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Happy National Registered Dietitian Day!

IN HONOR OF NATIONAL REGISTERED DIETITIAN (RD) NUTRITIONIST DAY AND AS PART OF NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH®, WE ARE HIGHLIGHTING OUR OWN RD, CAROLINE PULLEN

DSC_8519Meet Caroline, Pullen, RD. Caroline joined the food bank last August as our on staff Registered Dietitian. She works to ensure that our partners and the children, seniors and families we serve are informed about the importance of eating healthy, balanced diets.

Each day, Caroline provides nutrition education and resources to our agencies and programs. A typical day in the life of our RD involves teaching afterschool nutrition and cooking classes at one of our Kids Café afterschool sites or senior nutrition lessons at local Senior Towers and Community Centers. Between lessons, she creates nutrition handouts and recipes or lesson plans for upcoming classes. She also hosts RD interns from Vanderbilt and other universities and treats the food bank staff to internal “health breaks” with healthy snacks and nutritional tips!

“My goal is to always have a fun and interactive lesson whether my students are six or 96,” says Caroline. “My favorite part is hearing about how the lessons have affected the students beyond the classroom. The other day, one of the Middle School students at the Northwest YMCA told me how she made the turkey tacos from our recent class with her family. It made me so happy that our lesson had made an impact on her entire family!”

DSC_9180Caroline plans on growing nutrition outreach at food distribution sites even more. Future projects she is working on could include cooking demos or even one-on-one counseling. She offers this advice:

Don’t make eating healthy harder than it is! If you focus on fruits and vegetables, pick lean proteins, and include some whole grains, then you are following a healthy diet. Remember that there is room for all foods in your diet and to enjoy the occasional splurge!”

We are so grateful for the work Caroline does as she helps the hungry people we serve lead the healthy, active lifestyles they deserve.

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