Dietitians Are Cooking Up Culinary Medicine

Olivia Weinstein
5
min read
dietitians-at-fnce-conference

Every year, thousands of dietitians and other nutrition professionals convene at the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) to network, learn, and explore innovations in the field of nutrition. This year, the 2023 conference was held in Denver, Colorado, and spanned five days. On the last day of the conference, nearly 500 dietitians gathered to learn about culinary medicine and strategies for implementation across the continuum of care.

FNCE: Culinary Medicine & The Key Role of Dietitians

Culinary medicine is a growing, evidence-based practice that translates nutrition recommendations into hands-on culinary education that promotes practical behaviors and the self-efficacy and skills required for sustained behavior change. Dietitians are galvanizing culinary medicine globally in clinical, community, and food retail settings and are leaders in educating other health professionals.

Speakers

At FNCE, four dietitians took the stage to share their respective expertise:

Christina Badaracco, MPH, RD, LDN, presented the background and evidence for culinary medicine, including an overview of the published research that showed significant improvements in behavior change and health outcomes, the applicability and opportunities within the growing food is medicine movement, and alignment with national healthcare priorities. 

Julia MacLaren, RD, reminded the audience that any behavior change requires practice. Drawing parallels to practical interventions delivered by other disciplines, such as physiotherapy supported exercise, she explored how dietitians can use culinary medicine interventions to enhance their work and how they are uniquely positioned to lead in this space.

Milette Siler, MBA-HC, RD, LDN, CCMS, provided a real-world example and described her journey in building novel programs at the University of Texas Southwestern and the Moncrief Cancer Institute including culinary medicine e-Consults, one-on-one visits, and group and shared medical visits

Olivia Thomas, MS, RD, LDN, concluded the session with practical next steps and strategies for implementing culinary medicine into dietetic practice. She reminded the audience of the importance of meeting people where they are and practicing cultural humility and safety regarding education about nutrition, food, and cooking.  

Survey Results

This session was well-received by attendees and was scattered with moments of laughter, cheers, and furious note-taking. The speakers conducted a brief in-session survey to better understand the practice and educational needs of attendees. Based on responses from 120 attendees:

83% of session attendees are seeking additional training and educational materials on culinary medicine. 
48% use culinary medicine in their practice.
37% have received formal training.  
20% provide formal culinary medicine training as an internship preceptor or practitioner.

Overall, the session was a success and FNCE attendees were interested in more training, tools, and resources to support the adoption of culinary medicine in their dietetic practice. To learn more about culinary medicine, gain access to education and resources for dietitians or other health professionals, and help further advance the field within our healthcare system, please contact our experts team!

Every year, thousands of dietitians and other nutrition professionals convene at the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) to network, learn, and explore innovations in the field of nutrition. This year, the 2023 conference was held in Denver, Colorado, and spanned five days. On the last day of the conference, nearly 500 dietitians gathered to learn about culinary medicine and strategies for implementation across the continuum of care.

FNCE: Culinary Medicine & The Key Role of Dietitians

Culinary medicine is a growing, evidence-based practice that translates nutrition recommendations into hands-on culinary education that promotes practical behaviors and the self-efficacy and skills required for sustained behavior change. Dietitians are galvanizing culinary medicine globally in clinical, community, and food retail settings and are leaders in educating other health professionals.

Speakers

At FNCE, four dietitians took the stage to share their respective expertise:

Christina Badaracco, MPH, RD, LDN, presented the background and evidence for culinary medicine, including an overview of the published research that showed significant improvements in behavior change and health outcomes, the applicability and opportunities within the growing food is medicine movement, and alignment with national healthcare priorities. 

Julia MacLaren, RD, reminded the audience that any behavior change requires practice. Drawing parallels to practical interventions delivered by other disciplines, such as physiotherapy supported exercise, she explored how dietitians can use culinary medicine interventions to enhance their work and how they are uniquely positioned to lead in this space.

Milette Siler, MBA-HC, RD, LDN, CCMS, provided a real-world example and described her journey in building novel programs at the University of Texas Southwestern and the Moncrief Cancer Institute including culinary medicine e-Consults, one-on-one visits, and group and shared medical visits

Olivia Thomas, MS, RD, LDN, concluded the session with practical next steps and strategies for implementing culinary medicine into dietetic practice. She reminded the audience of the importance of meeting people where they are and practicing cultural humility and safety regarding education about nutrition, food, and cooking.  

Survey Results

This session was well-received by attendees and was scattered with moments of laughter, cheers, and furious note-taking. The speakers conducted a brief in-session survey to better understand the practice and educational needs of attendees. Based on responses from 120 attendees:

83% of session attendees are seeking additional training and educational materials on culinary medicine. 
48% use culinary medicine in their practice.
37% have received formal training.  
20% provide formal culinary medicine training as an internship preceptor or practitioner.

Overall, the session was a success and FNCE attendees were interested in more training, tools, and resources to support the adoption of culinary medicine in their dietetic practice. To learn more about culinary medicine, gain access to education and resources for dietitians or other health professionals, and help further advance the field within our healthcare system, please contact our experts team!

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