Jessica Coll, RD, IBCLC
INTERNATIONAL BABY LED WEANING
NETWORK OF REGISTERED DIETITIANS
for something nutrishus
Jessica is another dietitian that stands out due to her unique credentials (IBCLC) and as you'll see, she has carved herself quite a niche. Having recently added a second child to our family, her area of expertise is definitely on my mind. It always inspires me to see the work dietitians do in areas that I don't work in and I love that she shares her expertise not only with parents, but also with other dietitians.
Why did you become a RD?
I’ve always been passionate about food but the real reason is that the dietetics school was right around the corner from my house!
What area of dietetics do you work in?
My work is quite specific. I’m the founder of the International Baby Led Weaning (BLW) Network of Registered Dietitians (RDs). I train RDs to give BLW workshops locally. I also have a BLW online course for new parents and a BLW recipe book. I currently have 60 RDs in my network, in 8 countries!
How would you explain what you do?
I support the members of the network with questions about breastfeeding, infant nutrition or marketing their in-person workshops.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
Every day I answer questions from the BLW online course for parents and from the RD members of the network. I offer webinars about BLW to RDs on a regular basis (please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for the next one). I strive to balance everything so work in short stretches and sprinkle yoga sessions and runs throughout the day. Since I work from home, I like to prep meals during my work breaks as well.
I’m currently recruiting new RDs across the world to give BLW workshops so I have several video meetings scheduled throughout the week. I’m often a guest on podcasts and Facebook live videos for various organizations and TV shows.
What has been your career path?
After completing my dietetics internship in Austin (Texas), I worked there as a dietitian for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program at the clinic level and State level for a total of 4 years. The year-round hot temps and amazing rock climbing and running community was great. What’s more? I got to learn Spanish while working there. That’s also where I was able to get all my lactation-specific hours to become a lactation consultant. I decided to start a family back home in Montreal in 2012 and started my business when my daughter was one year old. I started by doing in-home consultations for both infant nutrition and breastfeeding but quickly realized that I needed something more. I started giving workshops about BLW and after giving sold out workshops for a few years and having another child, I founded the International Baby Led Weaning (BLW) Network of Registered Dietitians. Basically, I provide everything RDs need to give BLW workshops in their own city. I can now spend more time with my kids and still have a successful business. I support the RD members of my network by helping them with breastfeeding and infant nutrition questions and marketing their workshops.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
In five years form now, BLW will be the norm for babies across the world.
What misinformation about RDs would you like to clear up?
BLW is very controversial for many RDs. Some RDs are “for it” and some are “against it”. Since BLW makes sense developmentally with 6 month olds being able to grab large objects and bring them to their mouth, it’s all about making sure parents are doing it safely. The other myth is that BLW babies are more at risk of choking compared to babies being offered purees. This is actually backed up by recent peer reviewed journal articles.
What do people think that you do for a living?
They think I’m a TV star!
What are you passionate about in dietetics?
I’m passionate about letting babies feed them selves so they can be stimulated from all their senses and learn to eat enough, but not too much. It’s amazing to watch them go!
What is your favourite meal?
My favourite meal is sushi and yes, sushi can be offered to babies in a way that’s totally safe!
More about Jessica:
BLW Network for RDs: https://www.jessicacoll.com/BLW_network.html
free BLW cookbook: https://jessicacoll.com/
Facebook: Nutrition for babies