What Does a Dietitian Assistant Do?

Nick Mann

A dietitian assistant reports to a head dietitian and plays an integral role in improving the health of clients. These individuals strive to provide clients with nutritional, well balanced meals and monitor client progress. Some helpful skills to have for this position are extensive culinary knowledge and excellent communication skills. While it's often possible to obtain a position as a dietitian assistant with only a high school diploma, having a degree in nutrition or dietetics is beneficial. Some common responsibilities of this career include managing a schedule, evaluating the food intake of clients, providing clients with appropriate training and fitness materials, and assisting a head dietitian with presentations.

Dietitian assistants may work in day cares or similar facilities to provide good nutrition for young children.
Dietitian assistants may work in day cares or similar facilities to provide good nutrition for young children.

Assisting a head dietitian with scheduling and managing clients is an important part of being a dietitian assistant. This might involve designating consultation times, organizing appointments and updating the records of clients; this helps to free up a head dietitian's workload so he can focus primarily on helping clients. Consequently, it's helpful for an individual to be well organized and effectively follow orders.

A sports dietitian may advise against eating at buffets, which may tempt an individual to over-eat.
A sports dietitian may advise against eating at buffets, which may tempt an individual to over-eat.

Another big part of this job is evaluating the food intake of clients, meeting and discuss topics like typical foods and beverages that are consumed, calorie intake and exercise habits. Afterward, a dietitian assistant will typically discuss this information with the head dietitian to identify which areas need improvement, ultimately supplying the client with materials and information to make appropriate lifestyle changes. For example, he might offer a list of recipes for daily meals, a list of foods and beverages to avoid, and booklets on nutrition. He may also give a client paperwork to fill out that documents daily food consumption. These and other similar materials are designed to provide clients with easy to follow instructions to maximize the chances of improved health.

Dietitian assistants sometimes help patients devise eating plans that are customized to their individual needs.
Dietitian assistants sometimes help patients devise eating plans that are customized to their individual needs.

Along with this, a dietitian may also provide a client with fitness advice. Depending on the situation, he may advise a client to engage in workout routines like weight lifting, cardiovascular workouts, jogging or hiking. He may also recommend a particular workout length and frequency as well.

Dietitian assistants can help people make healthier eating choices.
Dietitian assistants can help people make healthier eating choices.

In some cases, an individual will also assist a head dietitian with presentations. Since many dietitians give presentations or lectures to the public or in schools, a dietitian assistant will sometimes help perform research and develop an outline. For example, if a head dietitian was planning a presentation for elementary school students, a dietitian assistant might research fun activities for children to get exercise.

Dietitian assistants can make recommendations regarding how much fruits and vegetables should be consumed.
Dietitian assistants can make recommendations regarding how much fruits and vegetables should be consumed.
Dietitian assistants may prepare meals for clients.
Dietitian assistants may prepare meals for clients.
A dietitian assistant may help clients design a workout that includes jogging.
A dietitian assistant may help clients design a workout that includes jogging.
Dietitian assistants can educate people about the health benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
Dietitian assistants can educate people about the health benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

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