As we approach the holiday break and the near mid-mark of the internship, I have begun to reflect on what I have been able to accomplish so far during this program, and it’s a lot! I am currently in my last week at the International Food and Information Council in D.C. completing the last of my information management rotations. Through IFIC and FNIC (Food and Nutrition Information Center), I have learned how to communicate to a variety of audiences via the web and have sharpened my researching, presenting, and writing skills. I have completed one of two of my foodservice rotations at College Dining, where I learned about College Park’s dining facilities and their initiative to “go green.” I was able to collaborate with many of the dining services’ team members to learn how they provide nutritious, diverse, and safe food to the university.
Also checked off on my internship list are the majority of my community rotations. I spent two weeks at Food and Friends in DC, a food bank that provides specialized nutritious meals, groceries, and nutrition counseling to people living with HIV/AIDS and cancer. I was able to go on a home visit where I observed the dietitian counsel a cancer patient with an ileostomy bag and spent a day with their delivery driver bringing meals to clients. I spent one week with Maryland’s Food Supplement Nutrition Education program, where I was able to teach the community about general healthy eating practices. My favorite activity was reading a nutrition-related book to elementary school children and making a healthy snack with them. Way back during the first week of the program, I spent a few days with the Montgomery County School Lunch program. I learned about the regulations of school meals on the federal level and how they implement these rules on the county level. I was able to observe several of their school’s kitchens and toured their central production facility.
I already feel like I am well on my way to becoming a dietitian and am looking forward to what’s to come in the New Year. I will be starting my 8-week clinical rotation in January (eek!) followed by 2 weeks each of staff relief, pediatrics, and second clinical experience, which means I should probably use this break to brush-up on my medical nutrition therapy knowledge :)
Until next year,