National Nutrition Month - 2014

Six HA DPG members shared their 2014 NNM projects with us, below. We hope you find their experiences inspirational as you consider organizing your own NNM events. 

Presentation and Open Discussion: “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”
Lana Olsson, MS, RD, CSG

Lana Olsson, MS, RD, CSG, presented a program, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” to a group of senior residents at The Hillcrest Independent Living Community. Hillcrest had publicized the event to their residents; for example, the program was included in the monthly calendar. After introductions, the six residents (one male and five females) filled out a questionnaire that rated their food choices and the quality of their diets. As a group, Lana and the participants discussed the questionnaire results and ways in which the residents could improve their food choices. The group received NNM theme cups and pamphlets, and some were given to the activities director. One attendee commented after seeing his marginal diet quality, "It’s a wonder we're still alive!"

Event: Radio Talk Show
Beth-Anne Oliver, MS, RD, LDN

Beth-Anne Oliver, MS, RD, LDN, held a talk-show on WWCH in Clarion, PA. She also posted nutrition-related articles on the radio-station’s website. Beth-Anne used the NNM slogan and related it to the Mediterranean diet.

Event: Healthy Potluck Luncheon
Angela Kelley, MS, RD, LD

Editor’s note: We have included a description of this event even though circumstances prevented Angela Kelly for running it during NNM.

Angela Kelley, MS, RD, LD, is employed by a visiting-nurse association in KS. She reported her plans to host a “healthy” potluck luncheon where coworkers could share and taste recipes that were either high in fiber, low in fat, low in salt, or utilized a unique ingredient or spice. Based on the number of employees working in her office, she anticipated that an audience of about 20 to 50 people would participate in the potluck. She planned to publicize the event by sending emails to co-workers and to include written materials in her cubicle.

• Event: “Taste-It Tuesdays”
• Presentation: “Eating for a Healthy Heart, the Whole Grain Truth”
• Presentation and Open Discussion: Small-Batch Cooking
• Sponsored Purchase of NNM Placemats and Brochures
Mary Ellen Metzger, RD, LD

Mary Ellen Metzger, RD, LD, is the Heartland Senior Services Nutrition Director. For her NNM event, Mary Ellen enlisted a sponsor: Bickford Assisted Living, located in Ames, IA. Bickford assisted with the purchase of NNM placemats and brochures. Her team featured “Taste-it Tuesdays” at a congregate meal site in Story County, IA. Seniors sampled foods they may not have previously had the opportunity to taste, including quinoa, hummus, kale chips, and unusual fruits and vegetables (such as kohlrabi and aronia berries). “Taste-it Tuesdays” foods were accompanied by handouts that included a nutrition fact or provided answers to the question, “Did you know about the food being tasted?” These events were in addition to the usual menu and meal service.

To highlight local dietitians as nutrition experts, Amy Clark, RD, LD, from Hy-Vee, gave an hour-long presentation, “Eating for a Healthy Heart, The Whole Grain Truth” to the public at Heartland Senior Services. Amy brought samples of two recipes using grains such as Kamut® and wheat berries, as well as other grocery items that demonstrated heart-healthy choices. Sharon Millage, RD, LD, from Story County Medical, visited the Nevada congregate meal site and spoke to lunch participants about nutrients in the food from the midwest heartland and buying food locally.

Mary Ellen presented about small-batch cooking (cooking for one or two people) at the Colorado and Huxley meal sites. and then held open conversations with the lunch guests. She discussed menu planning; how to freeze, reheat, and refrigerate foods safely; special purchasing requests at the grocery store, and the importance of socializing at meal times. The audience size ranged from 10 to 40 people at various sites. These NNM events were publicized through the website, flyers, verbal announcements at congregate meal sites, and a radio spot with the local radio station.

Café Menu Items: “Tastes of the Mediterranean”
Sherry Hamilton, MS, RD, LDN

Sherry Hamilton, MS, RD, LDN, worked with her food and nutrition team at St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro TN, to feature “Tastes of the Mediterranean” menu items in support of the NNM theme. In addition, informational handouts about NNM were available on a table outside the café for customers and visitors. Information was also shared throughout the hospital on the electronic media boards located by the elevators and outside the café.

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