Today we chat with Ashleigh Simpson who is a nutrition master’s student with a passion for early childhood development!
Why is diversity important in Nutrition & Dietetics?
Ashleigh Simpson, BA, MSc Nutrition student
Where you can find her:
Instagram: @ariseinfants (child nutrition page) @ourhealthnetwork (which is for black nutrition professionals)
Twitter: @ashsimpson_1 @ariseinfants
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your current role?
I’m currently studying a master’s in Global Public Health Nutrition at Westminster University. But previously studied a BA in Early Childhood studies, hence the combination of the two and experience of working with children and families, in health care settings, children’s centres, nurseries delivering workshops, and now working in the school health team.
When did you first know you wanted to pursue nutrition and dietetics?
I have always enjoyed cooking, talking, and trying new food, but it was when I started in the NHS as a nursery nurse that I realised I wanted to develop my knowledge to be a specialist in child nutrition.
What was your most eye-opening experience?
Noticing the impact of delivering workshops to families in a diverse borough and families describing the resources being limited to there culture, especially when introducing solids. Families would go out of there way to spend additional money on the foods they saw in the resources as they explained, “these were deemed as the correct foods to start with.” . I realised that the guidance around a healthy balanced diet did not target their culture, however, I learnt the best way to address this., There is still limited resources.
What’s your favourite meal?
What are your thoughts on diversity in N&D?
I think it would be stating the obvious to say that it is not very diverse, by ethnicity and gender. But it also means that those in the field could help to encourage others by showcasing what they do. The idea of seeing people who look like you.
What’s your biggest pet peeve in terms of being a registered dietitian?
That people expect you would never eat dessert or chips. I am all about balance.
Black or Blue ink pens?
If you could summarise your career as a nutrition professional in 3 words, what would they be?
Challenging, rewarding, evolving.
What advice would you give to black youth considering nutrition & dietetics as a career?
Just go for you, there are people rooting for you, stand strong in the environments you feel alone, and connect with others.