Throughout my time as an NHC Chicago AmeriCorps member, I’ve had the opportunity to develop a multitude of skills. One skill that I have continuously practiced on during my year of service is motivational interviewing. While being a part of NHC Chicago AmeriCorps, I’ve attended two motivational interviewing training sessions. Since learning about and being trained on motivational interviewing, I use this skill when conducting nutrition counseling sessions with students at Heartland Health Centers at Senn High School. Motivational interviewing during these sessions allows me to actively listen to students and ask them questions to trigger thoughts around nutrition. During nutrition counseling sessions, we identify nutritional or wellness plans for the student to implement towards their goal(s). We create a shopping list, discuss how to substitute healthy options, and conduct taste tests as well. Motivational interviewing has taught me how to reduce barriers with creative and critical thinking. It is hard for high school students to take charge and change their eating habits at times because they are often not in control of the food that enters their homes. Conducting nutrition counseling sessions allows the students to strategize and initiate small steps in changing their overall nutrition habits. Moreover, it provides students with a safe space to obtain accurate information on chronic diseases and management of healthy habits.
This blog post was written by NHC Chicago 2018-19 member Moranda Tate.
Moranda is a Health Educator at Heartland Health Centers - Senn/Devon.