What do nutrition geeks (aka dietitians) feed their family?
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calgary_HeraldFind out how the dietitians in our practice manage nutrition challenges at home.

If you are curious what dietitians feed their families and how we address the challenges of faced-paced lifestyles, picky eating and more, read on. The five dietitians in our practice (including myself) have kids who range in age from four years to 22. While you might think we are “nutritional beacons of perfection”, learn how we find a balance and abide by the concept that imperfect is actually perfect.

Meet the Team!HSN_Group_7

Deb Lounsbury

Dietitian Specialty: Diabetes, Cardiovascular, Weight Management, Celiac

Adult kids: 19-year-old daughter and 22-year-old son (both post-secondary students living at home)

“My adult kids tend to eat the same foods over and over. A positive thing about that is they are eating the foods they really love. But I do talk about the importance of including a variety of foods to get different nutrients that the body needs. I try to provide a variety of foods at our evening meal together so they are exposed to lots of different foods and have the opportunity to eat them,” says Lounsbury.

Lounsbury also reminds her daughter that all foods fit into healthy eating in response to her daughter’s questions about “good” versus “bad” food that she hears from friends and the media.

“We talk about eating nutrient-rich foods more often and having less healthy foods occasionally but not needing to avoid them.”

Sherene Sieben

Dietitian Specialty: Disordered Eating, Pediatrics, Family Meal Planning

Kids: 12-year-old daughter and 14-year-ld son (both recreational athletes)

“School lunches are a big issue since our kids are in middle school and are therefore allowed to go off school property. They sometimes find themselves at less ideal places, such as convenience stores, with friends more than willing to share even if they don’t have money,” says Sieben.

Sieben adds the best solution she has found (with a good 75 per cent success rate) is to really involve kids in their own lunch packing.

“Let them give you their grocery list and help pack lunch. Be a food enthusiast and show them that healthy also means delicious.”

Carrie Mullin-Innes

Specialty: Sports Nutrition, Weight Management, Chronic Disease

Kids: 11-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son (both in competitive sports)

“We are still trying to manage picky eating. It requires lots of patience and trying foods over and over and encouraging even one or two bites,” says Mullin-Innes.

Mullin-Innes also finds that, like many kids at this age, managing a preference for sweets over meals can be a challenge.

“When the kids don’t finish a meal and are hungry a half-hour later for dessert, I remind them that a reasonable portion of fun foods can be eaten every day, but meals help to keep you full and fuel good sports performance.”

Richelle Tabelon

Specialty: Disordered Eating, Emotional Eating, Chronic Disease

Kids: Three boys aged five, seven and 10 (all very active growing boys!)

Tabelon also finds lunches a challenge. “I always involve my kids in making their school lunches. If they pick what goes in their lunch, they are much more likely to eat and enjoy it. I guide them in picking a protein, a grain, a calcium-rich food, vegetables and fruit.”

Tabelon comments that her kids’ appetites have grown exponentially and that the trick is stocking up on dense nutritious foods, such as higher fibre grains, whole fruits, protein choices and healthy fats. She also added extra storage space for non-perishables in the basement and a spare freezer to ensure she has a backup of healthy foods on hand.

Myself: Andrea Holwegner

Specialty: Counselling Practice Director, Professional Speaking, Consulting

Kids: One four-year-old boy (with as much energy as two little ones!)

As a working mom, my biggest challenge is the supper hour. It is a juggle for my husband and I to cook supper and give attention to our little guy, who wants to play. In some cases, we have prepared meals the night before that are simple to cook. In other cases, a “divide and conquer” setup with one person cooking and the other playing has worked well.

By far the best success, though, is including my four-year old in cooking. Kids are interested in cooking and it can improve their interest in trying new foods and acquiring lifelong skills. We let my son stir, mix, dump and chop soft foods. And while it isn’t always tidy, it is good family time.

Notice the mix between nutrient-rich foods and less-than-perfect foods chosen based on taste and enjoyment. We encourage you to find the same balance for your family.


