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Dietitian teaches kids from an early age
 

Sarah Feye, University of Houston Dining Services dietitian, knew she wanted to pursue a health-related career at an early age.

Feye grew up knowing that her father was insulin-dependent due to diabetes, making her constantly worry about his diet.  Feye decided she wanted to be a dietitian to improve people's lifestyles and health.

"The field of nutrition and dietetics is an ever-growing and exciting field and has also given me the opportunity to really help people," said Feye.

Feye is in charge of nutrition programming and education for the University of Houston System.

In her role, she implements the Healthy for Life initiative that provides diners with the tools to choose healthy options in dining halls and educational events to engage diners through social media, health fairs, culinary demos and more.

Feye also meets with students, faculty and staff in individual sessions to provide them with advice and suggestions on dietary needs, food allergies, and more.

Recently, she became active in Behavior Opportunities Uniting Nutrition Counseling and Exercise, or BOUNCE for short. BOUNCE is a summer and after-school program at UH dedicated to empowering Hispanic and African-American girls ages 9-14 and their families to adopt a healthy lifestyle including healthy food choices, daily exercise, and positive self-esteem in a supportive environment. 

Feye first learned about the organization through word of mouth.

"Many people had brought up the organization in conversations, and I knew right away that UH Dining should contribute to their program in some way," said Feye. "It's been a great experience and I hope to continue collaborating with BOUNCE in the future."

Feye has co-hosted three events with BOUNCE, all centered around healthy alternatives. The three hands-on demos were on healthy snacks, nutritious salads and healthier versions of favorite holiday desserts.

Along with hosting Saturday events, Feye is contributing to BOUNCE's special edition cookbook, in which families have been asked to submit their cherished family recipes. Feye will compile the recipes into a cookbook and include a nutrient analysis and suggestions on how to make the dish healthier. Thanks to BOUNCE interns, the cookbook will be available in both English and Spanish.

Feye believes it is important for kids to incorporate a healthy diet and exercise in their lives at an early age.

"Children and adolescents are particularly at risk, especially since they often rely on nutrition misinformation that is commonly found on social media sites," said Feye. "Teaching students about food and nutrition helps improve academic performance, their current health state, and, even more importantly, their future health."

University of Houston Dining Services, which is operated by ARAMARK, focuses on building local communities through involvement and education. "Being active in BOUNCE is an opportunity to not only recruit future Coogs, but also a chance to reach out to people who may not have the educational opportunity to learn about healthy alternatives," said Feye.