Meet NSES’ Registered Dietitian Michelle Zelikman MEd, RD, LDN

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

 Fresh fruit

 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

 Sunflower seeds

 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.


Author Info

Jayne Girodat

Jayne Girodat is the Communications Specialist at North Shore Elder Services. Along with ten years in the position of Caregiver Support Specialist at another ASAP, Jayne was a long-distance caregiver to parents for the same amount of time. That experience serves as motivation to better understand the issues of aging and to engage people in conversations about those issues. Jayne's background in teaching contributes to her appreciation of social media as a tool to educate readers on aging concerns. "I love asking people questions. Everyone likes to be heard. When you ask and then listen, you'll find everyone has a story and some of those stories are gems. I think it is particularly important to hear the voices of our older adults. Those are the stories I really connect to and hope to bring to North Shore Elder Services' audience."

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