Michelle Zelikman, a registered dietitian, is North Shore Elder Services Community Dietitian. She has many years of experience working in clinical, foodservice, and community nutrition. She is also very involved in working in the area of health and fitness. She earned her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree at Framingham State College and did her dietetic internship through Framingham State College.
What does a dietitian at NSES do?
Michelle is responsible for planning menus for home delivered and congregate meals as well as menus that meet the needs of diabetics, cardiac and kosher consumers. She ensures that the menus meet approximately 1/3 of the current daily Recommended Dietary Allowance of nutrients and considers the special dietary needs of older adults. There are many things that she has to take into account while planning the menu. Some of these things include seniors’ preferences, nutrient value, variety, and cost. All the meals are analyzed in a computer program by the dietitian to ensure they meet the nutrient guidelines set by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.
Michelle is available for nutrition counseling. She provides counseling over the phone or she can make a home visit. Some of the things that she helps consumers with are following therapeutic diets such as low sodium, renal, diabetic, cardiac, and gluten free. She also helps consumers that are interested in weight loss or weight gain. Many times she just helps seniors make healthy snack and meal choices that are easy to make and fit within their budget. Twice a year she provides nutrition education for the congregate meal participants. Some of the recent topics have been on sodium, carbohydrates, water and nutrients in food
Many seniors ask Michelle to give them ideas for healthy snacks. Healthy snacking does not need to be complicated. Here is what Michelle has to say about snacks:
“Snacks are a great way to keep your energy and concentration levels up. Snacks can also be a great way for seniors, especially for those who do not have much of an appetite, to increase their nutrient intake. For seniors interested in weight loss, healthy snacks can be a great way to keep hunger in check so you are not as likely to eat empty calories. Fruits and vegetables can add extra vitamin C & A which is beneficial for your immune system, teeth and gums. Whole grain crackers and other grains will give added complex carbohydrates and fiber. Cheese, yogurt, hummus and deli meats will increase your protein intake, which is necessary for healthy muscles, skin, and hair. Dairy foods such as yogurt, cheese & milk provide calcium, which helps to keep your bones strong. Nuts and nut butters are a great source of healthy fats, which protect your heart and brain. Here are some examples of nutritious easy snacks you may enjoy.”
Greek yogurt with fruit
Cheese and crackers
Sandwiches made with deli meat like chicken breast, turkey or ham
Nuts or trail mix
Vegetables and dip
Smoothie or milkshake with fruit
Fruit cups packed in their own juice
String cheese sticks
Raisins, yogurt covered raisins, craisins
Real fruit snacks
Peanut butter and crackers
Hard boiled or deviled eggs
Stewed prunes, dried fruit such as apricots
Hummus and pita
Homemade leftover dinner (small portion)
Cottage cheese and fruit
Wheat or fruit muffins
Glass of chocolate milk or buttermilk
Bowl of cereal or oatmeal with berries
Bean, mushroom and greens wrap
Avocado on toast
Pate on crackers
Tuna, chicken or egg Salad
Nutritional supplements such as Ensure, Boost or Carnation Instant Breakfast.
Michelle is also responsible for conducting food safety kitchen inspections and food safety trainings at the caterer that provides the home delivered and congregate meals as well as at all the sites where meals are served.
When Michelle isn’t busy working she enjoys time with her husband, two teenage sons and her new puppy.
If you would like to speak with Michelle regarding meal issues or nutrition concerns, you may contact the Information Services team at 978-750-4540.