Subject: Dietitians of the Week

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Dietitians of the Week
Check our Facebook page every weekday for our RD of the Day, as we put a much-deserved spotlight on a dietitian who's either making headlines or writing them and delivering their expertise through the media. Here are this week's featured RDs.

Robert Trombley, RDN, LDN  
We started the week off with an RD of the Day who has great advice for working with children to see if they are picky eaters or have a true food sensitivity.

Writing for the Cherry Hill (NJ) Courier-Post, Robert Trombley RDN, LDN, sympathizes with parents of picky eating children and reminds them that they are not alone.

"In fact, the majority of parents will inevitably encounter bouts of pickiness as children crave more independence and control over their meals," he explains. "Picky eating is completely normal and, while frustrating for Mom and Dad, usually nothing to worry about as kids often outgrow their selectiveness."

Robert, however, does his work at The Bancroft School, where they serve children and adults with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.

When working with kids with autism and other sensory processing issues, RDs find that extreme pickiness can cross over into a true food sensitivity, often as a result of common coinciding physical conditions such as acid reflux, gastritis or irritable bowel syndrome.

To parents and caregivers of those kids, Robert provides understanding. "I know how tricky it can be to properly identify and accommodate all different types of tastes. The good news both picky and problem eating can be overcome with time, trial and error."

For those struggling at mealtime and have already ruled out any possible medical conditions, Monday's RD of the Day provides a list to determine whether your child is experiencing picky or problem eating.

For his insight and expertise, and for the work he does every day, we were proud to honor Robert Trombley as Monday's RD of the Day.

Read the article: Picky eater or true food sensitivity?

Megan Robinson, MS, RD, CDE, LDN  
We all know that eating too much sugar is not good for our kid’s health, but how much is too much? Tuesday's RD of the Day set the record straight in this Healthy Kids column on Philly Health Science.

Megan Robinson, MS, RD, CDE, LDN, of the esteemed Children's Hospital of Philadelphia clarifies any confusion by clearly citing what the American Heart Association recently recommended for reducing added sugars to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in children and adolescents.

She then explains how to identify added sugars on the current food label, while mentioning that new food labels which will include added sugars will take effect on July of 2018.

Megan then offers tips on cutting back on added sugars and closes with some sage advice.

"Remember, it’s important to teach your kids how to incorporate added sugars in moderation rather than eating a very restrictive sugar-free diet," the pediatric dietitian recommends. "Try to focus on eating more natural sugars from fruits, vegetables and plain milk/yogurt and to save the treats for something special."

For this professional insight, as well as for the work she does to help children get the nutrition they need, Megan was Tuesday's RD of the Day.

Read the article: For kids, too. Eat less added sugar to reduce cardiovascular risk

Grace Derocha, RD, CDE Twitter
In her Health column for the Oakland (MI) Press, Wednesday's RD of the Day began with a word of support.

"Maintaining a child’s self-esteem can be tricky when a parent is trying to enforce a healthy relationship with food and exercise," writes Grace Derocha, RD, CDE. "But there are ways to encourage an active lifestyle without promoting unhealthy habits."

The credentialed dietitian, diabetes educator and health coach with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan starts by reiterating the dangers excess weight can have on a child's health.

But the column is titled "Positive messages help kids learn about diet and exercise" and Grace explains that focusing less on what's on the scale and more on living a healthy lifestyle really does make all the difference.

"Instead of focusing on weight loss, engage in discussions of healthy eating and physical activity," Grace recommends. "Emphasize the positive effects of an active lifestyle, such as increased energy, improved mood and focused thoughts."

She provides tips, ideas and insight to help readers and their kids achieve this, including recognizing efforts to eat healthier and exercise, avoiding comparisons, keeping messages and modeling good behaviors for kids.

Grace also stresses that it's important to frame the conversation in an age-appropriate way.

"Kids are more likely to adopt behaviors that excite them with an immediate goal," she explains. "For younger children, that might be explaining how eat fruits and vegetables will make them as strong or fast as their favorite superhero. Those who are academically inclined would be interested to learn how eating healthy foods helps them think better, while athletes would care how food can help them perform better."

For the positive outlook and concern for the health of kids, Grace was our Wednesday RD of the Day.

Read the article: Positive messages help kids learn about diet and exercise

Nicole Lefever, MS, RD, LDN  
It's coming to an end but September is still National Whole Grains Month and Thursday's RD of the Day breaks down all of the benefits and explains how easy they are to fit into a daily diet.

Nicole Lefever, MS, RD, LDN, works with nutrition clients at her practice, Mid Atlantic Nutrition Specialists in Salunga, Lancaster County, PA and answered questions for about choosing whole grains and how to use them for health.

She first explains to readers that a whole grain includes all three parts: the bran, the germ and the endosperm (the kernel's skin, embryo and food supply).

She then details many of the reasons why we need whole grains, such as providing the carbohydrates our brains want as energy, as well as B vitamins and fiber for digestive health.

Nicole also singles out some specific whole grains that are "particularly excellent." For example, she explains, rye has a very high fiber content and a lower glycemic index, as does buckwheat, which also has antioxidants in it that have a huge protective effect for our blood vessels.

After detailing some of the basic ways to get more whole grains into your diet, Nicole advises readers to "have some fun with it. Try to incorporate some of the grains you haven't tried before. Because there are lots of cool ones to explore. Quinoa is one that's getting more familiar to people. It's fantastic because it's a complete protein, and, usually, grains don't have a very high protein content. That makes it an awesome option for a vegetarian or a vegan who's looking at increasing their protein intake."

For her professional explanation of why whole grains are so good for us and how to get more of them into our meals, as well as for providing her recipe for buckwheat pancakes, Nicole was our RD of the Day on Thursday.

Read the article: Q&A: Whole grains easy to fit into daily diet, nutritionist says

Ilana Muhlstein, RDN Facebook Twitter
Who better to counsel someone on losing weight than an RD who herself has lost 95 pounds and dedicated her life's work to helping people attain sustainable weight loss?

Friday's RD of the Day was Ilana Muhlstein is an RDN in Beverly Hills who works at UCLA where she has led the Bruin Health Improvement Program for 9 successful semesters. She has developed a unique framework for overcoming weight plateaus, revving up slow moving metabolisms and ensuring a healthy weight maintenance.

She shares some of her expertise on the Huffington Post in a piece titled, "4 Easy Answers To Achieve Lasting Weight Loss", where she addresses questions posed to her about losing weight.

She asked if there are any "tricks" to maintaining a healthy weight, about portion control, and the most difficult concept about eating healthy for an extended period. She's also asked about often one can indulge in "comfort foods".

"Once a person begins eating healthier and caring more for their bodies, and understanding the benefits of nutrition at a higher degree, 'comfort foods' become a lot less comforting all together," Ilana explains, going on to say, "And that is why I always encourage people to say 'treat' not 'cheat.' When a client starts calling it a treat, she immediately realizes she needs much less of it to feel as satisfied and feels more empowered afterwards."

For sharing her knowledge and turning her own weight loss experience into a professional calling, Ilana was our Friday RD of the Day.

Read the article: 4 Easy Answers To Achieve Lasting Weight Loss