Monthly Archives: December 2010

Internship Class: Animoto-ed

Hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays! I know I have been sleeping more than I think might be healthy, but I also need to keep up with internship duties of course!

I thought I would share something I am currently working on. The DC-MD area dietetic internships often have joint class days, in which one internship will host at a time. Next month is the University of Maryland College Park Dietetic Internship’s turn to host at the National Agriculture Library. The focus is on information technology, social media, etc, which is what is unique about our program in the first place. Each of the UMD interns will get a chance to participate in the joint class day. My job is to present a 3-4 minute presentation on a “Tech Tip” in between speakers, my tech tip being about Animoto.

The free version of Animoto lets you make 30 second videos, so I made this spiffy little video about the UMD Dietetic Internship 2010-2011 class as an example of an Animoto project. Please enjoy 🙂

Create your own video slideshow at

Note: 30 seconds is not a lot of time, which is why the pictures may seem a bit rushed! I originally had all this fancy text introducing each intern, but had to cut it out because it was only enough time to show four of us.
The song is Of Montreal‘s “A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger”.


School Lunchin

Hello!  Last Friday I finished up my week-long rotation with Montgomery County Public Schools.  It was a lot of fun (although that beltway traffic is not!).  I had very little prior knowledge about the role of dietitians in public schools, but last week taught me a lot!  I think Montgomery County, MD is really innovative in their involvement of dietitians on their staff and having so many on board.  My partner and I were able to tour the warehouse, watch the lunch lines at a primary and secondary school, taste whole wheat chocolate chip cookies (YUM!), and got involved in designing flyers advertising for a new healthier pizza (whole wheat crust with a low-fat blend of cheeses that still managed to pass several taste tests) and a weeklong effort to try a different color of fruit/vegetable each day.

Handing out Banana-bran muffins

Having middle schoolers taste-test healthy muffins

One day we went to a middle school to hand out banana-bran muffins along with surveys to get feedback.  It was a lot of fun and the muffins were a big hit.

Also, since it was a short rotation, several of the staff sat us down and briefed us on what they do for the school system: day-care food reimbursement, free and reduced lunch administration, budgeting, and more.  I learned a lot in a few days, and it has opened my eyes to a new area of dietetics I didn’t know about before!


Hello readers- thought I’d share my website that is in development with you! It’s a little amateur premature (as in, not nearly finished) but I thought I’d keep you all in the loop so you can see the different changes I make. And of course, if you have any feedback, that would be much appreciated 🙂

I am using Dreamweaver to make the website completely from scratch, including the development of my very own template. Also, it is the first time I am attempting such a thing. That said, it’s not super-fancy, but I’m amazed that I was able to get this far. Who knew I would learn web-design as a dietitian?

So far I have pages that include graphics, PDF attachments, and information on my rotations thus far.

Here it is –>

**Props to my wonderful sister, Kim Sielbeck, for helping design the graphics. If you can’t tell, she also made my blog header!

Moving on Up: In Age, at Least!

The past two days I’ve been working with younger children from preschool to first grade.  Yesterday we also talked to some parents about the importance of family meals- for nutrition, social support, and other reasons.

Today, still in Baltimore, I was presented a new challenge: middle schoolers.  Fortunately it went very well, although I was wiped out at the end of the day, it was fun!  It is so interesting to see the big differences with each grade, even just between 6th and 7th graders, developmentally and behaviorally.

fat in a super size fry from McDonalds

The amount of fat in a McDonald's Super Size Fry. Gross, right?

We did 3 classes: 8th grade, 7th grade, and then 6th grade.  Each lesson started out with calculating the teaspoon equivalents of fat in fast food items (represented by shortening), and teaspoon equivalents of sugar in beverages (represented by salt).  We said that 4 grams=1 tsp, so they could figure out the grams of fat/sugar in each item and go from there.  It was pretty effective in terms of shock value. One girl was looking through the booklet with all the nutrition info for fast food restaurants, and said, “Wow, I want to show my mom,” which prompted the nutrition educator and I to find her a booklet to take home!  If that’s the only impact we made today- to spark that girl to start thinking about nutrition in a way she hadn’t before- then our work was worth it. Definitely.

Helping 8th graders

Helping the 8th graders coat veggies in oil and spices before grilling.

After that activity, we made a healthier fast food option: chicken fajitas on whole grain tortillas with TONS of veggies: onions, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, squash, and tomato.  We got out the portable grill and made it right there in the classroom, with everyone helping out by chopping veggies, stirring, flipping, or setting up plates.

So sad that this was my last day for FSNE!  I’ll never forget it- I learned so much about teaching for different audiences, and it will definitely help me in my future career.  The nutrition educators I got to work with were fantastic and really inspiring!  It reminded me of why I love community nutrition.

Students as chefs

Students cutting up their veggies for fajitas.

More Community Education

Ready to make pizza

Ready for the kids to start!

I am in my second week of my FSNE rotation, and I am still mixing it up quite a bit from day to day.  Monday I helped educate young mothers about incorporating dairy in their daily lives, especially for their children.  For today (Tuesday), Wednesday, and Thursday I am in Baltimore at Moravia Primary, which teaches prekindergarten through 8th grade.  Today we taught the pre-k and kindergarten children how to make healthy pizza and read them a story.

Finished pizzas

Ready to eat

The healthy pizza is as follows:

  • Whole wheat english muffin
  • Marinara sauce
  • Mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomato, broccoli
  • Low-fat mozzarella
  • Oregano and garlic

20 minutes in the oven, and they came out looking great!  I don’t have much experience with children (hardly even babysat any as a teenager) but I had a fun time helping out.

Spread the Love Around

That’s what I’m doing in my current FSNE (government-funded Food Supplement Nutrition Education program) rotation- spreading my knowledge and love of nutrition to the community!  I have been very busy:

  • Tuesday I was able to go to my old high school and talk to Anne Arundel County teachers about implementing a new program for their child development interns to use that emphasizes nutrition.  Afterwards I went to Gaithersburg to teach 3rd graders about where food comes from, parts of the plant, and we made salad.
  • Wednesday I went to a school in Capitol Heights (PG County) and talked about whole grains to Hispanic immigrants.  My role was to teach them how to identify a WHOLE grain- food companies can market their foods pretty trickily!
  • Thursday I had projects to do from home (putting in community events on the website and looking for nutrition-infused curriculums in other subjects like math, english, etc)
  • Today (Friday) I trekked up to Westminster in Carroll County to help out in a class for developmentally disabled adults.  We made egg nog and I led them on an activity to identify food groups from pictures of common foods.

This rotation has been really fun so far.  Every day is totally different with subject matter and audience (teachers to children to mostly Spanish-speaking to developmentally disabled, talk about comprehensive exposure!).  I have learned how to adjust my teaching style to adapt to their different needs.  The teaching part was my favorite aspect in clinical – so this rotation, all about educating, is really fun for me.

“We’re in This Together!”

I have been fortunate enough not only to be in an internship, but to share this experience with nine other great people. We’ve been hanging out doing other things besides nutrition about once a month, like having a pot luck and bowling. This month we are either ice skating or going to the zoo!

bowling blooper shot

I never said we were photogenic...

Read more about it on my blog entry on the UMD Dietetic Internship blog: “We’re in This Together!