In the coming weeks, we’ll play Q&A with the McDaniel Nutrition Therapy team! We’re starting with the newest member of the team, Kim Yawitz. Kim primarily helps out with social media and special projects. Watch for pictures of her family on our social media and on the blog. 

Name: Kim Yawitz, MA, RD

Family: I’ve been married to my husband (Roo) for 11 years this week! We have 3 kiddos: Eliza (8), Mae (5), and Calvin (3). We also have a 14-year-old basset hound and two geriatric cats. So our house is very calm, quiet, and clean (Ha! Just kidding!).

Why I got into the field: I’m actually a second-career dietitian. About 13 years ago, I made some big lifestyle changes that helped me to lose and maintain a significant amount of weight. At around the same time, I took a job managing a nutrition community outreach program for a local university. The more I learned about nutrition, the more passionate I became about it. There’s an old saying that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. At some point I realized I was reading cookbooks and nutrition books in my spare time, and I knew I had to go to dietetics school.

I currently fill in as needed at 3 hospitals in the St. Louis area and contribute nutrition articles to local and national publications and websites. I also coordinate social media for McDaniel Nutrition Therapy. I love educating people about wellness and nutrition, and my combination of professional roles is perfect for that!

Biggest Nutrition Challenge with Fueling My Family: We have a couple of picky eaters. If one kid decides (s)he doesn’t like something, the others will usually follow suit.  It’s improved quite a bit, but it’s taken a lot of effort!

Best Nutrition Tip for Fueling My Family: We’ve combatted pickiness by getting the kids involved in the kitchen. My oldest daughter caught an episode of Master Chef Junior a while back, and she’s decided she wants to compete on the show one day. We pointed out that the chefs taste everything they make, and that was eye-opening for her. We also made more of an effort to get them cooking!

They don’t cook every night, but we try to involve them in little ways. They helped plant a veggie garden, and I send them out to harvest tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. When I’m planning meals, I’ll say, “We can have carrots or red peppers with dinner tonight—which do you prefer?” I do this to give them some control, but also so that they know that I expect them to eat vegetables. When time permits, they prep ingredients or even cook full meals with supervision!

It Might Surprise You to Know That I Eat: Cheetos! I try to save this semi non-nutritional snack for after a hard workout or fun-food Tuesday! Hey, all foods can fit…but it’s probably not balanced to have bright orange fingers all of the time. 🙂

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.