Friday, October 30, 2015

Healthier Hallowen

Happy Halloween! We all love to celebrate. When we are trying to eat healthier, sometimes celebrations can be challenging. Celebrations usually include rich, heavy foods, decadent sweets, sugary beverages, and an abundance of food. I want you to enjoy your celebrations, so let's set you up for success. Here's to a healthier Halloween!

1) Eat a satisfying meal or snack before trick-or-treating
If you and your children are full from a healthy, well-balanced meal, the treats are less likely to be tempting.

2) Make healthy treats for trick-or-treating.
There are a couple examples from the archives for healthy Halloween themed snacks. You can have healthy, fun treats to give away to trick-or-treaters. You can also save a few healthy snacks for your children after trick-or-treating, so there are healthy options instead of mounds of candy.

3) Set boundaries for treats.
We all need boundaries. So, make sure you set healthy boundaries with candy or treats. Before trick-or-treating, let your child know the amount and times they are able to enjoy the candy. Then, your child knows realistic expectations about the amount of candy they can consume.
You can also give your child a small bag for trick-or-treating. This limits the amount of candy you bring into the home.

4) Give treats away.
Have your child pick out their favorite candy to save. Give them a goal or number of pieces to save. Then, encourage sharing by giving the other candy away. This teaches your child the value of giving. It also limits the temptation to overeat candy since there will be less in the home.

There are several places that offer Halloween Candy Buy Back. Check the website for a location near you. These locations are often dentist's offices who offer to buy candy and prevent cavities at the same time! The candy is then donated to troops overseas. You help your kids moderate their sweets intake and send a gift to service men and women. It's a win-win situation!

For more Halloween recipes and tricks for healthy eating, follow RDtipoftheday on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. I provide different resources, tips, and recipes on each social media platform. So, make sure to follow me on all of them to get your #RDtipoftheday. Happy Halloween!

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Using Technology as a Health Tool: RDtipoftheday's Top 3 Healthy Recipe Websites

We live in a world of apps and smart phones. The Internet is literally at our fingertips. Let’s use these tools to help us make better lifestyle choices and eat healthier.  We use the Internet daily. I am constantly browsing the Internet to find new recipes. Some of my favorites recipe websites include:

    I love searching for recipes, trying new recipes, and tweaking recipes to be healthier. Be a knowledgeable consumer. Not all recipes on Pinterest are healthy; however, many recipes are healthy or can be altered to be a healthier recipe.

My favorite kid-friendly websites include:

  • August 2014 was the first Kids Eat Right Month sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This website has a ton of tools and helpful information on making healthy eating choices for you and your family.

  • This website has a ton of information! It has games, the “plate model” for building healthy plates, information about portion sizes of food, and recipes.

  • This page features recipes made by kids! It is amazing what some peer inspiration can do to help motivate or challenge your kids to try a new recipe. Here's the link for the Healthy Lunchtime ChallengeCookbook 2013.
  • This website features 54 winning recipes from America’s junior chefs. It features a recipe from each US state and territory. It features information about each kid chef and an appetizing picture with each recipe. You can download the PDF for a free cookbook!
  • RDtipoftheday's Family Fun Idea: This recipe book is a great opportunity to teach cultural foods, geography, or expose your family to new flavors. Have a family “dine in night” themed for each state or dish.

For more tips for healthy eating, follow RDtipoftheday on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Monday, October 19, 2015

RD School: How Can I Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?

It was about this time of year during my senior year of high school that we were challenged to look at 2 or more careers to prepare for college the following year. Thanks to Mrs. Malone, my amazing AP English teacher, I found dietetics as a career. I grew up loving science and learning, so I was preparing to become a science teacher. After looking at the job opportunities for teachers and dietitians, I decided to pursue a career in dietetics with the hopes of pursuing teaching on the collegiate level later in my career. 

Today, we will review how you can become a Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Notice, that I did not say "nutritionist." Nutritionists are not the same as a Registered Dietitian. I repeat, dietitians and nutritionists are NOT the same. 

Technically, everyone is a nutritionist - meaning you do not have to have any schooling to use this title. This would be like someone being able to say that they were a "doctor" without pursuing medical school and their MD. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be seen by a "doctor" who hasn't completed medical school. 

Registered Dietitians complete undergraduate education, a dietetic internship, and all who want to sit for the RD exam in 2024 will have to earn their Master's degree. If you want more information about becoming a RD, check out this series where I walk you through each step of the process and give tips on how to succeed in every step.

 Becoming a Registered Dietitian: Undergraduate

Becoming a Registered Dietitian: Dietetic Internship

Becoming a Registered Dietitian: Pass the RD Exam

Registered Dietitians have the credentials RD or RDN after passing the national RD Exam. The RD and RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) are the same credentials. The "N" in RDN was added to help regulate the use of the title "nutritionist" and protect consumers. If you want to find a RD in your area, you can use the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website to find RDs and verify credentials. Be an educated consumer. Make sure you know what credentials your healthcare practitioners have. Be safe and healthy!

For more tips about healthy eating and information about becoming a RD, follow RDtipoftheday on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

RD School: What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

RD school is a segment that I have periodically on the blog to explain things about being a RD (registered dietitian) or dietitian-related medical nutrition therapy (MNT) topics. If you are in school or have children in school, you know it's time for midterm exams. So, I thought this would be a perfect time to feature RD school. Today, we are focusing on Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a tool I use every day as a RD.

BMI, or body mass index, is the ratio of your weight to your height. Health care professionals, like dietitians, use the BMI percentiles to help classify one's BMI into categories. The categories are underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese. These categories provide information about health, mobility, mortality, and risk of developing chronic diseases.

BMI sometimes gets a bad wrap. However, it is a useful tool to health care professionals for the assessment of the health of their patient. The key is that it is one of many tools that can be used to assess health.

For example, most NFL (National Football League) players will have a BMI percentile that would classify them as overweight or obese. However, this BMI percentile may be skewed by the higher percent of muscle mass present in professional athletes. Dietitians may use mid-arm circumference (MAC) or body fat testing to better investigate and determine the health of a professional athlete.

BMI is still a helpful tool to assess overall health when used in conjunction with other screening tools. Some other helpful health screening tools include but are not limited to: serum lab values (blood tests including cholesterol, blood sugar, vitamin or mineral levels, etc.), muscle mass or body fat percentages, and diet history.

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You can calculate your BMI; however, know that you are not just a number. If you have questions about your health, please contact your PCP (primary care physician) and ask to speak with a dietitian. Or, you can find a dietitian near you

I hope you enjoyed this feature on RD school. I hope you learned something new or that I was able debunked any false information about BMI. Comment below if there are any health-related topics you would like featured in a segment of RD school.

For more tips and tricks for healthy eating, follow RDtipoftheday on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter.

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Take the Healthy RD Challenge to Improve your Health One Day at a Time

Myths about Registered Dietitians

Monday, October 5, 2015

September 2015 Favorites

Thank you for all of the love this month! September has been a busy month. We are all adjusting to the start of school. I'm finishing preparations for Spring classes and completing some consultation work. If you missed any of the posts this month, here are the top five favorite posts you visited this month. Enjoy!

Let me know if there are any nutrition-related topics you would like to know more about. Please comment below. For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter