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Kidney Diet Tips

April 10, 2014

DaVita Diet Helper “How to” Part 2: Meal Planner Pre-planned Meals

The Meal Planner feature in DaVita Diet Helper provides pre-planned meals, or allows you to create your own meals. The pre-planned meals, or DaVita suggested meals, provide kidney-friendly menus and recipes for 3 meals and 2 snacks each day. These meals are designed to meet daily nutrition targets for protein, sodium, potassium and phosphorus selected in the meal plan settings.  The meals are on a 2 week rotation, plus additional meals are available in the “Substitute” list.

DaVita Diet Helper Meal Planner 2You can view meals for a single day or a whole week by toggling between the “View Day” and “View Week” links.  A photo gives you a glimpse of each meal. Click on the meal name below the photo to see the recipe, complete meal components, nutrients, helpful hints, food choices, and carbohydrate choices. Click on Daily or Weekly Recipes to print menus and recipes, unless you prefer to pull them up on your tablet or laptop when preparing meals. Select ” Monthly Meal Plan” to print a menu for the month, or click on “Nutrition Facts Weekly Summary” to see daily totals for 10 nutrients.

Meal Planner SubstitutesIf you prefer a different meal, look for the substitute icon (the one with blue arrows) to open a list of all the meal choices. There are 18 breakfast meals, 21 lunches, 20 dinners and over 30 snacks to choose from in planning your meals. Any of the meals or snacks selected can be designated as a “My Favorite” by clicking on the white heart icon which will turn red.

After you have selected the  meals that appeal to you, use the “Add Item” feature to add additional foods desired.

Whether you’re planning meals for a day, a week, or a month, DaVita Diet Helper meals take away the worry about what to eat. You can be assured your renal diet meals are meeting daily nutrition targets you select for protein, sodium, potassium and phosphorus. For additional Meal Planner help, refer to the “How to Use the Meal Planner”  link found at the top of the Meal Planner section.

Next week: How to Part 3: Using the Meal Planner to plan meals without the DaVita suggested pre-planned meals.

Resources from DaVita.com:

April 3, 2014

DaVita Diet Helper “How to” Part 1: Account Creation and Daily Nutrition Targets

DaVita Diet Helper is an online meal planning and tracking tool created specifically for kidney diets. You will benefit from using this tool if you are concerned with:

  • eating healthy for kidneys and tracking nutrients
  • limiting sodium for blood pressure control
  • balancing carbohydrates for diabetes control
  • reducing intake of phosphorus
  • getting the right amount of potassium

This “How to” blog series aims to  help you get started, and teach you to use the new features in DaVita Diet Helper.

Part 1:  Account Creation and Daily Nutrition Targets

The first step is to go to the DaVita Diet Helper promotion page at www.DaVita.com/DietHelper . On this page you can watch a short video to see an overview of the features. Next, click on the “Get Started Now” button to go to the account registration page. After completing the form click “Create My Account”. Be sure to record your email address and password for later reference. If you forget your password, use the “Forget your password?” feature to create a new one. If you already have a myDaVita.com account, click on “Sign in Now” to access your account and activate DaVita Diet Helper.

Meal Plan SettingsNext is the “Meal Plan Settings” page where you select your daily targets for protein and potassium, and a diabetes plan if needed. Unsure about your targets? There is a Daily Nutrient Target form you can download and print to take to your doctor or dietitian to confirm your daily targets.  All of the DaVita Diet Helper pre-planned meals are low in phosphorus and sodium. Studies show that limiting these two minerals may be beneficial in slowing chronic kidney disease progression, even in  early stages.

After selecting protein and potassium settings, click “Create Meal Plan”. You will be directed to a dashboard to begin using DaVita Diet Helper. You are a click away from the Meal Planner, Nutrition Tracker and Shopping List, in addition to several accessory features that make planning and tracking easier than ever.

I invite you to post your comments here or use the Feedback button within DaVita Diet Helper to ask questions and let us know how you are using this tool for your renal diet.

Next post:  Using the Meal Planner and DaVita suggested preplanned meals.

Resources from DaVita.com:

March 26, 2014

Updated: Online tools for the kidney diet

Today I am re-posting an earlier  post on online tools and resources. I plan to follow this post with a series  to help you learn about the new features and get started using DaVita Diet Helper to easily plan meals and track nutrients for your kidney diet.

