Food & Nutrition Now & Then

Later today I’m speaking on BBC Radio Cornwall as part of their 35th Birthday Celebrations. The presenter and I will be chatting about what’s changed in the area of food, nutrition and dietetics since 1983!

I’ll post another blog here with a round up of this radio feature.


Boost My Skills – Benefit Your Workplace


This summer I have embarked on my journey towards becoming an accredited workplace dietitian by .

  • Completion of the BDA WorkReady Training
  • Formulating a workplace nutrition case study
  • Aiming for accreditation later this year

If you are interested in finding out more about how a dietitian led workplace nutrition programme could help your business, why not complete and  enquiry form. Here’s more information on the the BDA WorkReady programme

Eat Well – Feel Well – Work Well

Dietitians Week in the UK is coming soon (6th to 10th June). This year the initiative led by the British Dietetic Association is focusing on being well at work*, so are you WorkReady when it comes to food and drink?

We are what we eat. So, the food and drink choices we make not only enhance our long term health but also help us feel and function well at work. We all have good and bad days but what we eat and when we eat it can influence our mood,
energy levels, concentration and even how we deal with stress. You can use the Eatwell guide  for information on what variety and balance of foods to select when taking to or buying at work.

When at work, your food and drink might look like this:

Breakfast – a  bowl of breakfast cereal with a banana and a cup of tea or coffee

Mid-morning snack – nuts and dried fruit with a glass
of water or cup of coffee

Lunch – Sandwiches or jacket potato with beans or pasta salad with a fruit yoghurt and a hot or cold drink

Mid-afternoon snack – Fruit or wholemeal pitta with a
healthy dip and a cup of tea

This meal & drink plan would need to be adjusted for those on longer working days, on shift work and or working in warm environments.

CarolMattaNutrition can advise individuals and  workplaces on improving their health at work.

This information has been adapted from the BDA’s Dietitian’s Week fact sheet WorkReady Eat Well, Feel Well. 


Foods to Lift Your Mood

This week in the UK it’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

So, can what we eat affect our mental health and well-being? There is some evidence that it can – so here are some quick tips to boost your feeling of mental well-being:

photo of foods

-Include regular meals with some carbohydrate to ensure your brain has a good supply of glucose
-Get the nutrition your brain needs to function well by selecting a wide variety of different foods. Use the Eatwell guide (or plate) to check that you are having foods from each food group.
-Avoid becoming anaemic by including iron rich foods (red meat, oily fish, pulses and fortified cereals). Drink tea between meals as it can inhibit the absorption of iron from food.
-Include wholegrain cereals and animal protein foods (meat, fish, eggs, milk and dairy produce) for some of the B vitamins
-Include liver, green vegetables, oranges and other citrus fruits, fortified breakfast cereals and yeast extract for folate to help beat depression
-Brazil nuts, meat, fish, seeds and wholemeal bread are good sources of selenium
-Whilst caffeine can make you feel alert – too much can have a negative effect on your health and well-being – so take care with coffee, cola and caffeine containing ‘energy’ drinks and supplements

-Being de-hydrated by just 1-2% can make you feel tired, irritable and less able to concentrate. Most adults need 1.6 – 2 litres of fluid everyday. Get yours from water, teas, coffee, juice, squashes and other soft drinks

-Preparing and eating meals with others is a great social activity. If you spend a lot of time on your own, take up offers to join with others to cook or eat.

If you need more help with your diet, take a look at our dietary coaching service

The British Dietetic Association Factsheet foodmood was used in the compilation of this post.

Do You Trust A Dietitian?

Do You Trust A Dietitian? Most healthcare professionals do. These are just some of the reasons a healthcare professional* would trust a dietitian:

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-they have an increased knowledge in their specialism
-they are very well qualified to advise on diet
-of  their in depth knowledge and expertise regarding nutrition and they help people improve their health
-they eat good brain food
-they can steer me in the right direction amongst the confusing info given by the media
-of their wide range of knowledge regarding nutritional problems for different diseases/illnesses

-they look like they practice what they preach

-of their knowledge of nutrition and their support in achieving your goals
-helps to maintain a healthier/consistent lifestyle

-generally look healthy

-they are qualified to provide me with the tools and resources to aid me better to manage my diabetes through weight management and a healthy lifestyle

-they have more knowledge of nutritional needs and help improve health and treat disease
-they know more than me!
-they are experts in their field and are able to offer practical advice
knowledge of supplements and increased nutrition support for patients and their families
-they have been trained by a university, are registered and work to evidence based practice
-they work to improve the health of patients through the science of nutrition
-of the knowledge they have regarding nutrition, health & well-being
-they have up to date specialist knowledge in dietetics
-they have a good understanding of food, nutrients and how they work
-they are experts in their field, working from research
-they have the knowledge to help my diabetes
-they address my needs and deal with my problems related to my lifestyle

* responses based on asking the question “I trust a dietitian because ……………” to a group of healthcare professionals attending a degree module course on Diabetes in June 2014.


All Things Coeliac

Carol Matta from CarolMattaNutrition is currently updating her knowledge and skills in the dietary management of coeliac disease.



This update includes:

– completing a short update course developed by the British Dietetic Association and Coeliac UK
– accessing relevant national and international guidance on the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
-refreshing knowledge on current relevant legislation on food labels for a gluten free diet
– feeling more confident about offering expert dietary advice to those with coeliac disease, through reviewing some patient case-studies
– sampling and cooking with some prescribable gluten free products
– knowing where to signpost patients with coeliac disease for more information & support
– subscribing to a health professional resource service for those working in this field

If you need information or advice in this area, please get in touch


Introducing A Cup to Infants – UK Parent Resource Available

A new resource for parents and carers on when and how to introduce a cup to infants is now available. Moving on to Cups – developed by the Public Health Nutrition Network of the British Dietetic Association and the Comic Company, the leaflet covers the key messages for parents:

  • A cup can be introduced to an infant at around 5-6 months of age, once the infant is sitting up and able to hold their head steady.
  • An open cup should fully replace a bottle at around 1 year of age.
  • The cup should be made of appropriate food safe material, have two handles and preferably no lid.


  • A free-flow, lidded beaker (that lets the liquid run out when held upside down) is also suitable, but the lid should be removed to make an open cup as soon as the infant has learnt how to drink. Cups and beakers with non-drip valves are not suitable.
  • A small amount of water or milk (breast or formula) should be offered in a cup initially. From 1 year of age, full fat cows’ milk can be offered. Milk and water are the best drinks for children.
  • Juice or squash are not required by infants, but if they are given they should be diluted 1 part pure juice to at least 10 parts water, given only at mealtimes and in an
    open cup.
  • For children over 1 year of age, flavoured milk and smoothies should also only be given with meals (not between meals) and from an open cup.
  • Avoid giving fizzy, sugary drinks and those containing caffeine (such as tea and coffee).
  • A lidded cup or bottle should not be given to infants to help them get to sleep.
  • An infant should never be left alone when drinking and they should always be sitting upright. Solid food (e.g. rusk or baby rice) should never be put into a cup or bottle.

This A5 size leaflet can be viewed and is available from here.

Carol Matta from CarolMattaNutrition is pleased to have been involved in the development of this resource and the British Dietetic Association’s policy statement Introducing a Cup to an Infant’s Diet . An article on this topic for those working in Early Years Education is awaiting publication.

Photo courtesy of V. Watson RD.