  • Homemade pancakes, waffles or French toast (fresh or from freezer) with berries and bacon or back bacon.
  • Leftover pizza (hot or cold)
  • Cereal and milk with fruit or juice
  • Toast with nut butter or scrambled eggs and banana
  • Oatmeal with chia seeds, dried/fresh fruit and milk
  • Peanut butter porridge (oatmeal with peanut butter, topped with fresh banana)
  • Smoothies — fresh/frozen fruit, milk and yogurt


  •  Bento style boxes: crackers, bread, edamame, cheese, nuts/seeds, muffins, fruit, yogurt and raw veggies, such as snap peas, carrots or peppers
  • Leftover pizza or pasta (hot or cold), fruit and homemade energy bar
  • Finger food meal: pita, hummus, hard-cooked eggs, raw veggies, cheese, fruit
  • Pasta with tomato sauce with a side of cottage cheese and fruit
  • Ham and cheese sandwich with yogurt, cucumbers, fruit and cookies
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich or wrap, grapes and milk
  • Weekend grilled cheese sandwiches and butternut squash/carrot/tomato soup


  • Spaghetti with tomato sauce made with meat or sausage and Cesar salad
  • Slow cooker pulled pork, buns and salad
  • Slow cooker beef, potato and vegetables
  • BBQ chicken, fish, meat with foil pack of potatoes or mashed potatoes and grilled veggies
  • Hawaiian pizza and raw veggie and dip
  • Baked beans, baked potatoes and caprese salad
  • Stir-fry meat or shrimp with veggies and noodles or rice
  • Lasagna with garlic toast and raw veggies and dip
  • Homemade fried rice (less oil and more veggies), pad thai or shrimp salad rolls, edamame beans and veggies
  • Homemade beef, pork or veggie burgers with tomato avocado salad
  • Chicken fajitas with peppers, portobello mushrooms and onions
  • Meatloaf, roasted potatoes and asparagus
  • Beef or black bean tacos with cheese, lettuce, tomato and peppers with salsa and sour cream.
  • Broiled salmon or homemade chicken fingers, brown rice and steamed peas and carrots
  • Homemade macaroni and cheese with raw veggies and dip
  • Marinated chicken skewers, pita and Greek salad


  • Whole grain crackers and cheese
  • Raw veggies and hummus or dip
  • Air popped popcorn with butter and salt
  • Tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole
  • Ice cream with fresh fruit
  • Toast with peanut butter
  • Veggie smoothies — frozen mango, pineapple, kale, unsweetened juice
  • Homemade baked muffins, cookies or energy bars
  • Banana with peanut butter
  • Shelled sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or nuts and fresh fruit
  • Yogurt and fresh fruit
  • Fried egg sandwiches
  • Mug of hot chocolate made with milk
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Success stories

