“You Can Feed People with Tubes in Their Nose” and Other Things Kids Learn Being Raised by Dietitians

Every year in Canada, Dietitian’s Day is celebrated on the third Wednesday in March. Isn’t it nice that so many people are honouring us this year? Celebrations have moved mostly online, with virtual concerts and parades. At home people will be raising glasses of green beer (we dietitians love our greens), and enjoying meals from green pancakes to smoothies.

Isn’t it wonderful that our saintly ways are finally being recognized? 😉

Since 2018 I’ve been celebrating Dietitians Day with a behind-the-scenes look at your friendly neighbourhood nutrition professional. It started with 18 things you might not know about dietitians. In 2019 it was The perks (and quirks) of being married to a dietitian.

This was to be the 2020 post, which I didn’t publish then, for obvious reasons. With thanks to my many colleagues who shared their “Kids say the darndest things” moments, here are a few things children learn as a result of being raised by a dietitian.

“Its ok to leap across the table and grab hamburgers out of people’s hands to check to see if the meat is pink.”

– Kerri Standen

“My daughter in Gr 1: ‘Mom! Today at school the lunch monitor told us to eat our healthy food before our junk food. I said ‘There’s no such thing as junk food!! All food is good food!!’ They didn’t like that.’ Never been prouder!”

 – Terri Etchells Ney

“My 9 year old daughter told me that having a dietitian mom means that all of her friends have yummier snacks. She’d rather have a ‘Bear Paws’ cookie than a homemade chocolate chip one apparently lol.”

– Jennifer House, First Step Nutrition

“My girl is only 2.5 so she hasn’t yet made the link that her lunch is the way it is because mom is a dietitian (in part anyway). She feels like Jennifer House’s 9-year old though and feels the need to remind me that snacks can be bought at the grocery store and not made in the kitchen.”

– Kayla Daigle
 “This past summer I made raspberry white chocolate scones with our bounty of garden raspberries and white chocolate chunks. Before trying one my son first asked “Did you put tofu in the scones?!”
– Valerie Mah

“My son (9 years old) says he learned to eat a bit healthier and make your body healthy. And not to go places with covid.

My daughter, Liv (12 years old) says she learned that fibre makes you fart.”
– Katie Couzens

“My 10 year old son says he farts because of fibre. So if I want him to stop farting so much, maybe I should let him eat less fibre.”

“My 12 year old daughter says she learned that healthy eating makes her feel good and perhaps if the boys in her class ate healthier foods, they wouldn’t be so loud and obnoxious.”

– Paula Bowman

“After picking up my son from daycare: ‘Mom did you know that orange cheese that comes with the crackers can be bought in a jar? We don’t have to have just a little bit- we can have a whole jar!'”

– Jillian Wlock

“My 8yo likes to tell other family members that “We can eat dessert first if we want especially if it’s ice cream.”

– Miranda Burgess

“My spouse was away so I decided to make a simple dinner so I set the table with bowls of cereals, nuts, craisins, soy milk etc. My daughter to her sister ‘Come quick, dinner’s ready and it’s not one of those ugly dinners.'”


“And my daughters grade 8 science teacher: ‘I want you do a report on one of the body systems, but choose something less common, like the lymphatic system, who’s ever heard of that?’
My daughter: Bursts out laughing
Fellow students: ‘What’s so funny?’
My daughter: ‘My mom literally just wrote a book on that!’

Jean LaMantia

“Kids friends… ‘I’ve never eaten so many vegetables in my life compared to when I eat here.'”

– Nicole Strong

“My kids (3.5 and almost 7) like to come home from school and educate me on the importance of vegetables. Then refuse to eat them.”

– Cara Durst Cammarata

“On my nephew: His dad said ‘Our child is broken. You give him pizza and he eats salad.’”

– Karyn Sunohara, For the LOVE of FOOD

My son, 6: “I learned that you can feed people with tubes in their nose and you go around giving people the tubes”
– Jessica Janssens

“My 7y.o doesn’t think he needs to learn the nutrition lessons in health because ‘my mom is a dietitian’. Then runs away from the online learning computer.

“Or in Kindergarten ‘Mom, kids have these cool things in their lunches that are colourful and so so long! They look so good!’
Me: ‘fruit by the foot’
– Melissa Siegel

“When she was about 5, my daughter went to a friends house for dinner and came back raving, ‘They made french fries AT THEIR HOUSE!’ She had no idea that was possible.”

– Cheryl Strachan (yep, that one’s mine)
To all of my colleagues, enjoy your day!
And to everyone else, if you want support from a dietitian in optimizing your health, repairing your relationship with food, cooking, or just sorting through nutrition controversies, let us help you! We’re real people, we love food, and sometimes we even eat dessert first.

To find a dietitian near you, ask your doctor or look for “Find a Dietitian” on the UnlockFood.ca website.


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