Despite the many events going on in the hospital, we had many of our promotions featured with the help of the communications team. The infographic we created on the role of a SickKids dietitian ended up being the most retweeted post on Dietitian’s Day! We wanted to share this infographic to show the staff, as well as the public, the variety of roles that a dietitian at SickKids has.
Another promotional and engagement effort was our weekly photo contest. Staff sent in pictures of their healthy foods/recipes to show their progress during their 100 meal journeys. Pictures are engaging and easy to take and share for anyone with a smart phone. This helped staff to participate without having to leave their busy jobs.
We chose the winning photos at the end of each week and the communications and public affairs department would post them (as well as the current week’s photo theme) on the hospital’s intranet site. We even had a recipe contest for the last week’s photo challenge and the winner had their dish featured at the SickKids Terrace Cafe!
Since many of our promotional efforts were behind the scenes, we also wanted to make sure that we had some face-time with the staff members. The perfect opportunity for this was at the SickKids Farmer’s Market.
We corresponded with the woman who organizes the market and she was thrilled to include us. We used this setting to chat with staff about what dietitians do and how they could participate in Nutrition Month events.
One of our other events during the month was a “Breakfast-on-the-go”
workshop for SickKids staff. Since many people often skip breakfast, we wanted to help them incorporate our tips and recipes into their 100 meal journeys. We taught staff how to pack more nutrition into quick breakfasts using protein, fibre, and healthy fats.
Breakfast workshop features
Engaging the public in Nutrition Month
While Nutrition Month events at SickKids are primarily for the staff, we wanted to make sure we had a chance to engage with the public as well and offer some creative inspiration and resources for healthy meals.
Since the way to anyone’s heart is through food, we approached SickKids Executive Chef Shawn Studholme at the Terrace Cafe to create a Nutrition Month feature to put on the menu from the Cookspiration
app created by Dietitians of Canada.
He loved the idea and came back with about 10 features per week
, all from Cookspiration! We promoted these features in the cafe through the communications and public affairs department, the hospital’s website, and SickKids Daily News. This was a great way to support people’s 100 meal journeys throughout the month. As an added bonus, if people liked the meals, they could find the recipes on Cookspiration
and make them at home!
Our final Nutrition Month event: Chopped
Our final (and arguably most exciting) event during Nutrition Month was our Chopped competition, based on the Food Network’s hit series.
We had to liaise with communications, occupational health and safety, the move team (to supply chairs, tables, etc.), the AV team, the Terrace Café, and food services (who provided the food for our pantry), security, and the Specialty Food Shop (for prizes).
Similar to the group in Thunder Bay
, we used this exciting competition model to gather people together to tell them about the 100 meal journey, create excitement around Nutrition Month, and to have a lot of fun! This event generated quite a bit of staff interest – we had 11 teams vying for a spot. In the end, we had three teams of three participants race against the clock to prepare a healthy dish, utilizing our mystery basket of ingredients, to compete for hospital-wide culinary domination.
Our distinguished judges tasting one of the team’s final dishes!
You can do it too – try some of our ideas next year!
Nutrition Month at SickKids required cooperation from many different departments in the hospital. We were so fortunate to have the opportunity to connect with so many colleagues while showcasing the dietetics profession!
To help us stay organized, we created work-back schedules on Google Docs. This allowed everyone to see action items, deadlines, and who was responsible for completing each task. Throughout this experience, we learned that planning Nutrition Month activities is not a one department venture. By involving many different people and departments within an organization, which have skills and connections to offer, you can make Nutrition Month a success too!
Editor’s note: Nutrition Month at SickKids was such a success! Clarissa and Mara worked so well with the different departments in the hospital to highlight Nutrition Month in innovative ways. Way to go you two!
Our last Nutrition Month blog post in this three part series will be published next week. We will be sharing details about two exciting Dietitians’ Day events held in Ottawa and Charlottetown.
Did Clarissa and Mara do something you might like to try next year? Do you have other ideas for Nutrition Month events? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.