Practice Blog

To share practice related stories, create connections and engage readers in the amazing diversity of dietitian experiences.


Engage, innovate & collaborate: Key ingredients to healthier food in recreational facilities

A dietitian from Alberta shares how to get heathier food into your recreational facility. 


AH-HS1.jpgAshley Hughes is a registered dietitian with the Centre for Health and Nutrition at the University of Alberta and the National Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition. She supported the Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention (APCCP) with the coordination of the Food Action in Recreation Environments (FARE) project from May through November 2016. Her professional career as a dietitian coaching families to make healthy wholesome choices sparked an interest in the role environments play on our health! Ashley enjoys spending time outdoors vegetable gardening, trying a new recipe or reinventing an old favorite, and biking with her husband in her community. Get in touch with Ashley via email, or check her out on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Throughout the summer and fall of last year, I was immersed in a novel project that has opened my eyes to the important role dietitians can play as advocates for policy change. We can help shape supportive food environments in our communities – and provide the next generation with a greater opportunity for health through food and nutrition.
In May 2016, I joined the Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention (Coalition) to aid the coordination of the Food Action in Recreation Environments Project (FARE). The project hit the ground in early 2015, with 18 member organizations committing to take collective action on a blatant yet often unspoken irony – the overwhelming presence of calorie-laden processed foods and sugary drinks in recreational facilities. continue reading


A unique partnership brought healthy food to downtown Toronto

A master’s student discusses how a mobile fruit and vegetable market changed the food environment outside of Toronto General Hospital.  

AH-HS1.jpgAnneke Hobson is a Master of Public Health student in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Toronto. Her many interests include food systems, food policy and economics, food and ecosystems, and the future of food. In her previous life, Anneke studied literature at the University of Calgary, and still enjoys a great novel or poem. In July 2016, Anneke volunteered to help out at a collaborative mobile market outside Toronto General Hospital, an experience that sparked ideas about the food environment. Get in touch with Anneke via email at

In July 2016, I spent a sweaty noon-hour outside Toronto General Hospital convincing passers-by to purchase guavas and other produce from a repurposed wheel-trans bus. Why? Earlier this summer, I got excited about a new collaboration between three institutional giants in Toronto: The University Health Network (UHN), Toronto Public Health (TPH), and FoodShare. These organizations represent dietetic care across the health continuum, from health promotion to tertiary care. This partnership therefore brings to life a form of clinical public health. I decided to get involved. continue reading

Les Diététistes en mission agissent d’une façon innovatrice pour améliorer l’environnement alimentaire dans leur communauté!

Melissa Couture-Leger, a dietitian from Moncton, explains how a group of driven dietitians worked together with their municipality to drive policy change. 

MC-HS1.JPGMélissa Couture-Léger occupe présentement un poste de diététiste en nutrition clinique au Centre hospitalier universitaire Dr-Georges-L.-Dumont à Moncton, N.-B. Elle a entrepris ses études post-secondaires en nutrition à l’Université de Moncton. Passionnée et très engagée, Mélissa Couture-Léger est aussi une agente de  changement. Comme diététiste et comme mère de trois enfants, elle est préoccupée par le fléau de l’obésité au Nouveau-Brunswick et par la problématique de la malbouffe dans les environnements alimentaires de sa communauté.  Elle a donc décidé de passer à l’action en mettant sur pied, il y a quelques années, Diététistes en mission, un regroupement revendiquant pour des environnements sains dans la région du Grand Moncton.
Melissa Leger Couture currently works as a clinical dietitian at Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton, NB. She did her post-secondary studies in nutrition at the University of Moncton. Melissa is a passionate and commitment agent of change. As a dietitian and mother of three children, she is concerned about the burden of obesity in New Brunswick and the issue of junk food availability in the environments of her community. A few years ago, Melissa decided to take action by launching “Dietitians on a mission,” a group that advocates for healthy food environments in the Moncton areas. You can reach Melissa by email at

C’est en 2011 que j’ai décidé de mettre des efforts publiquement en me rendant visible en tant que diététiste pour aider la population locale à faire de meilleurs choix alimentaires.  Après avoir travaillé plusieurs années en tant que clinicienne, j’ai réalisé à quel point l’obésité  touchait une grande partie de ma clientèle et qu’il était temps d’agir dans ma communauté pour prévenir ce fléau au lieu de le traiter!!  
In 2011, I decided to go public in a big way, making myself visible as a dietitian to help people in my community make better food choices. After several years working as a clinician, I realized just how many of my clients were touched by obesity and it was time for me to take action in my community to prevent this problem instead of treating it. continue reading

Dietitians: Social justice trailblazers then and now

Think having roots in home economics is boring? Think again.  

JenB-HS1.jpegJennifer Brady is a dietitian and a PhD candidate in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Her dissertation explores the history of the dietetic profession in Canada, specifically the changes in dietetics’ knowledge base and the concomitant changes in the profession’s relationship with food and social justice concerns. Her other research areas include non-diet approaches to understanding health and dietetic practice, the sociology of food and eating, and gendered aspects of food work. Jennifer will start as a new faculty member at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in the fall.

Although my internship prepared me well to practice as a dietitian, I left it with more questions than answers.  I wondered about the (primarily) women who built the profession from the ground up. How and why had they created this profession?  How does their work continue to shape what the dietetic profession is today? continue reading



Increasing access to dietitians: 5 myths about direct billing addressed

Susan Watson helps dietitians understand how to utilize medical insurance to increase access to dietitian services in private practice. 

SW-HS1.jpegSusan Watson is a tech savvy, trend seeking, social media addicted, entrepreneurial dietitian. She spoke about her experiences with direct billing at the 2016 DC National Conference in Winnipeg. Susan is the co-chair of the DC consulting dietitian’s network. Email Susan if you would like more information on direct billing for your practice at You can also connect with Susan on Instagram and Twitter @LittleNutrition

Four years ago, I transformed the way I ran my business by deciding to offer direct billing services to my clients. At the time, I was primarily a stay-at-home mom seeing a few clients a couple nights a week, and had plenty of time to take on a bit of extra paperwork. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but had the time to learn, along with the admin staff at the clinics I worked out of to help me along the way.
I knew that there was a large demand for direct billing from my clients, but I had no idea that offering this service would actually triple my business. It got to the point where I had to hire a team of dietitians to meet the client demand. continue reading
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