Dietitian plans to create healthier school

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Martin-Ayoade promotes better options for food

By Forest Lassman


flassman@jccc.edu


When Claudia Martin-Ayoade grew up in Jamacia, all the food she ate was healthy and fresh. As the college’s first dietitian, she hopes to bring those op­portunities to others at the college.

Martin-Ayoade is new to the col­lege, joining only a few months ago, but she’s already working hard to make the school the best it can be.

“It’s something we’ve needed for a long, long time,” said Jay Glatz, direc­tor of dining services. “She’ll be able to promote our program [and] new products. She’ll also be a resource for students, faculty, and staff in terms of nutrition information.”

Martin-Ayoade loves finding new and healthy options to eat, and has since she was born. Growing up in Jamacia, the only food she could get was fresh, and she was encouraged to eat healthy. After moving to the United States and creating a family, Martin-Ayoade quit her job in finance and became a dieti­tian, a position she loves. She is trying to spread this love throughout the col­lege to make it a better environment.
Martin-Ayoade’s is trying at accom­plish this goal partly in the college’s food court.

“Part of my function is to try and up­grade food in the food court and other locations on campus. We’re trying to get nutritional information available for the food court, especially for the items we serve every day,” she said.

This action is one of many Martin-Ayoade is putting in place. Her main goal is to allow students and faculty to learn how to eat healthy.

“I think we need to be more proac­tive as far as providing information for people as far as what the healthy options are because I think there are healthy options that people don’t really know about,” she said.

Martin-Ayoade is spreading this information in a variety of ways, from talking to people one-on-one to pro­moting healthy food.

One such promotion occurs every Friday, when the salad bar sells its food for half-off. By doing things like this, Martin-Ayoade hopes she can give a students a good push to eat healthier instead of grabbing a bag of chips.

Even with this information, some do not listen.

“Sometimes you give people infor­mation, and they don’t heed it. I had to learn to get over that, and know at least I can provide information, and it’s up to them what to do with it,” she said.

The food court isn’t Martin-Ayo­ade’s only focus though. She is also trying to promote and improve all food options in the college. She is working to add better options in vending machines and espresso bars in the school.

Martin-Ayoade also encourages students to learn to make their own meals if they want to have the healthi­est meals.

“Learning to cook in fundamental in eating healthy…. In order for you to eat healthy, you want to know how to control what you’re eating. You want to know how to prepare meals simply,” she said.

The college has also been very en­couraging to Martin-Ayoade.

“Everybody that I’ve talked to, staff and students, everybody’s always like ‘Oh my god, thank god you’re here.’ [the people] are so happy,” she said.

A few months into the job, Martin-Ayoade is still energetic and happy, al­ways looking for new ways to improve the college.

 

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