Hi! I’m Jen Belanger, a Registered Dietitian (RD) and food-a-holic. Many people aren’t sure what an RD is or what we do. A couple of my favorite cringe worthy job descriptions are “the food police” and “the menu maker.” RDs have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited 4 year university, though many of us have Master’s degrees. We then complete a 1,200 hour internship where we hone in on our skills in clinical, community, and foodservice areas of nutrition. We must past a national board exam before we can use the highly coveted “RD” credential after our name, and finally, we must complete continuing education credits every 2 years at minimum, just like doctors and teachers! RDs wear many hats and there are countless job avenues. For me, I’ve found that running my private nutrition therapy practice is my love and passion. My focus is on pediatric nutrition and family nutrition. I’m also very into maternal and pre-natal nutrition; we can’t raise healthy children unless we are healthy ourselves, right ladies!? I offer 1:1 nutrition counseling and group education, participate in various consulting projects, and am active on my social media accounts where I post recipes, videos, and ideas you can easily implement into your everyday life! During the COVID-19 “stay at home” orders, I am encouraging all of my families and followers to use this time to work on their nutrition. I chatted with Meghan on Chikchat about how parents and families struggle to find the time to work on their nutrition in the context of their busy, normal lives. Well, right now I think it’s safe to say that we have nothing BUT time! Dust off those cookbooks and try a new recipe! Involve your kids in this process; research shows that when kids are more involved in their food preparation, they are more likely to try the new food. If we can build healthier habits now, when we do have time, we’re much more likely to stick to these habits once we hit the ground running after quarantine ends. If you need professional help with your family’s nutrition, seek out an RD! Many of us in private practice, myself included, are offering virtual consults right now so you don’t even have to leave home! If you’d like to get in touch with me or see what I’m up to in my practice, be sure to follow my Facebook page Jennifer Belanger, RD; my Instagram account @jenniferbelanger_rd, or email me at JenTheRD@gmail.com.
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