Online tools for the kidney diet

Knowing what to eat on a kidney diet can be complicated, so it’s good to know you can go online for helpful tools and education. DaVita.com offers education about kidney diseasedialysis treatments as well as an entire section on the chronic kidney diet, including hundreds of kidney-friendly recipes. Whether you’re pre-dialysis, on hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis (PD), you’ll find articles to help explain the kidney diet for where you are and healthy recipes that you can enjoy.

Welcome to DaVita Diet Helper

Besides educational articles, DaVita.com offers the DaVita Diet Helper to help you plan your meals and keep track of your kidney diet. This invaluable tool was recently  updated with new features and functions. If you haven’t used DaVita Diet Helper recently, sign in on your computer, tablet or smart phone and check out the new look. Use it to plan meals, download DaVita suggested menus, create your own recipes and meals, create your own database of favorite foods, and track your daily food intake to see how close you are to your goals for potassium, phosphorus, sodium and protein.  Now you can access all the DaVita.com recipes directly in DaVita Diet Helper to easily build meals around your favorite recipes. Over the next several months I’ll show you these new features and how to use DaVita Diet Helper on the Kidney Diet Tips blog.

In addition to DaVita Diet Helper, checkout the Food Analyzer that helps you manage your kidney diet by finding values for 13 nutrients including potassium and phosphorus. You can also try the Phosphorus Challenge to learn about the important role phosphorus plays in the kidney diet. The Phosphorus Challenge includes games, quizzes, polls, articles, videos, recipes and more.

Whether or not you have a renal dietitian to help you with your renal diet, you can rely on DaVita.com for online tools to help you navigate the kidney diet.

Resources from DaVita.com:

 

January 23, 2014

Online tools for the kidney diet

Knowing what to eat on a kidney diet can be complicated, so it’s good to know you can go online for helpful tools and education. DaVita.com offers education about kidney disease, dialysis treatments as well as an entire section on the chronic kidney diet, including hundreds of kidney-friendly recipes. Whether you’re pre-dialysis, on hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis (PD), you’ll find articles to help explain the kidney diet for where you are and healthy recipes that you can enjoy.

Welcome to DaVita Diet HelperBesides educational articles, DaVita.com offers the DaVita Diet Helper to help you plan your meals and keep track of your kidney diet. This invaluable tool was recently  updated with new features and functions. If you haven’t used DaVita Diet Helper recently, sign in on your computer, tablet or smart phone and check out the new look. Use it to plan meals, download DaVita suggested menus, create your own recipes and meals, create your own database of favorite foods, and track your daily food intake to see how close you are to your goals for potassium, phosphorus, sodium and protein.  Now you can access all the DaVita.com recipes directly in DaVita Diet Helper to easily build meals around your favorite recipes. Over the next several months I’ll show you these new features and how to use DaVita Diet Helper on the Kidney Diet Tips blog. Read more…

January 3, 2013

A Fresh Food Start for Your Kidney Diet

Happy New Year!

This is my favorite time of the year to not only reflect on the past year, but to start changes that will make 2013 even better. Today, my focus is on fresh foods in the kidney diet as a healthy change. The whole nation is experiencing a transformation in how we think about our food, with a renewed focus on

  • where and how food is grown
  • how it goes from the farm to food distributors, then to our tables
  • the amount of food processing and impact it has on personal health and the health of our country

This food transformation has an impact on kidney diet and food recommendations. New research on the best foods for kidney diets and health outcomes will further influence recommendations made by kidney health professionals in the future. Gaining control over how and what we eat means choosing fresh foods and preparing food at home instead of relying on takeout, fast foods, convenience foods and restaurants. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, used in policy making, education materials and nutrition programs, is a valuable resource with guidance for building healthy eating patterns and making healthy choices.

For kidney patients, a fresh food start means lower sodium, phosphorus and potassium intake from processed foods, and more control over what goes in or stays out of the foods consumed. Think about ways you can make a fresh start with your foods in 2013. Here are some of my suggestions. Read more…

July 18, 2011

Staying on track with your kidney or dialysis diet: Match your mind set

Last time I blogged about the kidney diet reality and goals. This week is all about how your mind set helps you stay on track. 

