altering portion size is one of the simplest ways to make a dietary change since no alteration to ingredients is required. This resource also provides visual representations of the amount of physical activity needed to burn off a meal's calories, based on portion size. It does a great job of showing exactly why mindful diet planning is so crucial!
Good dietary habits start at the grocery store. Don't go shopping on an empty stomach--or without information on your family's dietary needs. Based around each user's grocery lis, the Shopwell App provides nutrition scores for the foods families buy every day. It's easy to see if a grocery list falls short and needs a couple changes. This app allows patients to make smarter decisions when planning meals, and makes swapping foods for more nutritious choices easy. There are even pre-programmed lists of foods for improving heart health or living with celiac disease, among other patient needs.
This may seem simple--a recipe website?--but if your patients aren't utilizing AllRecipes, they're missing out. This website (and the app!) make it easy to save recipes in one accessible-anywhere spot. Users can search by ingredient, putting certain restrictions on their query to guarantee nutrition parameters. It's easy to share recipes with other users, friends and family, too. Best of all, each recipe has a nutrition breakdown based on the ingredients, so patients can have a clear idea of what they're serving. Find a great recipe that just doesn't cut it, nutrition-wise? Scroll to the "related recipes" section and find a healthier version!
Use National Nutrition Month as a jumping-off point to introduce nutrition concepts to your patient base. With accessible resources in reach, they're more likely to make smart food decisions, so upload these links to your patient portal and encourage some healthy cooking!
What are your favorite nutrition education resources? Let us know in the comments!