A few facts about myself :
How did you become interested in dietetics?
Growing up with a love for nutrition started early, as I grew up on a dairy farm, being the fifth of seven children in our family. My family ate from a very large garden and my mom canned and froze everything . We drank whole, unpasteurized milk by the gallons and consumed a lot of red meat that came from our own cattle. Everything was homemade and I remember going to my friend’s house in 4th grade and for the first time ever, realizing that brownies could be made from a box. Clean and healthful eating started at home.
In high school, I started to work for a honey bee farmer that was a family friend from Church. His wife was (still is) a dietitian and made the most amazing and fresh snacks and meals, while balancing her work at the local nursing homes. Her enthusiasm for helping others and promoting nutrition, pushed me to want to do the same. Dietitians are passionate and that passion is easily passed on!
What do you enjoy most about being a dietitian?
I love helping people see the power and results of eating well. Currently, I work in a school setting and it’s amazing to see students try new foods, get excited about fruits and vegetables and want to make healthy choices. I think our role as dietitians is so multi-dimensional, in that we need to gain the knowledge, be able to share and teach the knowledge effectively and then sell to our clients, whoever they may be, the benefits of our nutrition knowledge. We are pretty amazing, right?!
Do you have any advice for others who want to be successful in the dietetics field?
Network, build relationships and think outside the box. Go to meetings, reach out to other dietitians and volunteer your time. Although life can get beyond busy at times, you will find that the dietitians in Iowa are a great group to be a part of. Many work hard to advance our profession and you should too! Be brave and take that first step!
What do you enjoy most about your career?
I love working with the kitchen staff at W-SR, as well as having a career that gives you the opportunity to feed young people a healthy meal 180 days of the year. The new meal guidelines for the National School Lunch program can be daunting and a bit overwhelming at times but it’s fun to take current recipes, make changes and have a product that you feel good about serving. I’m not always successful with new ideas or recipes and I find that students don’t really care for some of my concoctions. Live and learn, and serve something in a different way!