Investing in kids' healthBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/school-nutrition/MY01455
- 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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Oct. 6, 2010
Investing in kids' health
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Kids do better in school when they're well nourished. Their brains function better when they're physically active. So why don't all schools and childcare programs use these facts to their advantage? These two factors have a major impact on not only school performance but also on dollars saved — immediately in the school budget and long term in the cost of health care.
Kids who are well nourished, active and healthy are more likely to be in school and participating, which reduces the need to spend time helping kids catch up after sick days or addressing poor performance. Thus, teachers can make better use of the available time and resources.
Fewer sick days and better health also equate to savings in health care now and in the future. Consider, for example, that reducing childhood obesity now means fewer obesity-related chronic health problems in the future.
Kids need good role models, access to healthy foods and safe places to play. And many schools are rising to the challenge. The Healthier U.S. School Challenge is an initiative that recognizes schools that have created healthier environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. Another initiative, Action for Healthier Kids, targets schools with limited resources to help them provide students with opportunities to eat right and be active at school so they're ready to learn.
So how do you — parent, guardian, teacher, principal, food service worker, school board member, neighbor or interested community member — improve the bottom line for our kids? How do you give kids a healthy environment — at home, at school and in the community? Share your ideas here.
- Katherineblog index
- Healthier U.S. school challenge: Award-winning schools. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/healthierus/awardwinners.html. Accessed Oct. 4, 2010.
- Action for healthy kids. http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/. Accessed Oct. 4, 2010.