By Paris Winston, PSU Dietetics Student
Penn State’s Student Nutrition Association (SNA) is student-led organization comprised of over 50 undergraduate students at The Pennsylvania State University located in University Park, PA. As a group, SNA provides its members with Community Service, Professional Development, and Member Engagement Opportunities. Some of these events include professional head shots, restaurant fundraisers, and food drives.
Most recently, SNA teamed up with Medical School Students from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. During this collaboration, SNA volunteers were able to share their nutrition knowledge with other future medical professionals. The theme of this particular event was: Pediatric Diets, Breastfeeding, and Childhood Obesity. After being put into teams, students worked together on case studies relating to the described topics. The ultimate goal of this meeting was to understand where health meets food.
SNA members got to take the lead on food preparation. Food items suitable for a pediatric diet were created such as various homemade baby foods, fruit and vegetable smoothies, and roasted butternut squash. By using skills acquired throughout our dietetics coursework, participants took the lead on showing proper food safety and preparation techniques.
Events such as these will help SNA members prepare for additional cooking class demonstrations and collaborations with various on-campus clubs during National Nutrition Month. Select senior nutritional sciences majors will give nutrition education on two feature ingredients: lentils and cauliflower. Next, numerous recipes will be executed, showcasing the variability the ingredients. SNA members will again take part in setting an example, offering knowledge, and supporting their peers.
During National Nutrition Month, Penn State’s SNA will host Amy Preston, PhD, RD, Nutrition Scientist and Manager of Research and Development of Regulatory and Nutrition at The Hershey Company. Dr. Preston’s colloquium is open to all Penn State Students, as she gives insight to the world of nutrition and dietetics in an industry setting. Dr. Preston’s experience in new product development and launch, nutrition science-based guidance, and nutrition policy changes will surely open eyes to the diversity of the dietetics field.