- 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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Aug. 28, 2013
Lessons learned from packing school lunches
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
It doesn't matter how healthy lunch is if your child doesn't eat it. This is a lesson I learned after my son confessed to tossing his carrots, more than once.
Getting children on board with healthy eating takes more than sending them to school with a healthy lunch. So how do you get them to eat the good for growing bodies stuff instead of dumping it in the trash? How can you help them get beyond ordering corndogs and chicken nuggets when they go through the lunch line?
Simple solution — ask. What would they like for lunch? Expect to hear candy, cookies or chips for an answer. Welcome it. This is a great chance to talk about making healthy choices and how treats fit into meal planning. You'll not only keep food out of the trash but you may also plant seeds to help your children make healthier choices, especially when they're not with you.
Here are some tips to help you get your children eating healthier lunches:
- Check the menu. Review the school lunch menu. Are there alternatives to the featured entree? Can you choose an entree salad or another healthy option? Does your child like the fruits and vegetables offered? Check into what others might be available.
- Don't dismiss familiar foods. The same old sandwich is not boring to a child. It is familiar. If you want to put a new spin on a favorite sandwich, keep the stuff in the middle the same but wrap it in a whole-wheat tortilla or flatbread. Or if you child is more adventuresome, try adding hummus or different vegetables for crunch.
- Use the rule of two. Pack a fruit and a vegetable. If vegetables are not as popular, offer two fruits. Let your children choose. If they don't eat both at lunch, they have a snack.
What creative things are you or your child's school doing to encourage children to eat healthier foods? Please share your ideas.
To our children's health,