by Kim Beavers, MS, RD, LD, CDE

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) celebrate National Nutrition Month® in March. It is the perfect time for everyone to re-focus on nutrition while New Year’s goals have come and gone and spring’s bounty of fresh produce is just around the corner. This year’s theme is Eat Right, Bite by Bite. I love the theme because of its inclusive and simple nature. Eating patterns have received a lot of attention and, quite frankly, judgment over the last few years. The Eat Right theme takes us back to the basics and reminds us that each bite of food has the power to enhance health.

RDNs are licensed health care professionals who are trained to look at people, food and nutrition holistically. An adequate and health-promoting diet can be derived from a variety of eating patterns. RDNs look beyond fads and gimmicks and use a total diet approach to meet individual needs.

So, what is eating right? In simple terms, it is eating according to food groups. The groups are divided and categorized, in part, around the nutrients they contain. Eating by the food groups provides a simple way to evaluate and assure adequate nutrient intake. But, what if you avoid a specific group or have allergies and intolerances? Not to worry, you can still eat a balanced diet because you have a general idea of which nutrients might need replacing when avoiding certain groups. This allows you and your dietitian nutritionist to personalize your nutritional plan.

For example, I am familiar with many people who have opted to go vegan based on various documentaries. I’m not opposed to documentaries or vegan diets, however, personalized nutrition advice should be obtained by a licensed healthcare professional (RDN) and not fashioned by a producer or director of films. When someone becomes vegan they eliminate all animal sources of food. This means much of the protein and dairy group foods are no longer consumed. The nutrients represented in these groups have the potential to be lacking in their diet. Optional food groups contain some of those missing vitamins while others are best obtained by supplementation— this is where planning and working with an RDN is beneficial.

Are you interested in changing or assessing your diet? Have a health-related nutrition concern? See a local dietitian— we are eager to help you unlock balanced foods and their holistic potential bite by bite. Be sure to check out your local RDN resources at The protein-packed morning oatmeal recipe below is a first step in eating right. If you avoid dairy, no problem! Use a protein-rich alternative such as soymilk, or other alternative that is fortified.

~ Eat well, live well! ~ Kim


Good Morning Cinnamon Oats Using the slow cooker is great for making breakfast. The “dish-in-crock” method is the best way I have seen to make these without drying them out or scalding them.

2 apples, cut up (skin on) or pears

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

2 ½ cups milk

2 cups water

Spray a 5-quart oven-safe crock dish with vegetable oil cooking spray. (This dish should be of a size and shape to fit into the crock of your slow cooker). Add the oats, apples, cinnamon, milk and water to the dish and stir to combine. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top of the oat mixture.

Add a cup of water to the crock of the slow cooker and place the oven-safe dish into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Dished oats will cool while you pack lunches or review school schedules for the day.

Yield: 6 Servings (serving size: 1 cup)

Nutrition Breakdown: Calories 190, Fat 3g (1g saturated fat), Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 55mg, Carbohydrate 34g, Fiber 4g, Protein 7g.

Diabetes Exchange Value: 1 Starch, ½ Fruit, ½ Milk

Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator for University Health Care System. She lives in North Augusta with her husband and two children and she is the co-host of the culinary nutrition segment Eating Well with Kim, which airs at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To be notified of new recipes join Kim’s facebook fan page at To search for specific recipes go to You can also watch the segments at  

This article appears in the March 2020 issue of Augusta Family Magazine. Did you like what you read here?