There are different mind sets that help people stay on track with their kidney diet meal plan. For some of you, it is ‘all or nothing’. You do best with a list of foods to eat and a list of foods to avoid to manage protein, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and fluid.  Plain and simple, no gray areas and fewer decisions to make.

For others, you prefer ‘following the numbers’ and tracking what you eat. For example if your goal is 2000 mg potassium a day, you may learn to work in some high potassium foods, even though it  means limiting how much or how often, as long as your daily potassium total stays under 2000 mg. The Nutrition Log in DaVita Diet Helper is a great tracking tool for you to show you how much protein, potassium, sodium and phosphorus in the foods you eat.

Following preplanned menus is another way to stay on track if you prefer the ‘tell me exactly what to eat’ mindset. Knowing what to eat and not worrying about the numbers is much easier for some kidney patients. You will find the preplanned meals in DaVita Diet Helper useful because you don’t have to do any calculating to meet your diet goals. All the planning is done; you simply select the meals that are most appealing to you. After following these meals you learn which foods can be included and which ones are limited, making it easier to plan your own meals over time.

Another mind set is ‘what I don’t know can’t hurt me’. If you think this way, you may not be ready to accept or deal with the changes that will keep you healthier. By learning more about your chronic kidney disease or dialysis, focusing on foods that are good for kidney patients, and incorporating new recipes you like, you can progress to a better place and start making changes that will help you feel better and manage your kidney disease in a healthier way. For you, the Kidney-friendly Recipe section of DaVita.com is a good place to start. I also recommend a visit to the Diet and Nutrition section to find articles that will help your better understand your kidney diet.

Many of us are a combination of all the mindsets described, and what works may vary or change depending on your circumstances. There are many resources and tools to help kidney patients like you learn more and incorporate the kidney diet into  your life. If you feel alone, reach out to others dealing with diet issues by joining the DaVita discussion forums. The subforum ‘Diet/Nutrition’ is a place to post questions, read about  how people with kidney disease have figured out the diet, and receive help from the kidney community.

What’s your mindset that helps you stay on track?

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

September 9, 2008

Plan Kidney-friendly Meals with DaVita Diet Helper Online Meal Planning Tool

Starting and following a renal diet for people with kidney disease is a challenging and often frustrating task. If you are on a kidney diet you can probably relate to lists–foods to eat, limit or avoid, lists of foods high in potassium, high sodium food lists and foods high in phosphorus.

Sometimes the lists contradict each other. The dialysis diet often goes against traditional healthy eating guidelines. Instead of ‘eat more fresh fruits and vegetables’ the new guideline is limit fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those high in potassium. Instead of “eat more whole grains and fiber’ the kidney diet guideline is ‘limit or avoid whole grains because the potassium and phosphorus content is higher than refined grains’.

Even for renal dietitians, planning individualized menus for each patient is an almost impossible job. Menu planning takes lots of time, especially considering each person’s food preferences and the differnet renal diet prescriptions.

Thanks to DaVita.com, people looking for help with renal diets now have another tool. A new online meal planner for kidney diets called DaVita Diet Helper is available at no charge for anyone looking for preplanned kidney friendly menus with recipes. Users can pick and choose 2 weeks of meals and snacks according to their food preferences. DaVita Diet Helper is based on the diet prescription prescribed by the doctor or dietitian. Meal plans from 50 to 100 grams protein are available. Potassium choices are 2000 mg low potassium or 3000-4000 liberal potassium. All meal plans are low in sodium and phosphorus.

In addition to menus and recipes, DaVita Diet Helper has a Nutrition Log where any foods eaten during the day can be recorded to show intake of calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat, cholesterol, fiber, sugars, sodium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus. The large database includes many restaurant foods, and all foods have potassium and phosphorus data included.

To use this fantastic tool, users need to know their kidney diet prescription. Clickhere to find the Diet Prescription sheet that can be printed and taken to the doctor or dietitian to complete before using DaVita Diet Helper.

July 22, 2008

Change Your Diet by Using a Food Diary

Research on dieting for weight loss and what works for long term weight maintenance is extensive. One tool shown to help weight loss dieters maintain their weight is a food diary. This is a useful tool for dialysis patients or anyone on a kidney diet making new and long lasting changes in eating habits.

A food diary is a record of the amount of foods and liquids consumed. It may include additional information Read more…

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