Rhianna Cenci, RD, LDN – Retail Dietitian, Kinsley’s ShopRite of Brodheadsville
Have questions about your and your family’s diet? Wonder if you’re fueling your loved ones properly? Ask Rhianna! You can find Rhianna at Kinsley’s ShopRite in Brodheadsville doing free, individualized nutrition counseling, free community presentations for organizations like Boy/Girl Scouts, senior groups, Chamber of Commerce, local gyms, and more. She also offers kids’ cooking classes, recipe and new item demonstrations/tastings in the store, store tours, and Culinary Workshops (alongside a Chef). If your goals include healthier food choices and you’re not sure where to start, she is available to answer all your questions. We had the opportunity to learn more about how she’s helping our community and how she can help you!
Q. Tell us about yourself and your role at Kinsley’s ShopRite?
A. I grew up in the Lehigh Valley and still currently reside there. I attended Drexel University in Philadelphia and completed my Dietetic Internship with Sodexo Health Care Services, spending the majority of my intern year at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem. I have been the Retail Dietitian at Kinsley’s ShopRite since December 2014. I am a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian-Nutritionist for the state of Pennsylvania. At ShopRite, I also help coordinate our Annual Golf Invitation, and all of our fundraising efforts, to benefit the ShopRite Partners in Caring Foundation to help fight hunger in our community.
Q. Where can people find you when they visit the store?
A. My office is on the main shopping floor of ShopRite, near the Pharmacy and ShopRite from Home. Most shoppers think my office is upstairs, but it’s not – just knock on my office door to say hi or if you have a question!
Q. What types of events do you host in the store and in the community?
A. In the store I help run monthly Culinary Workshops alongside a Chef, as well as a free monthly Kids Cooking Class. I also host other in-store food demonstrations, either with a new product or a healthy recipe that I want to share. I often hold nutrition classes for small groups (such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, special needs groups, or homeschooled classes). In the community I have been visiting some weight loss groups and Anytime Fitness on a monthly basis, as well as hosting Field Trips and store tours with some middle school classrooms. In the past, I have held 4-week weight loss programs and weight management support groups in the store.
Q. Do you feel most people are educated and aware of how much diet affects the way you feel?
A. I feel that most people are not aware of how much an unbalanced diet negatively affects them, until they start living a healthier lifestyle. I have many shoppers tell me they feel more energized after starting a more balanced diet, and if they revert back to their old ways for a few days, they feel sluggish and tired.
Q. You offer people free, individualized nutrition counseling. What does that consist of? Is it available to anyone?
A. Yes, this free service is available to anyone. Individualized nutrition counseling depends all on what each person wants out of a session. Some people like to walk the aisles and want my input on specific products, while others need more detailed information about a new disease diagnosis. For example, you may not know where to start if you have high blood pressure and want to lower your salt intake, or if you are newly diabetic and need some guidance on carbohydrates and sugar. I always like to start the session by getting some background information so I can make the best recommendations possible. Almost nothing is free anymore, so, as you can imagine, my schedule fills up pretty quickly! I recommend calling to make an appointment.
Q. Are you able to help parents come up with creative ways to get their children to make better food choices?
A. I do like to help parents encourage their children to make better food choices, because healthy eating is a lifelong habit that they should start to develop early.
The funniest thing is when a child in my cooking class will try a new food that they previously refused to try at home – it is a pure look of shock for parents, but sometimes a new environment or a different person asking them to try something new is all it takes. I also recommend including kids in cooking at home or helping with grocery shopping. Ask for their opinion – “Do you want broccoli or cauliflower with dinner?” Have them choose one, instead of asking open-ended what they want for dinner.
Also, if a child does not like a vegetable, like carrots for example, we show that there are multiple ways to eat carrots. Have your child try carrots raw plain, raw in a dip, boiled, roasted, shredded, cooked in a soup, etc. There are many ways to expose children to those flavors so they will continue to be more accepting of those vegetables in the future. It may take up to a dozen times of trying a new food before kids start to accept it.
Q. Are people able to contact you with general diet-related questions and concerns?
A. Absolutely! Some shoppers like to knock on my office door, but I can also be contacted over the phone or by email. I am always available to answer a general diet-related question or concern. However, if I receive a call from someone asking what foods are safe for diabetics, then it would be safe to say an appointment with me would work better. I can then give a more in-depth explanation. With nutrition, there is often not just a “yes” or “no” answer.
Q. Is there anything special you would like people to know about your services?
A. My services are FREE*! Store tours, community presentations, nutrition classes – you name it and w e can do it! From pre-school and kindergarten age to high school and senior citizen groups. (*With the exception of Culinary Workshop program, but we even offer a free coupon for those classes)
Soon we will be using an online scheduler for events, which will make it even easier to schedule events with me. Check out ShopRite.com for that feature coming soon, as well as healthy recipes, online circulars, and our ShopRite From Home program to order your groceries online for pick-up!
Q. What types of events do you have coming up?
A. I have a 5-week Diabetes Care Program that will be ending the last week of April with a hands-on cooking class. Our new Culinary Workshop dates and recipes will be coming out soon for April, May, and June. I will be having my monthly, free Kids Cooking Class in April and May, for ages 4-11, Saturdays at 11 a.m. & 12 p.m. Dates and sign-up sheets will be available at our Courtesy Counter. I will also be hosting periodic food demos in the store, but every week is different, so my calendar is available outside my office in the store!
Q. Are you available to give presentations and other workshops elsewhere in the community?
A. Yes, I am! Monthly, I visit Anytime Fitness in Brodheadsville and multiple weight loss groups at the library and local churches. I have gone out in the community to speak with senior groups, teach HeadStart classrooms, hold informational tables at health fairs, and more!
Q. What is your favorite piece of healthy eating advice?
A. I am a strong believer in “everything in moderation” and that you can fit any food into a healthy lifestyle. My favorite food is…drum roll please…macaroni and cheese. I would never give it up, but I have found ways to make it lighter and use small portions to include it in my diet. The biggest misconception is that you need to give up every food you like and only eat salads for the rest of your life. I want everyone to know that is not true! If you have an open mind and simply lighten-up a few of your favorite meals, then anything is possible. •
Rhiana Cenci, RD, LDN
Retail Dietitian at Kinsley’s ShopRite
Office # (570) 402-2746