DaVita® Stories

All the Ingredients Needed to Make a DaVita Cookbook

What does it take to make one of our six annual Today’s Kidney Diet cookbooks? From developing themes, creating recipes and brainstorming, to photo shoots, hours of design, copywriting and lots of editing—there’s more to it than just a few pretty pages.

DaVita dietitian Sara Colman whips up a recipe during one of our photo shoots.

Ingredient #1: Theme development

As our small team gets together to decide on cookbook themes, we ask ourselves some key questions:

  • What have our patients really been liking lately?
  • What have they been asking for?
  • What’s fun and new in the culinary scene that we can incorporate into the kidney diet?

Being receptive to our patients’ needs is priority, and helps guide us as we choose our themes for the year ahead.

Ingredient #2: Kidney-friendly recipes

Once a cookbook theme has been decided, we comb through more than 1,000 recipes featured on DaVita.com to include in our new edition. Each recipe comes from a DaVita dietitian or patient, including many from dietitian Sara Colman, who manages DaVita.com recipes and nutrition content.

Ingredient #3: Copy curation

When theme and recipes have come together, we write an introductory letter featured on the first page of each edition, welcoming readers and letting them know why we chose this particular theme. We also write diet and nutrition “sidebars” that you’ll find scattered throughout the cookbook. These sidebars give a range of nutritional advice provided by DaVita dietitians, and tend to help patients figure out how to manage their intake of potassium, sodium and phosphorus in their diets.

Ingredient #4: Design creation

Sara makes sure our creations tempt your eyes and taste buds.

After we know what we want to say, the visual imagery of the cookbook comes to life through photos and design. Several times a year, Sara and other teammates gather for recipe photo shoots, capturing images of some of our favorite DaVita dietitian recipes. The recipes are styled just so to look cookbook-ready.

It’s all coming together—theme, recipes, copy, photos and now for design. One of Team Mercury’s (DaVita’s marketing and communications team) resident designers, Sonya Her, takes all of our ingredients and adds the right look and color to make a beautiful cookbook.

Of course, no edition would be complete without several rounds of editing. It takes a lot of eyes to help make sure we go to print error-free.

Ready to serve

Now, the cookbook is ready to go. Center teammates can purchase packs of 10 cookbooks to be distributed to their patients, and patients can also download the cookbooks for free if they have a myDaVita account.

For the cookbook team, there’s no shortage of Fun or Fulfillment when it comes to putting our cookbooks together. We love hearing about how much patients and caregivers enjoy our recipes and how useful they find the diet information we provide in each edition. We’re looking forward to bringing them new recipes and tips for their kidney diet journeys in 2018.

Want to know more? Download our cookbooks, including our latest, Best Breakfast Recipes, and read our kidney diet tips blog.

Kay Wynarsky

Kay Wynarsky

Kay is a writer on Team Mercury who loves creating content for patient marketing and DaVita brand awareness. A former Army brat, the military took her across the pond and across the U.S. before settling in Colorado for the past 17 years. You can find her enjoying what the state has to offer, including trail running, camping, hiking, skiing, great shows at Red Rocks and more.