- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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Sept. 29, 2010
School nutrition: Getting beyond 'kid food'
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
School nutrition and food services tend cater to kids' likes. Some even try to put a healthy twist on kids' favorite foods. That's commendable, but realistically we need to get beyond chicken nuggets, pizza, and macaroni and cheese if we want to make a long-term and measurable impact on school nutrition and children's health.
Many schools are getting creative and making a difference. Cafeterias are offering fresh fruit and vegetable bars, and making connections with local farmers to bring in fresh foods.
A new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program, "Chefs Move to Schools," supports the First Lady's "Let's Move!" campaign and aims to improve school nutrition. The program pairs chefs with teachers, parents, school nutrition professionals and administrators to educate kids about food and nutrition. Chefs know how to make good food — good for you and good tasting. After all kids — like adults — won't eat foods they don't find appealing and tasty.
Getting kids involved can also help make a big difference in school nutrition. Another USDA program, "Recipes for Healthy Kids," does just that. Kids compete and can win prize money for their schools. Even if your school chooses not to compete at a national level, this would be a fun contest to host in your school or school district.
Let's start a space to share ideas, right here. What suggestions do you have for improving school nutrition and getting kids to make the switch from highly processed foods to fresh and healthy alternatives?
Thanks for your thoughts on improving school nutrition and the health of our children.
- Katherineblog index