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Teach clients about healthy eating and create nutritious menus.

What does a Dietitian do?

Dietitians plan balanced or personalized menus for people with special eating needs. You may work in places like hospitals and nursing homes, devising menus in conjunction with Doctors for cancer patients, diabetics and others who need a special diet. Or you could work on a larger scale, developing nutritional guidelines for school lunch programs. Either way, you help get the food in people that they need, and show them how to use food to improve their lives.

To create your menus, you delve deep into the specifics of food’s components, relying on recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration and at times assisting people on an individual-by-individual basis. For instance, you will devise a meal plan with a Doctor for an obese patient to help him dramatically lose weight without becoming deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. Or you may work with soon to be released patient, advising them on how to cook more nutritious meals.

Instead of working with individuals, you might focus on large-scale nutritional implementation. Through community work you’ll develop programs showing how nutritional practices help prevent disease. Or you could design and implementing hospital meal plans, which means budgeting for food and observing kitchens to ensure meals are prepared to your specifications. In other words, food is more than just flavor to you. It’s about nutrition, fuel and energy.

Even though it’s not required, many Dietitians become Registered Dietitians because it shows they are committed to their professions. And lucky you. This way you’ll get to keep current on the latest research and strategies in the nutrition field.