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Kidney Diet Tips

April 28, 2014

DaVita Diet Helper “How to” Part 3: Using the Meal Planner to plan your own meals

Today’s post covers using the Meal Planner feature of DaVita Diet Helper to plan meals for a day, week or month. Pre-planned meals take the worry out of what to eat on a kidney diet, but planning your own meals allows you to select foods you like and plan from what’s on hand in your pantry and refrigerator. There are two ways you can use DaVita Diet Helper to plan your own meals. You can use the database to add recipes and foods in the Meal Planner section for each day, or you can first create meals using the “My Meal Creations” feature, then add the meals in the Meal Planner. I prefer the second option because the meal ingredients are entered only once and saved for future meal planning. This works great for meals that consistently contain the same items.

To plan your own meals in the Meal Planner first go to “View Day” for the day you are planning.  Remove the pre-planned, DaVita suggested meals by clicking on the delete icon for each meal occasion.

Diet Helper Add ItemsNext, click the Add Item button. The box that opens allows you to search for a recipe or food from the Diet Helper database or you can select an item from My Favorites, My Foods, My Meals or My Recipes—items you add to your personal DaVita Diet Helper database.

Select the foods, recipes or meals you want to plan for each meal occasion. After you have planned meals for the day, scroll down to the Nutrition Facts at the bottom to compare actual nutrients to your target nutrients. If necessary you can make adjustments in portions or items selected to be sure you are within your goal for important nutrients like protein, phosphorus, potassium and sodium.

Diet Helper Nutrients

Next, click on any of the recipes in your meal and select ‘printer-friendly version’ to print the recipe. You also have the option to include nutritional information on your recipe. Continue the above steps until you have planned your meals for the week or time period desired. Use the Monthly Meal Plan feature to print a menu that includes the meals you have planned.

A second way you can use DaVita Diet Helper to plan meals is to first create your meals using the My Meal Creations feature. I will detail how this feature works in a future post, but it’s easy to figure out. From the Diet Helper dashboard or drop down menu select “My Meal Creations”, then “Add New Meal”.  Plan and save your meal. Now return to the Meal Planner and instead of typing in the foods and recipes for your meal simply select the meal from “My Meals”.

DaVita Diet Helper makes planning kidney diets easy—and you have a choice to plan your own meals or use the meals already planned to meet your daily nutrient targets.

The next DaVita Diet Helper “How to” covers creating your own recipes and meals using the My Creations feature.

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:


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.

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