ANNA HERONIMUS, RD, LD Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian
Tell us about your job:
MNT counseling, Adult, Kids & Toddler Cooking Classes, Nutritional Store Tours, Community Presentations, Health Fairs, Cholesterol Screenings and Hy-Vee Kids Fit.
What do you love about what you do?
I love that every day is different and brings a variety of challenges. In the morning I might be meeting with clients on diabetes or FODMAP diet and in the afternoon I could be demoing a new “dietitian pick” food and educating shoppers on the health benefits of it. I enjoy helping people make healthier food choices by combining science and reality—and showcasing how healthy food tastes good. I also enjoy helping people better understand where their food comes from. The best part is teaching cooking classes. I recently did a baby food 101 class to teach new mothers how easy it is to make homemade baby food and when they should safely start introducing foods to their babies.
What are the challenges?
It’s hard to stay on top of the latest fad diets and food trends. Who knew they can make pasta out of black beans! Shoppers expect you to know every little detail and get frustrated when you have no idea where the Ghee butter is or what oat fiber is. Another challenging aspect is often doctors will tell their patients to go see a Hy-Vee dietitian and they stop by your office and expect to be seen right away. They get frustrated when I ‘m in the middle of class or already have a patient. Also, it’s challenging to get clients to make time for you. Most just want information instantly and don’t want to take the time to sit down and meet with you.
How has your MAND membership benefitted you?
MAND helps me to stay connected to dietitians around the state. I enjoy the reminders for “action alerts” on current bills that dietitians need to take action on.
What do you think is the future of dietetics and nutrition?
As more nutritional research continues I think we will start to see more dietitians in retail settings, gyms, work facilities, and hospitals will start to have more specialized dietitians for gut health.