Riverwood dietitians offer nutrition tips

Riverwood Dietitians Megan Perpich & Melissa Te Slaa

March is National Nutrition Month, and this year’s theme is Beyond the Table. This is a time to recognize our team of registered dietitians at Riverwood Healthcare Center, Megan Perpich and Melissa Te Slaa.

In their role as registered dietitians, they are food and nutrition experts, who are uniquely educated and trained to create a personalized treatment plan to help individuals meet their health goals and manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

As part of National Nutrition Month, the second Wednesday of March is designated as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day. This year’s observance is March 13.

“Thinking beyond the table means considering the farm-to-fork aspect of nutrition, from food production and distribution to grocery stores and farmers markets to home food safety and food storage,” Perpich explains.  “We are fortunate to have robust farmers markets in our region from Brainerd to the Iron Range. These markets are typically open from late May through September.”

Some helpful eating tips to help you make informed food choices include:

Stay nourished on a budget. Limit your restaurant meals and eat at home more often to save money. Plan your menu for the week so that you can make a shopping list of foods that are on sale or in season. For those who are eligible, look into community resources such as SNAP, WIC, local food bank, and Riverwood Connects programs–Food Rx, Find Help, and local food boxes.

Eat a variety of foods from all food groups. Whether fresh, frozen, canned or dried, eating foods from all of the food groups will help you meet your nutritional goals. Enjoy your traditional favorites but try exploring new ingredients and trying dishes from other cultures to expand your taste buds.

Eat with the environment in mind. Get creative with your leftovers by making them into casseroles, sandwiches or soups to avoid wasting food. Eat more plant-based meals and buy more foods in season or from local farmers when possible.

Te Slaa adds: ” Here at Riverwood, we offer a range of nutrition services, including, but not limited to, medical nutrition therapy for weight management, diabetes, hypertension, GERD/Reflux, renal disease, food allergies/sensitivities, Crohn’s disease/IBS, and nutrition support. We also play an integral role in the Food Rx program, which provides patients and their families access to fresh fruit and vegetables through a collaborative effort with community partners.”

Appointments with a registered dietitian are available with a medical provider’s referral. For more information, call (218) 927-8281.