Dietitians in Foodservice – Communication is Key
The following is an archived post
As a Registered Dietitian (RD), or the new term for us, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), I often get questions about what it is that we do exactly.
What is the role of the dietitian?
Our role can seem mysterious to those that are not familiar with the profession, as nutrition and health fields are vast.
As the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) defines dietitians as:
The food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. RDNs use their nutrition expertise to help individuals and groups make unique, positive lifestyle changes in a variety of settings. They work throughout the community in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research and private practice. RDNs are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.
I believe the role is even more unique within Flik Independent School Dining as we work with so many stakeholders: our own staff – chefs and frontline associates, students, parents, faculty, school doctors and nurses, school administrators, food manufactures, farmers and MORE to deliver the desired wellness agenda into our school communities.
This is done through menu review, purchasing, staff training, food allergy management, nutrition education, and marketing, just to name a few.
Moreover, I increasingly find that the role of the nutrition professional is entrenched in communication. Whether presenting to a group, meeting face-to-face, creating content, writing e-mails, or creating signage, health and wellness knowledge and messaging can’t be “received” if nutrition professionals don’t know how to “send.” The method can be just as important as the content itself.