Hi, everyone. My name is Chelsie Comstock, and I am a Sodexo dietetic intern through the distance cohort, located in Minnesota. So far, I have completed my food service management and long-term care rotations, and I have a few more community hours to complete. All of my experiences thus far have been extremely rewarding and very beneficial. I will be starting my clinical rotation mid-March at Allina United Hospital in St. Paul Minnesota and completing my concentration in critical care MNT between Fairview Ridges and Fairview Southdale Hospitals this summer. I cannot wait!!
I completed my food service management rotation at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Once a month at Bethel, the management team dresses up in Boy Scout uniforms and walks around the dining hall talking to the students about portion sizes in the hope that food waste will be minimized. They also have a food waste day once a month over the lunch hour, where the students are asked to dump their uneaten food/liquids in a trash can and liquid bucket and then the waste is weighed. During my time at Bethel University, I was asked to create awareness amongst the college students regarding portion sizes and food waste. Pictured below is my demo table where I had created two different example plates with appropriate portion size. I emphasized that with an all you can eat cafeteria they do have the option to go back for seconds or thirds in hopes this would help students lessen their portions. I was able to talk with various students about portion sizes and how it relates to food waste. I also displayed food waste facts throughout the dining hall for the students to see.
For my community rotation, I was able to complete some of it through a local non-profit, Open Arms of Minnesota (OAM). The organization cooks and delivers free meals specifically tailored to meet the nutrition needs of individuals living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, MS, and ALS. Each client receives a regularly scheduled meal package consisting of foods created at Open Arms that supplements 12 of the client’s weekly meals. Being a part of this was incredible; what they do for these patients is so unbelievably amazing. Here I was able to create recipe blogs/tips for clients, refer clients who qualified for SNAP, deliver meals to clients, help with nutrition counseling, and audit each diet going out. I was also asked to answer a nutrition hot topic and present it to the client service team as if I were talking with an OAM client. I researched and answered, “Does eliminating nightshade vegetables from the diet reduce MS symptoms?" I found that there is currently insignificant evidence to back this up. However, there is some anecdotal evidence that suggests eliminating nightshades may be helpful for reducing symptoms of some autoimmune conditions such as MS. Lastly, I was also able to prepare/eat a meal and converse with some of the clients Open Arms serves and give them a presentation on the benefits of the meals they are receiving.