- 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. 10, 2013
Homemade baby food: What are the benefits?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Making homemade baby food is a hot trend. If you're considering whether to get on the bandwagon and buy a food processor or other kitchen gadget to make your own baby food, it may be worth the investment.
A recent study examined the diet patterns of babies throughout their first year to determine if there is an association between types of foods fed and the development of food allergies.
This study results suggest that a more nutritious diet — one containing more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants — may be protective against the development of food allergies. Specifically, they compared diets of infants fed more fruits, vegetables and homemade foods with diets of infants fed more processed or adult foods, such as convenience foods, ready-to-eat meals and processed potatoes.
Here are a few tips to help ensure that you're giving your baby a nutritious diet:
- Make baby food from freshly prepared ingredients, such as tender meats, lentils, beans, fresh or frozen cooked vegetables, and ripe fruits. Avoid canned products with added salt.
- Cook, puree or mash, and then freeze in small containers, such as ice cube trays or mini muffin cups. When it's time to use, thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat thoroughly and then let the food cool so it is warm to the touch when you're ready to feed it to your baby.
- When choosing commercially prepared baby foods, stick to the single ingredient types as they are more nutritionally dense than the mixed dinner meals.
Parents concerned about food allergies, what are your thoughts? Parent making homemade baby foods, please share your tips.
To the health of our children,