Health, Nutrition, and Food – So you Want to Be a Dietitian?

Nutrition lover.  Foodie.  Health educator.  Chef.  Health promoter.  Wellness counselor.  Diabetes educator.  Health reporter.  Teacher.  Spokesperson.  School nutrition.  The list goes on and on and many of these individuals have two letters behind their name, RD – Registered Dietitian.

As a registered dietitian, I am often posed questions many questions about the field.  ‘What do you do?’  ‘What was your major?’  ‘What classed did you take?’  ‘How did you get into writing and media?’

I am here to clear up the confusion on our fabulous profession and tell you a bit about the basics on becoming a registered dietitian.

 What was your major?

I have a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics.  My Bachelors is from Nicholls State University and my Masters is from Louisiana Tech University.

Do you have to participate in an internship to becoming a Registered Dietitian?

Yes.  In order to site for the RD exam, one must participate in an accredited internship approved by the Commission of Dietetic Registration.  I completed my internship through Louisiana Tech University.

 Do you have to have a Masters Degree to become a Registered Dietitian?

No.

What type of classes did you take to become a Registered Dietitian?

Along with my university requirements, specific nutrition courses I took included:

  • Food and Nutrition
  • Applied Nutrition (Lab Included)
  • Nutrition and Health Education
  • Nutrition and the Life Cycle
  • Community Nutrition
  • Meal Management
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Food Science
  • Institutional Planning
  • Organization and Management
  • Quantity Food Production
  • Methods

Please view the Nicholls State University dietetics catalog for a description on each course.

In addition to the nutrition courses, I took various biology courses/labs and chemistry courses.

While many programs vary on their nutrition offerings (for example, some may offer sports specific nutrition courses and counseling), the nutrition basics are quite familiar.  In addition, various health and social care courses vary university by university, so make sure you understand the program coursework.

 What was your favorite class in undergrad?

My favorite class was Quantity Food Production.  Think of it as running and promoting a restaurant.  Weekly we prepared and served food (all healthy) in relation to a specific theme.

 What was your favorite internship experience?

One of the competencies was to complete a ‘Theme Day’ for the employees at a hospital.  I was very lucky mine was at a Children’s Hospital (Shriners), and we went with a ‘Football Theme.’  We served traditional tailgating food and was able to get hospital permission to wear jerseys.  In addition, I had arranged for local dance teams to perform for the kids.  It was wonderful!  This introduced me to the fabulous world of PR!

 

So you graduated in dietetics and now are the Editor in Chief of College Lifestyles?  How did that happen?

Lots of hard work!  I always loved PR and media, and I was fortunate enough to serve as a spokesperson for the Louisiana Dietetic Association.  I learned how to pitch media, as well as put together TV segments.  I took the work I learned and developed the then blog, College Lifestyles.  From there, we moved up to the site we are now!