- 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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Feb. 22, 2012
Why a picture of broccoli is worth a thousand words
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Many who know me have heard me tell this story, perhaps selfishly to reassure myself that someday my kids will change their mind about a certain food.
A fellow dietitian made a salad for the evening meal nearly every night of the week. At each meal, she put a small portion of salad on her children's plates. She continued this for years even though her children never ate the salad. When her children became teens, they began helping with dinner. And what did they make? Salad. Better yet, they ate it!
We know from researchers that repeated exposure to nutritious food can increase the quantity of fruits and vegetables children eat. However, it may take upwards of 10 to 15 exposures to a new food.
Recognizing that this may be too tough a task for even the most well-intentioned parents, researchers have looked at whether pictures of fruits and vegetables can achieve the same results. And indeed evidence suggests that exposing toddlers to picture books about fruit and vegetables can increase their willingness to accept these foods into their diet.
It seems logical when you consider the successful marketing of fast food, snack foods and sugary beverages. Do you know any parents who haven't been bombarded by requests for foods their kids have seen on TV?
Why not put this technique to work for you? Give it a try with these tips:
- Read kids books with pictures of fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods.
- Invite older kids to find dinner ideas by looking at cookbooks or food websites.
- Take kids to the grocery store (when you're not too rushed) and let them explore. Together choose a new whole food to try.
- Decorate with food. Keep fruit, vegetables and grains in attractive containers where kids can see them. Allow kids to choose these foods as snacks.
- Be patient. Don't push food on kids. Instead, put a small amount — a tablespoon — of the target food on their plates. Let them see you eating and enjoying it. Repeat, over and over again. Don't despair. Remember it might take days, months or years to see results.
Please share your stories on how you have won over your child, spouse or other loved one to a particular food.
To our children's health,