Learning to eat healthy on your own can be a challenge, but throw in the whole family? Now we’re talking chaos! Luckily, there are experts like Jen Haugen, RD to help us sort out the madness and with her blog, Down to Earth Dietitian, this nutrition expert makes it easy for families to eat a little healthier and little happier each day.
We’re really proud to say that Jen is apart of our blogger community! She’s a pretty phenomenal RD working on the front lines of nutrition – in your grocery store!
Meet Jen, our Nutrition Expert in the Spotlight!
Hi, I’m Jen. I am a registered dietitian (have been for 12 years), and most importantly a wife and a mom to two fun kids who continue to challenge me and inspire me every day. I have been a supermarket dietitian for nearly 5 years where I love to teach people how to shop for health in various ways – in the aisles, through classes, weekly television segments and newspaper columns. I started the first garden for kids at a supermarket in the nation and I teach kids the connection of fresh food to good health through gardening and cooking. My hobbies are no surprise, cooking and gardening, but I also love to read and learn and am teaching myself how to sew.
AtP: How did you become a nutrition blogger?
Jen: I am a registered dietitian that loves to teach families how to be healthier. I took a leap of faith starting my blog in March 2012 after a long process working with a life/career coach and discovering what makes me the most happy – creating fun memories with my kids around food. As a supermarket dietitian by day, I realized I would come home thinking: “I am teaching other people’s kids more about food than my own kids.” Looking back over my life, I realized important family memories are made in the kitchen and garden as I was growing up and I wanted to pass on those same memories. I decided to be more intentional about creating learning opportunities with my family and documenting them in hopes of inspiring another family to do the same. Working as a supermarket RD, I am constantly teaching families how to shop for health and I wanted to share that on my blog too.
AtP: What is your food mantra or food philosophy?
Jen: Happy memories start in the kitchen – teach your kids about food through gardening, shopping, cooking and eating healthier. You won’t regret it.
AtP: What foods are “must haves” in your kitchen?
Jen: There are so many, but here are a few of my favs:
- Chobani Yogurt – I love the extra protein, calcium, and great flavor. I use it for making smoothies and breakfast parfaits.
- Bolthouse Farms or Naked Juice purees – we make fruit smoothies almost daily and along with a little milk, these juice purees add a richness in flavor like you are at a restaurant.
- Spinach – constantly in the fridge for the best strawberry and spinach salads with poppyseed dressing. I love sauteing it with sweet potatoes, peppers, chicken sausage and eggs for a delicious, hearty and filling scramble to get my day going too.
AtP: For others looking to start a food, nutrition, or health blog, what’s one piece of advice you would give them?
Jen: Know what your passion or focus will be. Be a student of yourself. Keep an idea journal and notice the trends. As you discover what your niche is, start writing. I also love the tip I read somewhere that says, don’t tell anyone about your blog until you are 10 posts into it. That way, there will be some bulk to your blog when you invite people to start reading.
AtP: How does your blog help others live healthier and eat a little happier?
Jen: My goal for my blog is to help families connect through gardening together, shopping for food together, cooking in the kitchen together and eating together. Happy and healthier families connect with each other and the kitchen is the perfect place for making happy memories.
AtP: What three posts would you like our readers to check out on your blog right now?
Jen: I’m really excited about my United States of MyPlates Challenge – which is a fun way to cook with your kids across America. Here’s to the latest post:
And here are two more must reads: