- 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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May 4, 2011
What do your kids eat away from home?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Instilling healthy habits in our children reaches beyond the family dinner table. More than 35 percent of children under the age of six attend a child-care facility.
However, state regulations regarding nutrition and physical activity are not consistent when it comes to child-care facilities. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recently released the 2011 Children's Food Environment State Indicator Report, part of a series of reports that highlight environmental and policy indicators to improve nutrition, physical activity and reduce obesity.
Reading this report, I was surprised to learn that only two states have regulations that restrict sugary drinks, such as regular sodas and sweetened fruit drinks, in child-care settings. And fewer than half of states have regulations in place to limit screen time.
OK, parents, pull out your checklist. I've got a few suggestions to add to the list of questions you ask when evaluating child-care providers:
- What foods are served for meals and snacks? The day care may be on a food program that sets guidelines about how many servings of carbohydrates/starches, protein, vegetable, fruit, and dairy should be provided at meals and snacks. This is a good start. You need to ask, however, about the foods being served. Consider, for example, that one starch or carbohydrate serving could be sugary cereal or refined grain crackers containing trans fat.
- What are kids given to drink? What types of beverages are offered? Are water and milk the most common options? Are sugary drinks available?
- Are there rules about screen time? Are television, video games and computers allowed? Television exposes children to a blitz of food commercials. These foods are often high in fat, calories, sugar and sodium. In addition, screen time is still time. Kids need to be moving, exploring and using their imaginations. Kids under the age of 2 should have no screen time. Older kids should have no more than two hours of screen time a day.
Well-nourished children thrive developmentally as they play, explore and learn. Choose a child-care facility that will share in the responsibility of promoting the health and happiness of your child.
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