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Promoting safe and nutritious food selection, preparation and storage practices.

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Nutrition Resource Centre

Credible public health nutrition at your fingertips.

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Taking The Nutrition Pulse Of Ontarians At EatRight Ontario (ERO)

Taking The Nutrition Pulse Of Ontarians At EatRight Ontario (ERO)
Our next #30in30 #nutritionmonth blog post is from Erin Krusky, RD, MHSc, and CDE. Thank you for submitting!
 
I’m a new member of the EatRight Ontario (ERO) team. ERO is a free service that connects Ontarians by phone or email to Registered Dietitians. I answer calls from EatRight Ontario’s toll free number 1-877-510-5102 and emails from the “email a dietitian” feature on the ERO website.
 
I previously worked as a Registered Dietitian in primary care settings such as a Diabetes Education Program and a Family Health Team. But I’d always been curious about what it would be like to practice dietetics in the unique setting of telehealth. I wondered what people all over Ontario would be asking about?  
 
Well I’ve got an answer to that now! In my first couple of months at ERO, I’ve helped support a variety of callers:
  • A mom calling who was thinking about introducing solids to her baby and wanted to know what foods to start with.
  • A Registered Nurse calling to get information for a client about nutrition guidelines for daycares.    
  • A woman who had many food intolerances and wanted to lose weight. 
ERO’s service is here to support all residents of Ontario. Some calls are from the general public while others are calls of a professional nature. Healthcare providers often call for help to find resources or to discuss the evidence on a controversial nutrition topic.

Working as a Registered Dietitian at ERO means being ready for many different topics and questions when the phone rings. To support us in having the information at our fingertips, ERO dietitians have access to a specialized version of the Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN) database. Allowing us to offer evidence based and consistent responses to caller’s questions. This database is updated regularly and reviewed by the Dietitians of Canada team at ERO and PEN. It enables us to send resources through email or regular mail to give follow-up information.
 
EatRight Ontario Supports Nutrition Month
With March here the focus is on the important theme of “making a small change and making it stick”. ERO offers many supports and resources for both clients and professionals. I was happily surprised when I began work at ERO to see how strong of a focus there is on motivation and goal setting with clients through staff training and support.
 
Motivation Over the Phone (MOP)
ERO’s focus on motivation and goal setting helps clients to set SMART goals and take manageable steps to succeed. ERO dietitians have developed a toolkit of resources for Motivation Over the Phone (or MOP as we call it). This toolkit helps ERO dietitians to ask questions and use techniques that help motivate callers to set a goal. Once a goal is set ERO dietitians also support clients in making sure the goal is achievable and has personal importance to them.
 
Tools that ERO Dietitians use to Support Clients to set Goals
  • EaTracker My Goals : For computer savvy clients a tool that we recommend to support clients in goal setting is EaTracker. EatTracker has a My Goals function where users can choose pre-populated goals or create their own goal. ERO dietitians help callers to set goals. The goal set during the call can then be emailed to the client. To support individuals in achieving their goals weekly motivational messages about their goal can also be sent out by ERO. 
  • Handy Guide to Serving Sizes: A new ERO resource is the Handy Guide to Serving Sizes. It is an interactive slideshow that offers practical tips to use your hand to estimate Canada’s Food Guide serving sizes.  The Handy Guide is also part of a Food Portions Toolkit that includes videos, a printable PDF version of the Handy Guide and complementary articles. Be sure to call for your free copy of a laminated, wallet size Handy Guide while supplies last.
ERO Dietitians can support you Professionally 
During my time working in primary care and seeing clients in person I often used the ERO website for resources and encouraged my clients to call ERO between our appointments. I have to admit I never contacted ERO myself. Now I know that ERO welcomes calls and emails from other medical and non-medical professionals. Professionals can call if they are looking for a resource to use with their clients.
 
Professionals can learn about new resources and ERO activities by signing up for our monthly ERO eNewsletter. Be sure to have a look at our ERO promotional material, which is available in different languages and for specific audiences. These are available free of charge.
 
Working Together to Make Change Happen
Telehealth dietetics doesn’t replace the need for in-person appointments with Registered Dietitians who can provide more personalized support and monitor outcomes with follow-up visits. ERO is part of the continuum of care, helping to support the advice given by other health professionals. The telephony services offered by ERO make Registered Dietitians more accessible by:
  • Offering evenings hours on Tuesday and Thursday till 9pm
  • Having quick access to interpreters that speak over 100 different languages 
As an ERO dietitian we can provide contact information of other community services that are available to callers. Often we refer callers to other Registered Dietitians in the individual’s community. We have a community referral database with over 2000 community agencies from across the province.   
 
ERO is available to service providers, their clients and the general public to facilitate small steps in the direction of health. I’m proud to work in an organization that complements and supports the work that other professionals working in different settings of health care do. Together we can make POSITIVE changes a reality. We are stronger when we work together to make a difference.
 
 
Erin Krusky has worked as a Registered Dietitian at the Guelph Family Health Team and more recently at the Regent Park Community Health Centre Diabetes Education Program. She currently works as the Stakeholder Engagement Specialist and Contact Centre Dietitian at EatRight Ontario.  
Erin is interested in collaborating with other organizations to work towards helping Ontarians access practical, evidence based information about nutrition from Registered Dietitians. Please contact her at erin.krusky@dietitians.ca.
 
Dietitians of Canada operates the EatRight Ontario program to give the people of Ontario more ways to connect with a Registered Dietitian and get trusted advice on healthy eating at no charge. Dietitians of Canada acknowledges the financial support of EatRight Ontario by the Ontario government.

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