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USDA Child Nutrition Program to Dietetics Interns: We Need to Talk!

Posted by Melissa Daigle Katz, MPH, Child Nutrition Programs, Food and Nutrition Service in Food and Nutrition
Dec 08, 2016
Dietetics interns using their nutrition science education
The USDA and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics announce new effort to bring dietetic interns to child nutrition.

The USDA and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy) are excited to announce a brand new effort to bring dietetic interns to child nutrition!

Dietetics students, you know who you are!  You’re studying hard to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist so you can help Americans live healthier, happier lives.  You have the most up-to-date education in nutrition science, a fresh perspective and lots of creative energy, and you’re looking to put it to work in an internship with maximum impact.  The federal Child Nutrition Programs are where you need to be.

We serve infants, children and even seniors through meals served at schools, day care homes and centers, and community settings.  In 2010, The Healthy-Hunger Free Kids Act launched lots of major changes, including updates to the school meal programs. And this year, USDA rolled out the first improved nutrition standards for the Child and Adult Care Food Program since the program’s start in 1968.  Our recipients will soon be enjoying meals bursting with more delicious fruits and vegetables and filled with more exciting variety than ever before!  Reaching all the providers who serve USDA-funded meals with training on how to buy, prepare and serve more nutritious and appealing meals is a lot of work.  And we need all hands on deck to help get the job done.

USDA and the Academy are making it easier than ever to find the Child Nutrition Program rotation that’s right for you.  We’ve created a toolkit of resources to help state agencies get ready to host and to help you get ready for your rotation.  Check them out at

By the way, dietetics leaders at the state and local agencies who administer Child Nutrition Programs, who have already hosted dietetics interns, know how valuable you are! But don’t just take my word for it:

We very much enjoy working with dietetic interns at the Iowa Department of Educations’ Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services.  We take the opportunity to encourage their future work in Child Nutrition Programs.   During their time with us, they may participate in an administrative review, assist with current projects, meet partners, and get a glimpse of what is involved in the administration of the Child Nutrition Programs at the state level.  We try to tailor their experience to their specific area of interest.  This is a great opportunity to form a relationship with interns who are interested in working in Child Nutrition Programs in the future.  We learn a lot from each other! – Patti Delger, RDN, LD, Iowa Department of Education

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in serving as a preceptor site for public health nutrition graduate students completing their dietetic internship requirements. While MDE has been able to open students’ eyes to the possibilities for registered dietitians to work with USDA Child Nutrition Programs, the student interns have opened our eyes to the creativity, capacity and potential of our state’s up and coming nutrition leaders, often helping us to see our everyday opportunities and challenges from a new perspective. — Kara Mitterholzer, MPH, RD, Minnesota Department of Education

Work alongside our team and help bring up the next generation of healthy eaters!

Dietetics interns using their nutrition science education
The USDA and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics announce new effort to bring dietetic interns to child nutrition.
Category/Topic: Food and Nutrition