Danielle Van Schaick is the Co-Founder and Head Dietitian of Dietitian Resources. She also is the Co-creator of Dietetic Meal Planning System, and the Owner of Dani Health & Nutrition Services www.danihealth.com.
So, it seems Dietitian Resources came from things you were already doing with your own private practice?
Exactly. I’ve been making resources for my personal mailing list for the last five years. I have about 5,000 people on it currently. I had also been working with the Dietetic Meal Planner for the last 6 years. A number of Dietitians asked to use my resources and that’s how the idea for the website came about.
How has it been going?
It’s going really well. We have over 2300 Dietitian’s that receive our resource updates every couple weeks mainly from Canada and the U.S. but we’ve recently been getting Dietitians signing up in Australia and South Africa.
What are your future plans for the site?
Right now we are focusing on creating better and more practical resources. We are also looking to provide Dietitians with reliable outside resources so we came up with the Recommended Resources page. It’s a work in progress. We also want to help keep everyone informed about opportunities in the industry so we’ve added job postings to the site.
What was the motivation for creating the Dietetic Meal Planning System?
Necessity. Going through school to be a Dietitian, we are taught how to do meal plans but not many people do them because they can be tedious if you don’t have the tools to help you. I started with a word processor, calculator, nutrient files and a bunch of food labels at my desk. At that time each meal plan was taking me over 4 hours to do. But, my clients loved them and saw results. Myself and the co-founder of the Dietetic Meal Planning System said there has got to be a way to make them easier. We tried plenty of programs out there but none met our requirements and standards so we went about building our own.
Where did the Idea of Dietitian’s Kitchen come from?
I love food. I love telling people about great products that I enjoy in hopes they may do so too. I’ve had a bunch of great feedback from clients and Dietitians so I just keep doing it.
What is one piece of advice you would give Dietitians starting out in Private Practice or interns just getting into the field?
I’m always thinking of the client. The end user. “Will the person use this? Can they understand it? Overall is it practical?” To me there is nothing more practical than giving someone a meal plan with foods they already eat, and that shows them exactly what they should be eating.
I think all too often we expect people to listen to us for an hour and know how to translate all that information into food choices. People learn by doing. Really what it boils down to is the more practical you are in your practice, the more successful you’ll be!