The Hospital's three registered dietitian nutritionists took a moment out of their day to answer our top three questions related to their roles, helping others live healthy lifestyles and why they love their job.
 

Sara O’Brien, RDN, CDN
Clinical Nutrition Manager

What is a registered dietitian nutritionist?

A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is a licensed food and nutrition expert.
 

How can RDNs help children and families?

RDN’s can help teach your family how to prevent chronic diseases and illness with food. A healthy diet should be a lifestyle.
 

Why do you love your job?

I love my job because I create individualized nutrition plans to help children achieve their health goals and to promote optimal


Learn more about Sara O'Brien.

 

Giana DiMaria, RDN, CDN
Registered Clinical Dietitian

What is a registered dietitian nutritionist?

A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is a licensed healthcare practitioner who provides individualized nutrition education and goals based on evidenced based research and clinical/dietary guidelines.

How can RDNs help children and families?

RDN’s evaluate the growth and development of children by monitoring their individualized nutrition regimens via clinical nutrition support and dietary requirements. RDN’s include families throughout their child’s journey to optimize their nutritional status and maintain a healthy well-being.

Why do you love your job?

I love being a Blythedale pediatric RDN because it gives me the opportunity to optimize children’s nutritional status based on their individualized clinical needs while seeing their overall health improve. I also love using food creativity during our monthly Jr. Chef nights to help introduce different types of food and nutritional lessons to the children.

 

Marie Roth, RDN
Eat Well, Be Well
Lead Dietitian/
Director of Curriculum

What is a registered dietitian nutritionist?

The "RDN" status is a legally protected title that can only be used by practitioners who are authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
A registered dietitian (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) has completed multiple layers of education and training established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics including:

  • Attaining a four-year degree which includes a specially designed, accredited nutrition curriculum.
  • Completion of an extensive supervised program of practice at a health care facility, foodservice organization and community agencies.
  • Passing a rigorous registration exam.
     

In contrast, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist.  The public should know the definition and requirements for the term "nutritionist" vary by state. Some states have licensure laws that define the credentials and scope of practice for someone claiming to be a nutritionist. In many other states virtually anyone can call himself or herself a nutritionist regardless of education and training.

How can RDNs help children and families?

Nutrition is the foundation to health because food provides information to the body.  This information gets translated by our genes into cellular instructions that signal our basic biological functions and physiological processes. These instructions are what drive our health and disease patterns. In other words, what we eat programs our bodies with messages of health or messages of disease.  We help people make this important connection--  the types and amount of foods consumed can both prevent or mitigate a wide range of symptoms and risk factors linked to common chronic illnesses. 

The importance of nutrition is particularly true for young children—especially during the first 1000 days, from conception to age two.  This critical time period lays the foundation for a child's life, and the right foods and nutrients are essential to good brain function and development, muscle and organ growth, appropriate physical growth and a strong immune system.

A RDN has specialized skills and training to help individuals and families develop eating plans that specifically meets their needs – whether it’s educating parents on the best foods for newborns and infants; helping family members reach a health and fitness goal; achieve weight loss; work with picky eaters; or treat/manage a medical condition.  If it is food related, we are the experts!

Why do you love your job?

Working in community nutrition, through the Blythedale Kohl's Eat Well, Be Well (EWBW) community outreach program, I’ve had the privilege to design and implement wellness programs and interventions, educate, empower, support, and advocate for children and families.  Over the last decade, I’m just blown away by the work to be done in wellness to reach communities with effective prevention programs.  This work, and the insights I have gained, have changed my life and my passions. Community health problems are so complex and involve people of all economic levels and community sectors.  I LOVE working across different groups of people and disciplines and being part of improving people’s lives every day.

Learn more about Marie Roth.

 

 

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