- 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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June 16, 2011
Children and healthy eating: Parents set the example
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
I work with a lot of men, many of them fathers, who tell me, "Oh, my wife takes care of the shopping and the cooking." Wait a moment, gentlemen. Fathers, not just mothers, are role models for their children when it comes to healthy eating.
Fathers who frequently take their children out to eat are effectively teaching them to rely on food away from home — mostly fast food. This lesson stays with children through adolescence into young adulthood. On the other hand, fathers who believe that dinner is an important family ritual tend to raise children who eat less fast food.
I understand how hard it is to prepare meals at home when life has so many other demands. Let me offer a few tips for mothers and fathers to help get dinner on the table more often:
- Keep it simple. Why not serve finger foods? Make it colorful with apple and bell pepper slices, broccoli or cauliflower florets, a few cubes of low-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers.
- Leftovers are your friends. Use last night's chicken or beef for sandwiches, on whole-grain bread, of course. Add some grape tomatoes and baby carrots to make it a meal.
- Get on the stick. Instead of sandwiches, try kebabs. Veggies like bell peppers and grape tomatoes work well, and so does chicken or even cheese. You can use any food you can put on a skewer.
- Wrap it up. Smear hummus on a whole-wheat tortilla and add leafy lettuce, tomatoes, finely chopped cauliflower or any veggie your kids like.
- Make it to go. If you don't have time to eat at the table, pack up dinner and take it with you. You can picnic when you arrive at your destination.
What do you think dads and moms? Any advice to share with other parents?
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