We are delighted to introduce you to Rebecca Bozdech, our Clinical Dietitian at Shriners Hospitals for Children ─ Northern California.
What inspired you to become a dietitian? I love food, science, cooking, health and working with people. Being a dietitian lets me use all of the above.
Where did you go to school? I went to school at UC Davis, and my internship was in Chicago.
Have you always focused on children? I’ve worked in hospitals for the past 12 years with mainly adults. Working with children in a hospital is new for me.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Seeing the kids get better, start smiling, playing and enjoying eating. It’s also incredibly rewarding to see kids gain weight and grow. That’s the nutrition working!
Can you describe a typical day? I haven’t had a typical day yet! I wear my running shoes and find myself running around making sure kids have what they want and need to eat. There are rounds, following the children with burns and surgeries, meeting with families, quick visits to the clinic, presentations, and charting when that is all done.
What advice would you give someone interested in a career in nutrition? Shadow a dietitian for a day. Come see what we actually do and ask questions.
Do you have simple advice / recommendation for people interested in a health diet? It starts with the grocery shopping. Only buy food that can be made into good meals. Your list should look like this: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, some kind of lean protein, non-fat yogurt, oatmeal, granola. If you don’t know how to cook, watch a YouTube video or a cooking show.
Hobbies / special interests? I have a 4 a 5-year-old. I consider myself an expert in feeding toddlers and kids. I can prepare a meal for a family of four for under $6, cover all my food groups and prepare it in under 10 minutes while everyone is crying and I’m dodging obstacles and toys in the kitchen. I’m like Toddler Iron Chef! I love running, swimming, my kids and my family. I love gardening and take way too much pride in my compost bin.
Thank you, Rebecca for your dedication to our patients and for helping us better understand the important role healthy nutrition plays in a healthy lifestyle.