Thanks to clinical dietitian Samantha Maas, kids at the Northern California Shriners Hospital increased their appetites for good nutrition this week. Samantha stepped into the role of teacher as she introduced patients in the hospital school to MyPlate. “We learned about the different parts of a balanced plate — fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. We learned that a healthy lifestyle can include all kinds of foods in combination with enjoyable movement!” said Samantha.
Samantha earned her bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences at Chico State University. After completing a 1-year dietetic internship, she took the national exam to become a Registered Dietitian. While she has provided nutrition counseling to people of all ages, Samantha is passionate about her work at Shriners where she is able to focus on the nutritional needs of children.
Do you have simple advice / recommendation for people interested in a healthy diet?
I think it’s important for people to have healthy relationships with food, so my general advice is “everything in moderation.” A balanced diet with protein, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats, dairy (or non-dairy like soy/nut milks), and a few fun foods in between creates a healthy balance. Most important, you won’t feel restricted. Enjoyable movement ─ doing physical activity that you ENJOY ─ creates a sustainable, healthy lifestyle when paired with a balanced diet. If you’re thinking about food restriction or limitation (for reasons other than allergies/intolerances), ask yourself: “Is this something I can do for the rest of my life?” If the answer is “no”, then it’s not sustainable and will not enable you to create a healthy relationship with food.
Thank you, Samantha, for a healthy celebration of National Nutrition Month.