AgCenter nutrition specialists, agents earn certification

Johnny Morgan  |  10/19/2018 8:18:18 PM

(10/19/18) BATON ROUGE, La. — Providing better service to the public was the goal for a group of LSU AgCenter faculty who recently became certified nutrition coaches.

AgCenter nutrition specialist Elizabeth Gollub said during the six-week online class, 10 nutrition agents and specialists were exposed to skills that will help them to more effectively present nutrition information to their clientele.

“It’s not that they didn’t already have the necessary skills,” Gollub said. “But the training course offered by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute just reinforced what they already knew.”

The program was geared toward health and wellness with a focus on lifestyle, exercise, attitude and nutrition, she said.

“In the context of these four areas, the course focused on the healthy aging of adults and seniors,” Gollub said.

The trainings covered a vast amount of information, but with practical attention to the approaches necessary for engaging individuals and groups.

Gollub said the one thing taught in the course that will be good for all who are interested in good health is reducing stress through exercise.

“I found the course to be a great skills enhancer, but there were many tips for less experienced individuals that can be used as a way to engage the public,” she said.

This course is not limited to those involved in nutrition. It is open to anyone, Gollub said.

Of those who received the certification, eight are general nutrition agents from across the state and two are state specialists.

“We wanted to let people know that we have staff who are qualified in these various areas,” Gollub said.

Sandra May, a registered dietitian with the AgCenter, said the agents present nutrition information to the public all the time.

“But now they have some extra tools they can incorporate from what they’ve learned in this course,” May said.

May said the course is something she has wanted to take for a long time because it reinforces some of the things that “we tend to forget over time.”

She said one of the perks of taking the course online is she could pace herself, even though there were readings, graded assignments, weekly phone discussions, quizzes and a final exam.

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