Caroline Roessler MS, RDN, LD
MARTIN'S FOOD MARKET
for something nutrishus
It's great to feature a retail dietitian in the series. I feel like this type of position is becoming more common as we even have a few in my home province now (and we're usually late adopters). It makes so much sense for us to be in the environment where people make decisions about food and perhaps face confusion or try to sort through the misinformation they hear on-line or pretty much anywhere. Caroline loves her job and is passionate about empowering individuals to make positive lifestyle changes that work for them.
Why did you become a RD?
I grew up in a Greek and German family where food = love! Besides my love affair with good food, I have always been fascinated with the concept of preventative health, and how the foods we eat can not only prevent many chronic diseases but enhance our quality of life.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
I am a retail dietitian in a MARTIN’S Food Market located in Richmond, VA.
How would you explain what you do?
I educate and empower individuals to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. My personal approach is to promote a positive relationship with food for my clients by using the “all foods fit” mentality, and by meeting people where they are. I love that I can take my clients into the aisles to introduce them to new foods and practice reading labels during a consultation.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
I love that my job has no “typical” day! My weeks consist mostly of one-on-one nutrition consultations, during which time I can take clients around the store and we can discover and sample products that may be better choices. I also offer monthly classes and store tours, an associate wellness program, as well as participate in community events such as school career days and talks geared towards specific audiences at local fitness clubs, offices or community centers.
What has been your career path?
I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Ohio State University, and continued on to do a combined Master’s and dietetic internship at Kent State University during which time I did a one-week elective rotation with a dietitian at a local supermarket. After I passed my registration exam, I gained experience as an instructor at my alma mater, then as a home health care dietitian, but remained drawn to retail dietetics and eventually moved to Virginia from Ohio when I saw the opening for my current position. I love it!
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I have a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
I would love to see RD’s with a more pivotal role in health care, and of course with more services covered so that the general population can benefit from our services. Specific to retail dietetics, I believe that the role is growing and a job such as mine will become more common in the future. There are so many benefits that a dietitian can bring to supermarkets, from impacting customer loyalty to increasing sales.
What would you like people to know about RDs?
My favorite saying around the store is “RD’s are people, too!” My clients often ask if I always eat “healthy”. I tell them that I love things like pizza and ice cream just like the rest of us, but try to choose better options less often, like a homemade pizza with grilled chicken and lots of veggies, or a slow churned ice cream with dark chocolate, nuts and berries.
What is your favourite meal?
It changes all the time, I love seasonal produce so right now some roasted butternut squash with pine nuts and rosemary, baked salmon and Greek style green beans sounds good!
What tip(s) would you give to our readers?
Follow your heart! Especially for dietitians who are drawn to community nutrition, don’t feel like you have to go into clinical. If you are ambitious and passionate about what you do, you can find (or make!) the right job for you.
More about Caroline:
Linkedin: Caroline Roessler, MS, RDN, LD