During finals week I was dreaming of all the fun June would bring: laying out, visiting friends, catching up on some reading, and relaxing. Well, people, it’s June. And I have not done a single one of those things! Instead, I head to my internship every day… and when I get home I think about my internship… and I also cook dinner, which is an activity related to my internship! Can you say overload?!
This summer I’m one of six interns working at the Tippecanoe County WIC office in Lafayette. WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is a supplemental nutrition program that also provides nutrition counseling to pregnant women, infants and children under the age of 5. On a typical day you might find me clerking at the front desk, shadowing a dietitian during an appointment, making a poster, or teaching classes including food safety, infant feeding, cooking and family meals.
The six of us have also been working on planning for the biggest event in the WIC universe: World Breastfeeding Week. I can understand how that might sound weird to most of you reading this blog, however after 3 and a half weeks working at WIC, nothing regarding that topic shocks me anymore. To all of you future dietitians out there, heads up, the nutrition community is a huge supporter of breastfeeding, and when you look at the facts, it’s no wonder why, but it’s also hard work! So the first week in August is when WIC offices around the world take time to do something nice for moms (free manicures, lunch, massage, etc.) who are going above and beyond for their babies.
Now this may be quite a bit for you to take in, and for a lot of you, you may not have thought of breastfeeding as a topic you’d be studying in dietetics, but when you really think about it, there’s no more basic form of nutrition than that! Obviously, this is only a small part, and I am fortunate this summer to work alongside some excellent Registered Dietitians, observing them and even helping them as they counsel patients on the more recognized nutritional topics like fruits and vegetables, portion sizes, whole grains and exercise. What a great experience. Happy summer everyone—hang out by the pool for me!
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