Spotlight on: Jennifer Grant Moore
Clinical Dietitian, Eating Disorder Clinic and Private Practice Dietitian
Jennifer is a dietitian in Halifax who has been working with patients at the Eating Disorder Clinic since 2005. The clinic sees patients from NS, NB and PEI. The strength of the clinic is the multidisciplinary team of health professionals that work well together to treat each patient. She works 4 days a week at the clinic and the other day is spent on private practice where she sees clients for various nutrition related concerns. Jennifer graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a BSc. in Human Nutrition in 1996; she then received a Bachelor of Education in 1998 from the University of New Brunswick. Jennifer completed her dietetic internship in July 2000 through Alberta Health Services (formerly Calgary Regional Health Authority). Jennifer balances being a wife, a mom to 3 young daughters, a friend, working full time and trying to carve out some ME time. It requires lots of check lists and organization!
What first sparked your interest in nutrition?
I remember doing a Health project in Grade 5 on the Canada’s Food Guide. I cut out the pictures and recommended servings from the 1985 guide. I made it into a booklet and presented to my class. I remember enjoying teaching the guide to my classmates. I can also remember Grade 7 Home Economics (Foods) class and the posters hung around the classroom with pictures of the vitamins, the foods they are found in and the role they
have for our bodies. I remember the giant A was holding a carrot and wearing sunglasses. I was drawn to the visuals and knew I wanted to learn more about vitamins. Before completing my dietetic internship I completed my Bachelor of Education and became a Home Economics teacher for a couple of years.
What has been your favourite experience as a dietitian?
I don’t know if I have one favourite experience. However, one patient comes to mind quite often. My first job as a dietitian was in Owen Sound, Ontario. I worked as a Home Care Dietitian and travelled in between the Grey-Bruce County to people’s homes. This patient was seen during her treatment for Bowel Cancer. I travelled a long distance to see her every other week for many months. During one of my appointments, she gave me a beautiful Christmas cactus. This cactus has survived 5 relocations throughout the
years. It currently resides in my home and blooms twice a year!
What is the most frustrating thing about being in the nutrition profession?
I have been working with patients who have Disordered Eating or a diagnosed Eating Disorder for 18 years. I have seen a lot of food and diet trends within my career. Teaching “normal eating” behaviours is the root of nutrition education when working with these patients. Trying to keep a consistent message and not have new claims and fads get in the way of recovery can be very frustrating and discouraging for myself and the
patient. I am a firm believer that all foods fit into a healthy diet and no foods/food groups should be eliminated without valid reason. My role with patients is to show them how “scary” foods like sugar, gluten or dairy can be added into the diet normally. I encourage patients to form their own beliefs and not listen to the food blogs that are not always
evidenced based nutrition.
Did you always know you were going to become a dietitian?
I wanted to be a teacher and I also wanted to work in a hospital. I do have a NS Teacher License and will substitute teach on occasion. My present position with NSHA is at a hospital. What really makes me happy is when I volunteer at my kids’ school for Nutrition Month as their guest speaker!
If you had to eat one food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is a tough question because I talk about the importance of food variety every day with my patients. That being said, I absolutely love berries!