Presenting at FNCE

Some of you, if you are Registered Dietitians, are familiar or at least heard of FNCE. The Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo that happens annually around the country. This is the big national convention for Registered Dietitians hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I have been able to attend FNCE twice, once as a dietetic intern in Boston, MA and then two years ago in Chicago, IL. It was a fantastic experience to be able to listen to speakers, see the amazing exhibit hall and then get to network with fellow RDs. Over the last 7 years of being a pediatric dietitian I have spoken with several other pediatric RDs about the lack of pediatric content at FNCE. There are obviously lots of topics that they are trying to cover and there are normally a few pediatric topics that are addressed, but not a ton. I wanted to make sure that pediatric nutrition continued to have a focus at FNCE and have some quality information to provide to other dieititians. Lots of RDs are being asked to cover NICU/pediatric units in hospitals and some times these RDs aren’t always the best equipped to know how to take cover of these complicated patients.

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I decided to put together a presentation proposal for FNCE with a friend of mine in Louisville, Laura Serke. She is an amazing NICU RD in Louisville and also works as a lactation consultant. I thought it would be awesome to provide a presentation focused on how to handle human milk (or breast milk) in the hospital setting. This would centered around the NICU specifically, but we would also cover the pediatric side of it as well. RDs are often the ones that are asked to help provide guidance on how the transportation, storage and feeding of human milk is delivered to infant patients. Laura was in support of putting together this proposal and then with the help of Salisa Lewis as well (another amazing NICU RD with lots of experience) we finalized our proposal and submitted it back in November of 2018. We worked hard over the course of a couple of weeks to create and finalize this proposal and articulate our thoughts in a way that sounded professional and interesting. It is tough to put together an interesting and interactive presentation on human milk in a way that would get a large group of people excited about the topic! I think we did a great job though coming up with a catchy title and putting all those ideas on to paper.

Fast forward to this past week … we got word back that our proposal was accepted and we will be presenting our presentation at FNCE in Philadelphia, PA in October of 2019. If you are attending FNCE this fall make sure to mark your calendar for our session on October 27th at 10am! It will be a great presentation and worth getting up for! This is the best news that I could have gotten. I am wrapping up my maternity leave and kind of questioning leaving my baby to head back to work, but this was just the push I needed. I love what I do and love educating people about my job and supporting other RDs in that field of pediatric/NICU nutrition. It is tough being a mom, working full time, running a side business and at times I question if it is worth the stress to try to do all these things. Then moments like this where a crazy idea works out and becomes a reality and then I realize “yes” it is all worth it!

So stay tuned to hear about about that presentation and of course pictures and documentation of the event in October of this year!

My Experience at FNCE 2017

I had to the chance to go to FNCE this year in Chicago for a day. For those of you that don't know FNCE is the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. It is the annual national conference hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I haven't been since I was an intern back in 2010 when it was in Boston. I was very excited to attend this year, because it was in Chicago (3 hours north of Indianapolis). Even with having a small (10 month old) child, I wanted to try to go. Shout out to my amazing mother, who came up with me and watched William for the day. That was such a huge blessing and really made it possible for me to go.

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I was actually given a scholarship to attend FNCE this year. The local Dietetics Association that I belong to - CIAND (Central Indiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) gave out a $250 scholarship. I thought I would apply and I was so excited that I was chosen. With this scholarship I took a day off work and headed up to Chicago for the conference. 

If you haven't had the chance to attend FNCE, then mark the upcoming dates on  your calendar, save some money and try to go! It is worth the time and money. It is such a HUGE conference and there are so many neat speakers. You have the chance to earn SO many continuing education units and network with amazing dietitians.

I wanted to share with you some of the highlights from my 24 hours at FNCE. 

Purdue Alumni Reception 

I was able to get up to Chicago on Sunday evening and attend the Purdue Alumni Reception. I was so glad that this event was sponsored by the Department of Food and Nutrition and by the Alumni Board. There was a great turn out and such a fun chance to see old classmates and professors. I was able to bring my Mom and baby with me so that was neat to show off my little guy and have some help watching him. 

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Networking Luncheon

On Monday there was a luncheon at a hotel near the conference for the authors of a book that Barb Mayfield is leading. It was so great to have a chance to network with some other amazing dietitians. This nutrition communication book will be such a great resource for dietitians and I am excited to see it come together and so thankful to be included on this project.

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Educational Sessions

I love being able to go to continuing education sessions and I wish I could have attended more of these. I had fun though attending three of them during the day on Monday. My favorite had to be the main speaker on that day, which was Kimbal Musk. He is such an interesting person and it was so neat to hear him talk about his philosophy with food. Plus his mom is a RD! Another interesting session was one on Type 1 Diabetes in Africa. Very neat and made me want to go on a medical mission trip. 

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If you haven't been to FNCE before,  mark your calendar and try to go next year. Some other fun parts to FNCE is the Expo Hall, the awesome networking events with the DPGs and of course the main speakers. It is such a neat conference and I am so thankful for being able to go this year!