March is National Nutrition Month and to celebrate we are highlighting Registered Dietitians, the trained nutrition experts who help guide individuals into making informed and nutritious food decisions to support a healthy lifestyle. Registered Dietitians, or RDs, can be found in a variety of settings, which include hospitals, clinics, supermarkets, corporate offices, schools, private practice, in the media, etc. just to name a few.
When it comes to making recommendations and suggestions for ‘better-for-you’ food products which align with an individual’s health goal, both the role of the supermarket dietitian and the private practice dietitian can play an important part. Outlined below is a spotlight on both types of professionals and how they can help guide you to make healthy food choices to get you closer to your health and wellness goals.
The Role of a Supermarket Dietitian
One unique advantage many of today’s supermarkets have over their competitors is having a Registered Dietitian on staff in the store to guide shoppers into making the most informed purchasing decisions, according to their health goals. Not only can the RD answer your burning questions you may have about the nutrient content of your favorite products, but they can walk the aisles with you, to help you locate products based off of their insightful recommendations. For example, if a shopper has diabetes and is looking for a quick on-the-go breakfast item, the dietitian can introduce them to NuGo Slim Bars.
Conversely, if another shopper is looking to expand their breakfast recipe repertoire, the dietitian may suggest a new veggie and herb omelet and walk the shopper around the store to collect the necessary ingredients. After purchasing these foods, if the customer is interested in learning how to work certain foods into their diet in a healthy capacity, the RD can provide individualized attention to cover this information. Having a dietitian available at the point-of-purchase allows the customer to bring the most nutritious food items into their home, while saving them both time and confusion.
The Role of the Private Practice Dietitian
In the event that your grocery store does not have a dietitian on staff or if you simply need a high level of private accountability to stay the course in reaching your goals once the food enters your home, turning to a private practice dietitian can certainly help. Private practice dietitians can help keep you accountable, by checking in with you, as needed, to ensure the utmost success. Often times it is not the lack of information which prevents an individual from reaching their goals, but rather the lack of accountability.
Depending on the nature of the practice, some services offered may include meal plan creation, in-home pantry makeovers, private in-person or virtual coaching, and much more. For example, if your pantry and fridge are stocked up with healthy foods such as Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, NuGo Egg White Protein Bars, whole-grain bread, peanut butter, etc. your dietitian may be able to sort through these foods, either in-person or virtually, to help you build meals with them. Suggestions may include opting for the Greek yogurt for breakfast topped with fresh strawberries and a spoonful of peanut butter, followed by a NuGo Egg White Protein Bar later on as a mid-morning snack. This accountability and guidance can lead an individual into feeling more comfortable and confident making healthy meal choices on their own.
No matter the capacity or setting, having access to a Registered Dietitian as a resource can be instrumental in getting you one step closer to reaching your health and wellness goals. Throughout the month of March, be sure to wish your dietitian or other nutrition professional, a Happy National Nutrition Month!