November 18, 2022

Top 11 Meal Planning Software Services Explained

Eva Medved

Guiding a user on their health journey has never been this easy. A digital meal plan on a smartphone has replaced photocopied pages from a book. Healthy eating goals, be they for weight loss, disease management or better energy, can be attained with less effort, less time and more precision.

A dynamic meal plan supports the user at every step of the way. It adapts the nutrition program to their exact needs and wishes, and populates a grocery list within the app, which is in the palm of their hand when they go shopping, on their kitchen counter as they follow the recipe steps, and provides macro and micronutrient info to keep them on track.

Different services offer different features, with some leveraging much more advanced technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence to personalize nutrition) than others (e.g., printable PDFs). Below, we compare11 best meal planning services for nutrition and health professionals on the market today.

Meal planning software overview

White label API Create PDFs Calorie and macronutrient tracking Dynamic personalization Shopping lists
Suggestic Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
EatThisMuch Sort of* No Yes Yes No (considers manually input preferences and restrictions) Yes
Foodzilla Sort of* No Yes Yes No Yes
Nutrition Maker Sort of* No No No No (based on health risk assessments, diet preferences, and lifestyle surveys) Yes
That Clean Life No No Yes Yes No (adapts based on dietary goals, sensitivities, preferences and/or diets) Yes
Nutrium Sort of* No No Yes No Yes
NutriAdmin No No Yes Yes No Yes
Healthie No No Yes Yes No No
Diet Planner Sort of* No No Yes No ( based on a nutritional interview) Yes
Everfit Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
DietMaster Software Sort of* No No Yes Partially (synchronizes with Fitbit and Apple Watch) Yes

*Meal plan is provided through the service’s own website or app that can be customized with your brand’s name, logo, and colors. In comparison, services that offer full white labeling (Suggestic or Everfit) are able to build a completely customized app that users can download from the App Store or Google Play under your name. Learn more about building a health or nutrition app here.

Dynamic vs. standard personalization in meal planning software

Standard personalization in meal planning software usually includes:

  • setting daily energy (kcal) goal
  • setting daily macronutrient goals
  • setting daily micronutrient goals
  • manually excluding certain food ingredients and groups (e.g., milk and dairy products)
  • using a template to create a meal plan following a certain diet (e.g., keto, low carb, vegan, paleo…)
  • either manually (handpicking the recipes) or automatically generating a weekly or monthly meal plan, and presenting it in a simple PDF, website, or app

Dynamic personalization in meal planning software includes:

  • everything described above AND
  • continuously adapting the meal plan based on wearables or lab tests input (for example, if a CGM detects too many sugar spikes, the meal plan will automatically change to include less glucose-spiking foods)
  • allowing the user to mark their favorite recipes which will repeat multiple times
  • allowing the user to mark foods they don’t like and automatically adapting the meal plan
  • allowing the health professional (coach or nutritionist) to create a completely unique meal plan and assign it to any user or group of users

At the moment, Suggestic is the only fully dynamic meal planning software on the market, enabling the most granular level of personalization. This means that the meal plan adapts to the user’s preferences as well as ongoing input from wearable devices, lab tests, and data provided by a healthcare or nutrition professional.

How a meal planning software can grow your business

The old-school way that a nutritionist, a doctor, or a personal trainer would create meal plans is to write them one by one, day by day, recipe by recipe. Or, worse yet, to simply provide all end users with the exact same meal plan.

A software speeds up the meal planning process enormously. It’s like having a whole team of employees – nutritionists, recipe developers, photographers, and designers – working in the background.

Each software has a different way of filtering through a large number of meals and recipes to very quickly find the ones that are right for the specific user. Depending on the scale of your business and the number of customers you serve, you can use an entirely automated process that doesn’t require your input (such as Suggestic), or a semi-automated process where you will still be involved but the software will make suggestions (such as That Clean Life).

The volume of high-quality recipes offered by a software is one of the most important choosing factors. Suggestic offers over 5 thousand premium recipes (developed by an in-house team of nutrition professionals) and over 1.7 million more recipes parsed from the internet.

The importance of personalizing a meal plan to each individual client

Any positive health change starts in the kitchen. But unless that meal plan can meet the user where they are – in their current physical state, beliefs, socioeconomic status, and other circumstances – the chances of implementation are small, which is why dynamic meal planners are such a smart feature.

Allergies and sensitivities

This is a key element of personalization. Whether we’re talking about allergies, which affect the immune system and can have deadly consequences, or sensitivities, which affect the digestive system, it’s critical to consider them for the user’s health, safety, and wellbeing.

Micros and macros

The user may be trying to lose weight, gain weight, increase muscle mass or reverse a chronic illness. They may be male or female, in their 20s or in their 60s. There is no standard “healthy” meal plan. Each user demands a unique health journey based on their goal. Personalizing a meal plan to the specific energy, macro- and micronutrient needs of a user is another key factor in their success.

Culture

Your customers are likely from different backgrounds and cultural traditions, and it’s important to offer them healthy versions of dishes they are already used to and love eating.

Suggestic offers easy filtering based on various cuisines, such as standard American, Mediterranean, Asian, Mexican, Indian, French, and so on, that make the user feel as comfortable as possible on their health journey.

Preferences

Last but not least, it’s not just about what each customer needs nutritionally, but also what they enjoy. What flavors and textures do they prefer? What time do they have their meals? How skilled are they in the kitchen? Do they have access to ingredients in the recipes? All of these factors go into building  a hyper-personalized meal plan, one that is seamlessly implemented.

Conclusion

A meal planning software can automate a key process in any health or nutrition business, save you time and money, and ensure the best possible experience for the end user.

Suggestic is the state of the art meal planning software that empowers users to easily lose weight, form new habits, and reach their goals. The proprietary AI continuously adjusts meal plans based on data the app receives from the user’s clinical lab tests or wearable devices.