Meet the Next Generation of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists

March 09, 2016

Today college students can choose a variety of majors – from traditional options like business to nearly unheard of ones like Nautical Archaeology.

Here at Dairy Good, we have a number of colleagues at National Dairy Council (NDC) who sport the credentials "RD" or “RDN” after their name: registered dietitian nutritionist. And today as we celebrate National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, we decided we’d connect with some NDC interns to learn more about what inspired them to become the next generation of RDNs. Learn more:

Crystal Perez, MBA Candidate and National Dairy Council Dietetic Intern:

Throughout college I really enjoyed classes like anatomy and physiology, biology, and the social sciences. Eventually, I decided that I wanted to study something in the medical field, so I scheduled an appointment to meet with my academic advisor and found out about nutrition and dietetics as a major.

What solidified my decision about dietetics was the course on the culture of food and food science. I learned that food is so much more than something that nourishes our bodies. It can also represent our culture. For example, both of my parents are Mexican, so I grew up eating traditional Mexican cuisine, and in my household alone, I can see what an important factor food really is.

Amanda Nieh, MBA Candidate and National Dairy Council Dietetic Intern:

Growing up in a family that owned three Chinese restaurants, mealtimes were always an integral part of the day. From there, things got more specific as sports became a bigger part of life. This narrowed the focus from the importance of mealtime to the importance of actual meal content.

After being accepted to University of California Davis and their College of Agricultural and Environmental Science, the nutrition major offering stood out among the rest. At the time I didn’t really know what an RDN was, but I figured that differentiation in a competitive job market couldn’t hurt.  

Kelly Moynihan, MBA Candidate and National Dairy Council Dietetic Intern:

Eight years ago, I walked into my first high school nutrition class and was hooked within the hour. My eyes were opened to this new realization: that everyone in this world has a relationship with food, and in turn, food is the nourishment of our world.

The journey toward becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist has been one of the most challenging, and yet most rewarding experiences imaginable. In my own experience, I have been able to spend time teaching young children about the basics of nutrition, working with older adults on what foods help control blood pressure and everything in between. This is exactly what I love most about the field of nutrition and dietetics: the possibilities are endless.

Because RDNs are involved in so many different social areas, whether it be in their community, food service or clinical settings, they are given the opportunity to be leaders in the promotion of health on so many levels. RDNs are the guides who help connect people with their food, answer their questions about where it comes from and its benefits, as well as helping people to respect their bodies and the foods that they choose for their well-being.

To learn more about RDNs, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics