MS RD LDN
MS RD LDN
Hi! I'm Jen Belanger (previously Jen Barnes if you knew me before 2017!). You can probably guess that my life revolves around food! I love cooking it, eating it, talking about it, and teaching others about it! Nutrition is so much more than just what we eat to fuel our bodies. It's baking cookies with grandma in her kitchen, biting into a fresh picked peach on a hot August day, and gathering with our families around the table on Thanksgiving. My approach to food and nutrition is simple and realistic. I want to help you, your children, and your family love and appreciate food and all it has to offer us!
I think one of the reasons I fell in love with my husband, Kyle, is because he loves to cook and eat almost as much as I do! We live in Belchertown with our 3-year-old Doberman, Della. She's getting ready to become a big sister, as we impatiently await the arrival of our first baby in October! We love hiking, traveling, going to the beach, and spending time with friends and family.
Where It All Began
I didn't always know I wanted to be an RD. I knew I wanted to teach and grew up in a family of teachers, so I planned on becoming a school teacher. Not until my junior year of high school did my mom introduce me to the exciting field of nutrition when she was working with an RD herself. After learning that I could make a career out of helping people achieve their health and nutritional goals, I never looked back! I love my work as an RD, running my own business, and I'm incredibly lucky to combine both of my passions for nutrition and teaching into one rewarding career.
I attended undergrad at Framingham State University and completed the Coordinated Program in Dietetics. In 2013 I took my Registered Dietitian (RD) exam, which is a highly regulated board exam that you must pass in order to use RD after your name! I worked in the field for about 4 years, mostly with adults and geriatrics, before going back for a Master's Degree. In 2018 I completed my Master's degree in Nutrition from UMASS Amherst. My work experience is vast, ranging from hospital, subacute, and long-term care dietetics, to family and pediatric nutrition counseling. I love the fast paced and ever-changing thrill of the field!
You May Have Seen Me...
Staying active in the community and giving back is so important to me! I've hosted some free nutrition classes at the Belchertown Senior Center and Clapp Memorial Library. I regularly appear on WWLP's hit lifestyle show Mass Appeal showcasing recipes and healthy eating tips. Make sure you check out the Videos tab! You may have seen me at Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (Belchertown/Wilbraham) or Pediatric Associates of Hampden Country (West Springfield), where I offer nutritional counseling for patients and their families.