- 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. 31, 2011
Start early to encourage healthy eating
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Working with mothers-to-be and new moms, I field many questions about what foods are best to eat and which are best avoided.
My common response is, "Eat what you like." If you like spicy foods and can tolerate them while pregnant, eat them. Recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic, but you usually add 4? Go for it.
Lots of nursing mothers wonder about broccoli, cauliflower and those other gassy veggies. Again, if you tolerate them and your baby tolerates them, keep eating them. If you think a food is making your baby fussy and gassy, don't eliminate it right away. To be sure it was that food, try it again, in a smaller amount.
My advice isn't just for moms. It's also good advice for their kids. In utero and while receiving mother's milk, a baby is also experiencing all those wonderful, unique flavors. Studies have shown that babies who are exposed to a variety of flavors are more likely to except these flavors later in life. To put it quite simply, if you want to have children who like a variety of foods, expose them early on. And keep exposing them to nutritious foods as toddlers and adolescents.
We all want to raise a healthier generation of kids — and if we lessen childhood obesity then we lessen the risk of chronic disease. Exposing kids to the flavors of vegetables, fruits and spices early is the first step to getting them to accept and eat more of these foods. This is a big win for parents and kids alike.
To your children's health,