I am a newly qualified Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr). I graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University, last summer (2014) with a degree in Public Health Nutrition. As soon as I could, I registered with the Association for Nutrition as a Registered Associate Nutritionist, which was something I was keen to do, to show my professionalism and to raise awareness of sound nutrition advice via members of the AfN. In my last year at university, I found an opportunity for a placement with Calorie Girl, a nutrition service ran by a Dietitian and past Cardiff Metropolitan student.
With my summer at Calorie Girl, I really was thrown into the deep end with sessions, which was a challenge I enjoyed! It was great to work with such a variety of groups of people, from families who want to learn to cook healthy meals on a budget, to expectant mothers who wanted to know how to eat right during pregnancy.
Day to day work involves working in Community Centres with groups of individuals. This is where we run healthy cooking sessions – educating them with the most up to date nutrition information and combining this theory with practical cooking time where we make healthy, low budget meals, for all the family which they can take home to share.
At the end of my summer placement – I was lucky enough to be asked to stay at Calorie Girl. We have had a busy year planning new sessions and perfecting our current session plans, as well as taking on new and exciting work.
Some of the work I have been particularly proud of is the work that I did to help plan and run Sports Nutrition Workshops this summer at Cardiff Metropolitan University to help encourage young people with an interest in this area to consider Higher Education. Sports Nutrition is of a particular interest of mine, it was where my curiosity in nutrition began, in school, and so I enjoy working in this area when I am given the chance. It was great to be able to inspire young people and see them learn so much, through a workshop that I helped plan and deliver.
Different work that I have enjoyed that I hadn’t expected to be so interested in, at the beginning of my career in nutrition would definitely be nutrition in pregnancy and weaning. Initially, although I have always been interested in all areas of nutrition, would not be a path I would see myself enjoying. However, since being involved in many pregnancy and weaning sessions, I have really enjoyed it and look forward to continuing helping with these.
Another area that was rather different to usual sessions which I thoroughly enjoyed was the work that we did for the Seafish campaign, Fish is the Dish. Where we travelled around primary schools in the South of Wales teaching children about different fish and why it is an important part of a healthy, balanced diet with fun activities and basic recipes.
I am still in the very early stages of my career and have many plans to constantly continue my professionalism – with plans long term plans to enroll in a Post Graduate degree in Dietetics. In the mean time, I will soon be taking a course to enable myself teach CIEH Level 1 Nutrition and Level 2 Food Safety in Nutrition – which I am really looking forward to.
I would say to anyone looking into a career in nutrition or currently studying nutrition to be confident in your ability and always look out for ways to add experience to your CV.
I feel very lucky to be able to work with such a range of people in my work and to be able to reach out to them and see them learn and enjoy themselves in the process. Being able to transfer scientific nutrition knowledge into advice that is understandable by the public is essential and seeing participants of sessions learn is something that makes me really pleased.
As ‘Nutritionist’ is not a protected title, I’m delighted to be registered as a Registered Associate Nutritionist with the AfN because it is a charity which protects the public from unreliable advice and helps deliver the most sound information and evidence.
I am looking forward to continuing my career as a nutritionist and am excited for my future plans with Calorie Girl
Nutritionist with Calorie Girl in South Wales