Registered Dietitians consider how culture and values can affect nutrition

“Cultural sensitivity” plays an important part in the delivery of nutrition and food services. There are many factors that affect what we choose to eat: personal preferences, health issues and disease, religious beliefs, family traditions and background, income, social groups and where we live. Healthy eating and well-being can mean different things to different people depending on each of these things.
Personal preferences and circumstances also play an important role in what we expect from a nutrition consultant. This is where Registered Dietitians have expertise. They are trained to create healthy meal plans for all cultures, age groups and circumstances. They can take into account your personal preferences and beliefs to help you eat better for health.

With public safety in mind, the College provides learning tools and guidance to help dietitians respect diversity and to deal with the various circumstances affecting nutrition and healthy eating for individuals, their families and their communities.

Be clear about what you need

When you meet with your dietitian, it is important to be clear about your personal values, habits and beliefs so that they can do their best to help with your nutrition needs. A dietitian is trained to consider how culture, traditions, values and beliefs affect food choices. They know that there are no ‘cookie-cutter’ approaches to healthy eating. They will listen and be open and non-judgmental about your values and beliefs. If something is important to you, it will be important to your dietitian too.

Work together for better results

Registered Dietitians are accountable to provide quality dietetic services  in a way that’s respectful to you, your family and your community. Working together brings better results.

Make the most of your visit with a dietitian

Before your visit, have a list of questions ready. During your visit, use your time wisely by dealing with your most important issues first. Be clear about your nutrition goals. Ask questions to make sure you understand the nutrition treatment or meal plan that the dietitian is suggesting for you. You can bring someone along with you if that is more comfortable. Write things down to make sure you remember them.

The College exists to protect the public interest

In the interest of the public, the College of Dietitians of Ontario has a legal obligation to support dietitians to offer safe, competent and ethical nutrition services. The College also monitors dietitians through a profession-wide Quality Assurance Program for safe, client-centred nutrition services. 

If you feel you have not received safe services from a Registered Dietitian in Ontario, call the College for help or for information about how to make a complaint.

Verify that your Registered Dietitian is qualified to practice in Ontario by checking the Register of Dietitians.

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