Wednesday, January 12, 2011

PTP Welcomes Registered Dietitian April Davis back for 2011

[Above: April holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa on her recent adventure with our Mediterranean Traditions delegation]

Who is April Davis?
Last year, April brought People to People Ambassador Programs valuable insight into health and nutrition for our delegates in response to feedback from our delegates and their families. She not only reviewed our meals and recommended changes to provide better and tastier meals on program, but field tested it with delegates on an actual program to make sure it was appropriate for them. Our commitment to a great travel experience runs that deep!

April’s current credentials include being a Registered Dietitian, Certified Dietitian, and American College of Sports Medicine Clinical Exercise Specialist®. For delegates and their parents, her blog posts showcase successful meal planning on our programs, and provide long-term education about healthy living and meal choices. Topics to be covered in upcoming blog entries include:
  • Nutritional food remedies to common travel ailments;
  • An introduction to micro- and macronutrients and why each is important during travel;
  • How to make healthy choices at a buffet;
  • Nutritional values in regional cuisine differences; and
  • Many more important topics you won’t want to miss.
April's update is below. We're glad she's on board!
- Mike Bowers Senior Director of Health & Safety

According to April:
"Last year I worked with People to People Student Ambassador Programs to assist in making recommendations for quality improvement in student acceptability to overseas meals.

[Me with my delegation in Pisa last summer]

"I began by reviewing proposed menus that students follow while traveling. After submitting my suggestions, several adjustments were made as an initial stepping stone to improving post-travel evaluations related to food intake during travel. I also began writing monthly blog posts on the Health & Safety Blog to the parents of delegates to provide nutrition and physical activity recommendations pre- and during travel, along with general tips on hydration, healthy travel snacks, and basic macronutrient education.

"This past summer, I had the opportunity to travel through Italy and the French Riviera with a People to People Student Ambassador Delegation and observe nutrition practices, meals served, and overall acceptance by students. It was important to consider these factors in conjunction with their daily schedule and emotional and physical states. I also assessed adherence to meal plans, portions, presentation, palatability, hydration status, and quality of foods served, as well as student satisfaction. There were numerous positive experiences and reactions that I saw while observing the delegation. Some of these included adequate portion sizes, friendly and efficient restaurant service, agreeable palatability, and several unique food presentations.

"Reflecting on this experience, I am reminded how grateful I am to have had this unique opportunity as a dietitian. It encourages me to spread my wings and delve into any and all possibilities with an open, creative mindset. I whole-heartedly believe that life is what you make of it – so make it something worth remembering and find ways to explore the world (literally or metaphorically) through your knowledge of food science - I look forward to sharing with you in 2011!"
- April Davis, RD, CD, ACSM CES®

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