"I am a psychologist in private practice and it is very important to me that my clients have the best care with other health care professionals. For that reason Health Stand Nutrition is my only source for exceptional Dietitians. Andrea and her team provide highly knowledgeable, compassionate, and real world support to my clients who require assistance with food lifestyle. I trust my clients to them and you would be in excellent hands making them part of your health care team."
Adele Fox, Psychologist
“This is the first time I feel satisfied; my cravings have diminished dramatically and I have a whole new relationship with food. I am eating guilt-free for the first time in my life. My energy has also dramatically increased and I feel great!
Rhonda Jenkins, Nutrition Counseling Client
“The Dieticians at Health Stand Nutrition help you to take action on the science behind eating well by making it practical, understandable, and fun. Their office is cozy and not at all clinical or intimidating. I felt like I was sitting down with a really smart, caring friend who wanted to help me make the best choices for my lifestyle and food preferences. They really are the best in the business.”
Marty Avery, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I have come to think of the program as a one stop shopping excursion for everything one needs to know about creating a joyous relationship with food and our bodies. In a single word, the course has gifted me with freedom from the punishing rigidity of disordered eating, old stories that never were true, and body dysmorphia that did nothing but make me lose sight of a body that has done everything I've asked, despite my careless dismissal of her needs. Now when I look in the mirror I find myself shifting from harsh criticism to gentle gratitude.”
Lynn Haley, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“I spent 3 hours when first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I learned more from my Dietitian about food in those 3 hours than I had learned in all the years of my life. I also love the newsletter, there is always something to learn.”
Peter Whitehead, Nutrition Counseling Client
“I didn’t realize how strong my “diet mentality” was, and all the rules I had in my head about food. I was in a cycle of reward/punish/binge/cringe. I booked with your business very reluctantly, on the repeated advice of my doctor, to get my slowly rising cholesterol levels in check. I thought I knew everything about food, and my behaviour with food, but I was definitely re-schooled. My weight is creeping down, I feel good about my diet, exercise, body image, and lifestyle.”
Amy Floyd, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Thanks Andrea for an amazing presentation, I have heard all positive remarks from attendees and the evaluations show the same sentiment. It is really gratifying when a speaker does their “homework” and weaves in our profession’s day to day challenges within their content, you did an awesome job of this! You truly took the “die” out of Dietician! Your information on healthy eating and simplifying how we can work towards this as we are all so busy really hit the mark. Andrea connects very well with her audience; she is energetic, funny, and very approachable.”
Carole Ann LaGrange, Transfusion Medicine Safety Officer

Event Planner for Laboratory Diagnostic Imaging Annual Event

I am a family physician who sees patients with a myriad of eating concerns – from wanting to know how to plan healthy meals for active families, to weight loss, to eating disorders, and so on. I cannot recommend the Health Stand team highly enough. I have worked with (and been to!) other Dieticians in the past and too often find that they just ask for food logs and make suggestions that are easily obtained online or in books. The Dieticians at Health Stand offer much more than just telling clients what they “should be eating.” In contrast, the team really does more of a counselling practice, and they work hard to help their clients learn more about why their eating habits may be off track and not optimal for them, as well as helping people to effect change at a deep level that, most importantly, is sustainable for lifetime health.”
Dr. Deb Putnam, Family Physician

Nutrition Counseling Client & Referring Physician

“I am a busy mom, with kids in high level sports, working full-time downtown, and running our home acreage outside the City. I now have the knowledge and tools I need to plan for and manage the chaos of meal planning.”
Gillian Gray, Pursuit of Healthiness Online Course Participant
“As a construction company, we select speakers who can relate to our industry and its employees. Andrea’s message was delivered with humor and empathy. She makes people feel as though they can make changes without leaving behind every favorite food. Andrea focused her presentation on healthy eating as a way to keep energy high throughout the day. This message and the way it was delivered resonated with our predominantly male, blue collar culture. I would highly recommend Andrea as a speaker for groups such as ours. She will get your message across without alienating anyone in your audience – which is a huge hurdle when trying to introduce a wellness program in the workplace!”
Stephanie Wood, HR and Safety Manager

Fisher Construction Group, Burlington, WA

I found my Dietitian warm, funny, and skilled at teaching nutrition concepts without the overwhelm. The general approach of each session was to mix science with emotion, which was exceedingly effective in helping me shift my perspective on food from one of anxiety to one of joy and curiosity.”
Erin Kronstedt, Nutrition Counseling Client
“Excellent presentation! What a refreshing change to have a speaker inspire rather than “lecture” about nutrition. Your captivating stories, tips and overall approach to healthy eating uplifts and puts people at ease. It was great to hear we don’t need to strive to be perfect eaters, and that small changes really can make a difference in how we feel and in our health. Thanks to Andrea, we have solutions to our everyday nutrition challenges that can actually work in real life!”
Tina Tamagi, Human Resources

ARC Resources Ltd.

“Had I not joined this course I would have struggled with no focus, low energy, and mindless eating. Excellent teaching and motivation. This is not just a course, it is a nutrition club with mentorship, support, and connections with other people with similar situations.”
Lorri Lawrence, Pursuit of Healthiness online course participant

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