Tag Archives: FSNE

Wow, April Already? A Few Updates

children's national medical center dietetic internship preceptors

My partner Ala's preceptor, Ala, Me, and my preceptor Laura (RD, neurology/ketogenic master!)

I finished up my pediatric rotation and Children’s National Medical Center, where I worked with neurology and renal dietitians.  Both had a great mix of outpatient clinics as well as inpatient rounds and consults, and I learned so much.  Pediatrics is definitely a whole new ball game in dietetics- energy and protein needs seem really foreign (for example babies may need 100 kcal/kg when adults need 25-35 kcal/kg!) and assessment is a lot different too.  Plus, you can’t always ask a pediatric patient about their condition, so you must rely on their caretakers.

Children's national medical center christina sielbeck vimini

Ala and I getting ready to present our individual case studies at CNMC

On my last day I presented a case study on the Ketogenic Diet- I’ll attach a link to my report once I post it on my portfolio- and it went very well!  Although I enjoyed working with the kids (some of them were SO cute and cheerful!)  it wasn’t always easy.  It definitely takes a special person to work with this population!

Last week I was back working with FSNE, a part of the University of Maryland Extension responsible for nutrition education to low-income populations.  I traveled to Upper Marlboro (near DC), Clinton (southern MD), and Westminster (Carroll County, MD).  It was interesting getting to so many different areas of the state, and I enjoyed working with some of the same educators as I worked with in December.

Some good news: I wrote an abstract for the Maryland Dietetic Association Annual Meeting about my clinical case study on Crohn’s Disease, and also submitted it to the DC Metro Area Dietetic Association for their annual meeting.  It was accepted both places!  So I will be preparing a poster presentation that I will share at the meetings.

I also wrote an entry for the University of Maryland College Park Dietetic Internship program blog:   Oh the Possibilities…

Tomorrow I start Long Term Care.  It will be interesting having the pediatric and older adult rotations so close together!

Last but not least, I received my new social security card today….I’m officially Christina Sielbeck Vimini!

**Also CONGRATS to those dietetic students who were matched to a dietetic internship last night!! I cannot believe that only a year ago that was ME!


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 eatsmart.umd.edu 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.

Certifiably Safe in the Kitchen

Took my ServSafe exam today- it’s a 90 question computerized test all about food safety. It covers foodborne illness, ideal cooking temperatures, types of hazards to foodservice, the flow of food all the way from the farm to being in front of the person eating it, and other areas. Passing is 75%, I received a 96% 🙂 Another thing to put on the resume!

Tomorrow I start on my FSNE rotation. First up is going to Broadneck High School (Anne Arundel County) to talk to volunteers about providing nutrition education (a unique kind of class where we will be teaching the teachers) and then to Montgomery County to teach a 3rd grade class about “Growing Healthy Habits”. The 3rd graders will be fun for sure, but I am really excited to visit Broadneck because I actually went to high school there! Yeah Bruins class of 2006!!

Well-Fed, Well-Rested, Back to Work

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know I had a lot to be thankful for, and I was able to celebrate it with a lot of family and friends. I always vow to not act like a dietitian on Thanksgiving- I am in overall good health so one day of eating a lot of not-so-ideal-foods (avoiding the painful overstuffing, that is) will not do TOO much damage! I was even able to celebrate it with my significant other’s family, so I got a different perspective on the holiday meal.

Grilled Turkey

The Grilled Turkey End Result! Yum

For example, my dad always grills our turkey outside on his Weber. This year,
however, I ate an oven-roasted turkey (stuffed with fruit) that was done excellently! (The year before, they had buried the turkey in a pit in the backyard and smoked it…apparently turned out pretty good though?)  My sister sent me a pretty awesome picture of the BBQ turkey, and let me assure you that the leftovers are delicious! What other ways do you prepare a turkey besides grilling, baking, or burying?

Now, it’s Sunday, and I’ve been on break from my dietetic internship since last Wednesday. It’s been nice to get a breather but I am excited for my next rotation with the Food Supplement Nutrition Education Program, where I go around the state of Maryland to help give nutrition educations. Tomorrow, however, is a class day. We are going to Riderwood Village to a computer lab to take a food safety exam to become ServSafe certified! Better go study!

Moving Along

At work

Entering/reviewing patient notes in the computer

I still can’t believe it’s October. Where has the time gone? I’ve been seeing tons of patients at the hospital. As my sister puts it, “saving the world” except, not. Just trying to optimize people’s dietary intake is all.  I’ve seen a lot of cancer patients who need supplemental shakes to boost their caloric/protein intake, and many cardiac patients who need to cut back on their caloric/fat intake.  Even when the doctors ignore my recommendations, I know that I’m still making an impact when I am able to spend time with the patients and really  work with them.  There’s also been a couple quite remarkable cases that I feel I would be violating patient confidentiality if I posted about, but let’s just say it’s been pretty interesting!

Monday was a class day where we learned about FSNE, or Maryland’s Food Supplement Nutrition Education program, commonly referred to as Food Stamp education.  We will be doing an in-depth research project for them evaluating their educational curriculums for people who are receiving food supplement aid.  We also were able to learn about tips on general nutrition education practices.  Food stamps reach a lot of different populations, so you never can predict how a class will go.  Several nutrition educators for FSNE were in attendance, so they were able to offer ideas on how to cope with various situations.

Anyway, tomorrow I will be going to the hospital really early to hear a recognized expert on diabetes talk about diabetes and heart disease.  It should be interesting to hear about, since so many of my patients have both of those conditions!  For now, I must work on my Critical Care homework set.  I’ll try to update again later this week!