North Dakota Nutrition Council


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2018 Annual Conference

2018 NDNC Conference Review 

The 2018 NDNC Annual Conference was held on Wednesday April 18th in West Fargo. This year’s conference featured remarkable speakers, “networking while walking” mini grant presentations, and a pre-conference social event where members toured the Prairie Roots Food Co-Op and participated in a volunteer project making tee shirts into grocery bags. The day consisted of numerous insightful and relevant presentations that focused on nutrition and wellness through the various stages of life. 

Opening Keynote – Making the Connection

Melissa Joy Dobbins, MS, RDN, CDE, The Guilt-Free RD® & CEO of Sound Bites®

In her opening keynote presentation, Melissa reviewed the importance of making connections as educators. She discussed various ways to enhance communication skills to deliver more effective messages.

Maternal Nutrition and Developmental Programming: What Mom Eats Matters!

Joel Caton, PhD, North Dakota State University, Department of Animal Science

Dr. Caton provided an overview of research exploring the ways in which maternal eating during pregnancy can impact offspring, specifically in terms of specific nutrients. Research has primarily involved animal studies with conclusions that may be applicable to the human population.

Healthy Eating in Infants and Toddlers

Savanna Jellison, NDSU Doctoral Student

Savanna discussed nutrition implications for infants and toddlers during the first three years of life with an overview of breastfeeding, parenting styles, and how infants move through the stages of eating. She engaged the audience in a taste testing of common snacks for this age group and compared the nutritional content of each.

Little Eaters, Big Opportunities: Nutrition Considerations for Preschoolers

Krystle McNeal, RD, Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership

Krystle shared information on nutrition and eating habits pertaining to preschool-aged children. She discussed approaches to handle picky eaters and practices that should be avoided in order to shape positive eating experiences. Krystle also explained various opportunities to make an impact on children’s nutrition at this age.

Are You Aging Well?

Jane Strommen, PhD, NDSU Extension Gerontology Specialist

Dr. Strommen discussed the concept of aging well and described factors and experiences that can serve as barriers to aging well. She presented strategies for successful aging based on findings from major aging studies and also addressed how biases can affect the care that is provided for this population.

Closing Keynote – Making the Connection: Communication Skills for the Educator at Heart

Melissa Joy Dobbins, MS, RDN, CDE

In her second presentation, Melissa provided a worksheet with the purpose of sparking discussion about communication with various audiences and ways to improve communication tactics. The audience also discussed key takeaway messages from each of the different speakers that day.

The NDNC board would like to thank the attendees, speakers, and sponsors for making this year’s conference one of our best! We look forward to seeing you next year at the 2019 conference!  

Erin Ducker, President Elect

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