Celebrating Dietitian’s Day!

Listen to Amanda Burton, a registered dietitian in St. John's, talk about the differences between a nutritionist and a dietitian.

Click here to watch Amanda Burton, a registered dietitian in St. John’s, talk about the differences between a nutritionist and a dietitian.

Once a year, a special day is dedicated to all dietitians across Canada. It celebrates dietitians as health care professionals, committed to using their specialized knowledge and skills in food and nutrition to improve the health of Canadians.

Today, March 20, 2013 marks the fourth anniversary of Dietitians Day. It spotlights the profession and reminds us that dietitians are the smart choice for advice on proper eating, good nutrition and healthy living.

Usually when teaching in classes about healthy eating I pose the question to kids “What do dietitian’s do and where do we work?”

Usually the room goes pretty quiet and I get a few whispers and mumbles about healthy eating and working in hospitals.

This is certainly a good place to start as to the many things dietitians do in the work force but there is oh so much more!

  • Dietitians are one of a kind; they have the distinct ability to translate the complex science of nutrition into practical solutions for you on healthy eating and disease prevention and treatment.
  • Dietitians are uniquely trained to advise you on food, healthy eating and nutrition. They have a degree in food and nutrition, from an accredited university. To become a Registered Dietitian an undergraduate degree is required along with an accredited internship program. I completed my Bachelor of Science at Memorial University here in St. John’s and continued with an Integrated Internship program at Mount Saint Vincent in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Dietitians must be members of a provincial regulatory body in order to practice. This ensures the public that they are receiving nutrition advice from a qualified professional.
  • Dietitians work where you live, work and play – in health departments, hospitals, health and wellness centres, food companies, universities, and recently I learned dietitians were on staff for the menu development of the International Space Station – very cool!
  • As consumers we can sometimes get overwhelmed with nutrition information – it’s sometimes hard to tell what to believe and not to believe. For good reason, when it comes to food and nutrition advice, Canadians trust dietitians most.

To find a dietitian in your area, visit

Also, you can click here to watch a short video from Dietitians of Canada featuring local dietitian Amanda Burton speaking a little bit about the differences between a dietitian and a nutritionist.

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Learning to love grocery shopping

Learning to love grocery shopping with Kids Eat SmartWhen it comes to grocery shopping, many of us view it as a rather dreary chore. What with reading labels, checking prices and comparing products, supermarkets can be an overwhelming place for those trying to stick to the plan!

You can learn to love (or least not loath) grocery shopping by remembering to not shop on an empty stomach and to stick primarily to the perimeters of the supermarket.

The perimeter of the store is where you will usually find the fresh whole foods we need to make up a healthy balanced menu plan for the week.

Do take some time to read food labels and compare products so you can choose the most nutrient-rich foods in every aisle of the store.

Fill your cart with vegetables, fruit, whole grains, milk products, lean fresh meat and meat alternatives such as legumes. Try to skip the processed foods that are convenient, but are often filled with fat, sugar or salt and are low in nutrients.

Dietitians can (and do!) help you learn how to put healthy food in your cart with a few well-respected and practical dietitian-developed tools that you can use to help keep on track:

  • Dietitian of Canada’s Eatracker – consumers can track food and activity choices, analyze recipes and plan meals at
  • Dietitian of Canada’s Nutrition Month videos – consumers can watch Registered Dietitians and Nutrition Month Spokespersons share shopping tips at
  • EatRight Ontario’s My Menu Planner – consumers can use this tool to develop a personalized menu plan at
  • Healthy Families BC’s Shopping Sense – consumers can take a virtual grocery store tour and watch shopping videos at
  • Dietitians of Canada’s eaTipster – download the eaTipster app for free at and get a new grocery shopping tip delivered every day in March

Wishing you continued good luck in putting your Best Food Forward: Plan Shop Cook Enjoy!

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

Welcome to the new Kids Eat Smart Family Nutrition Blog!

Kristin of Kids Eat Smart

Hi, I`m Kristin with Kids Eat Smart

Hi! I’m Kristin Harris and I am a registered dietitian with the Kids Eat Smart Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I am passionate about healthy eating and living and take pride in supporting access to adequate nutritious food.

I do this by providing advice regarding food, diet and nutrition for the over 200 Kids Eat Smart clubs being run in schools across the province. We help provide access to adequate nutritious food for over 20,000 school children in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Our vision is that every school aged child in Newfoundland and Labrador attends school well nourished to be ready to learn. In a nutshell, we believe that good eating = good thinking!

Of course healthy eating is something that goes far beyond the school day, so we’ve decided start this Family Nutrition Blog to share recipes, tips, menu planning, news and advice for families in Newfoundland and Labrador.

I look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions as we move forward.