Tag Archives: Baltimore

Community Experience: Moveable Feast

Moveable FeastJust finished up 2 weeks with Moveable Feast, and let me tell you: I learned a lot more than just about community nutrition!  This non-profit organization (funded by grants) cooks, packages, and delivers food to people in Maryland with HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, and in certain cases, blood cancers.  Not only that, but there are three registered dietitians on staff to provide nutrition assessments, home visits, phone counseling, and educations to the clients.  The dietitians on staff were so passionate about their jobs- it was really inspiring.

Packing moveable feast meals

Packing meals for Moveable Feast clients

I was able to participate in duties normally done by the RDs such as risk screens, counseling, etc.  Plus I taught volunteers about food safety, designed handouts/seminar materials, and even helped pack a few meals!  Some parts of this dietetic internship rotation definitely took me out of my comfort zone, however.  I was going into areas of Baltimore City I might not normally find myself in, and counseling clients in their homes is A LOT different from counseling them in a hospital or clinic.  But with patient preceptors and friendly, grateful, inspiring clients,  the experience was one that I will never forget.  I’m so glad I could be a part of Moveable Feast and help out members of the community!

If you live near Baltimore, learn about participating restaurants that will donate part of the check to Moveable Feast on Sept 22, 2011.  And if you enjoy cycling, definitely check this out!

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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.

And So it Begins…

First Day

Another intern and I on our first day.

Today marked the completion of my first week as a dietetic intern!  After four years of grueling coursework, a lengthy application process, and a very anxious match day, I was ecstatic to be matched with the University of Maryland College Park Dietetic Internship.  Throughout the summer I had been working on assignments to prepare for this 10.5 month program with an emphasis in information technology and communication, and I’m excited to begin!

The first few days were comprised mainly of orientation and entry procedures.  The 10 of us got to know each other pretty quickly as we learned about what we would be doing at our various rotations.  In the first few days, we traveled to Baltimore’s Harbor Hospital, the University of Maryland campus, Riderwood Village in Silver Spring, and the National Agriculture Library (NAL).

The Registered Dietitians that work at NAL taught us about using websites and social media to share nutrition information with the public.  They covered topics such as maintaining a positive presence on the internet, using twitter, and creating Web sites.  As interns, we are even responsible for submitting tweets and blog entries for the program!  Because of my strong interest in using communication via the internet in my future as a dietitian, I found these lessons to be especially useful.  I am eager to begin building my own electronic portfolio that will showcase my work during the internship.

One week down, and so far so good! TGIF!