This week I had the opportunity to sit down (virtually, of course) with Jackeline Samaniego, a dietitian who works with the Carleton Dining Services on campus, in order to get a better idea of the nutrition services offered to students. The nutrition services allow students to connect with a professional, who can offer support for any dietary and nutritional concerns. However, given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the services have adapted. Here’s what you should know regarding the nutrition team.
Who are the services currently available to?
In light of classes being entirely virtual, nutrition services are currently only available to students who reside on campus. However, this is not to say that students who are living off campus cannot reach out to inquire about nutrition. In fact, the Carleton nutrition team urges students to make use of their email address for any questions or concerns. They assure off-campus students that they will refer them to a comprehensive list of external resources.
When should students reach out to a dietitian?
Students are encouraged to reach out to and use the services for any reason! Typical reasons for reaching out to a dietitian range from general questions about healthy eating, to allergies, to managing medical conditions or eating disorders. Regardless of the reason, on-campus students are encouraged to book an appointment to chat with a dietitian. For students who may be particularly struggling with a disorder or medical condition in which they are uncomfortable disclosing, there is absolutely no pressure in doing so. It is still possible to book an appointment to chat about strategies for ensuring you get the nutrients you need, without having to disclose any personal experiences.
What do the services look like?
Students with specific allergies can reach out to a registered dietitian who will then pre-approve certain meals from the Carleton Dining menu for them to eat. However, individuals who are looking to put on weight, lose weight or simply eat healthier, are not typically provided with a specific meal plan. Instead, through appointments with a dietician, students will learn the appropriate skills to select well-balanced meals from the dining area. Jackeline emphasizes that these skills are valuable to have and can be carried throughout life.
How can students reach out to and meet with the dietitian?
To set up an appointment, students are able to view Jackeline’s availability. Students can book a 30 to 45-minute appointment using Calendly and will be prompted to add this meeting to their personal digital calendars. On the day of the scheduled appointment, students are instructed to join a call using Microsoft Teams.
What are some quick tips for healthy eating?
For students who may not feel they need nutritionist services but who may occasionally struggle with healthy eating, Jackeline provided a few quick tips on how to ensure you take care of your nutrition during the pandemic. First, it is important to make sure that you drink water continuously throughout the day. As we are all spending most of the day at the computer, it is easy to forget to stay hydrated. Continuous water in-take is a great way to avoid headaches caused by prolonged screen time. Jackeline also discusses the basics of plating food. When portioning out your meal, try to make sure 50% of your plate consists of fruits/vegetables, 25% consists of a protein and save the last 25% for carbohydrates. She strongly suggests adding carbohydrates to the plate last, as we tend to overload on carbs first!
Where can I read more about the services?
To read more about the Carleton Dining Services and the campus nutritionist services, visit the nutrition team’s website.
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