- 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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Jan. 30, 2013
Restless legs and iron deficiency in children
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
My children were never what you might call good sleepers as babies. But for one of my sons, the sleep issues continued into his toddler years. However, his midnight visits weren't accompanied by the usual request, "Mommy, can I sleep with you?"
Instead, my son would come to me out of sorts after flopping around in bed like a fish out of water and complain, "Mommy, my body hurts."
So, began the long climb out of iron deficiency.
Iron deficiency is strongly associated with restless leg syndrome in children. And restless leg in children is often underdiagnosed, passed over as growing pains. Another risk factor is family history. Thinking back, yes, there were nights during my pregnancies that I jumped out of bed to ease my restless legs. Iron deficiency can also be a result of celiac and other diseases. Fortunately, that isn't the case for my son.
My toddler started an iron supplement and it helped him sleep. Although doctors and pharmacists alike warned me that I'd struggle to get him to take it, I didn't and still don't.
It's two years later and we are still supplementing. Between growth spurts and the fact that iron is a difficult nutrient to absorb, it's taking time to work up to the iron level that our son's doctor targeted for him.
My son eats meat and some vegetables, not foods that all toddlers like. He's a milk drinker but not excessively so and juice is minimal. Of course, we have the typical toddler feeding issues of eating well one day and not another. And meal planning is a bit more complicated since it involves pairing iron and vitamin C rich foods. But I've got that one covered and I consider us lucky.
To the health of our children,
- Mayo Clinic finds restless legs syndrome in children linked to family history, iron deficiency. ScienceDaily.com. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104113419.htm. Accessed Jan. 28, 2013.
- Picchietti A, et al. Restless legs syndrome: Prevalence and impact in children and adolescents: The Peds REST study. Pediatrics. 2007;120:253.
- Kotagal S, et al. Childhood-onset restless legs syndrome. Annals of Neurology. 2004;56:803.