How My Mom & I Became Dietitians….Together

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Many folks find it cute or surprising when I tell them that my mom and I attended nutrition school together. So for those who always asked me, “What was it like?” or “How did you end up in school with your mom?”– here’s our story.

How It Happened
During my junior year at Binghamton University, my parents sat me down and asked “What do you want to do with your life?” I wasn’t sure, but I knew my mom was having a blast taking nutrition courses at NYU. I took a few nutrition courses at college and realized that I REALLY enjoyed the subject. I applied to several schools for my master’s degree in nutrition, but opted for NYU – after 4 years of being away at college, what better way to bond with my mom?!

During our time at NYU, we took several classes together, sat next to each other, and probably got shushed a few times for chit-chatting during class. My poor father and siblings got pretty tired of hearing all about nutrition at the dinner table each night.

Our Journey
Although we attended the same school with the same ultimate goal of becoming a registered dietitian, our paths were pretty different. During my time at NYU, I took on special projects like contributing to the 1997 release of The Joy of Cooking (under Know Your Ingredients) and went on to do my dietetic internship at New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

My mom decided to become a certified chef specializing in vegan cuisine and attended Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. Mind you, we taste tested many vegan recipes and even celebrated a few Thanksgivings vegan-style. Once she completed her culinary school experience, she went on to complete her dietetic internship at Stanford Hospital in Connecticut.

In 1999, we finally both graduated together (we have a picture of the school mascot buried somewhere in my attic). I graduated with a degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics while my mom received her degree in food and nutrition. My dad was very excited that we both graduated, especially since he had 4 other children to put through college.

Our Paths
After graduation, my mom I did a few consulting job together. But she ultimately went on to do private counseling at St. Lukes pediatrics department and then began her own practice at Briggs Family Pediatrics about 6 years ago in Bronx, NY. She speaks 5 languages including Spanish, which she uses daily in her practice. My mom is up to her knees in the obesity epidemic, counseling kids who are obese, with high cholesterol, diabetes and other such diseases that many of us just read about. A while back I counseling at her practice for about 1 year and saw things I hadn’t even read about. I saw kids 6 or 7 who were still on bottles or 12 year-olds who needed to be told they have high cholesterol.

My path was a little different. I ended up teaching for 10 years at a culinary school in Tribeca, New York. This gave me the opportunity to do some writing and interviews with magazines, newspapers, and on TV. I loved it so much that it led me to where I am today—a nutrition consultant for my own company, Toby Amidor Nutrition.

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11 Comments on “How My Mom & I Became Dietitians….Together



Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl Says:

That is so awesome! What a great support system.

I am very jealous that your mom went to the Natural Gourmet School. It is my wish to do the same. But in the meantime, I am thinking about taking a raw food chef course to help pave the path.

Thank you for sharing your story!



MySocialChef Says:

This is such a great story! Thanks for sharing



Robin Says:

Love this post. What an amazing connection you have with your mom beyond your normal relationship. So so cool!



Janel Says:

I love hearing about everyone’s career paths. So interesting to see how you both took similar paths and went in different directions with your education. What a great way to bond with mom, too. Love it!



Zipporah Says:

I enjoyed my classes even more because we shared things together. I love you.
Ima



KymberlyFunFit Says:

That was sure nice of your mom to allow you to enter her world. Ha haaa haa. My daughter is a sophomore at college and would be horrified if I showed up enrolled in a class with her. My parents put 4 of us through college simultaneously as well. Kudos to you and your mom.



Aarti Batavia Says:

Kudos to your mom! She is surely a go-getter!



Nour Zibdeh, RD Says:

This is so cool. My mom lives 17 hours-flight away. And I thought a 4-year old with a bottle is way too long. Wow, 6 or 7!



Dietitian’s Networking Night: Over Glasses of Wine, Nuggets of Delicious Insight - Toby Amidor Nutrition Says:

[…] at Lehman College and branching out into restaurant menu analysis. One of my best chats was with Zipporah, Toby’s Mom, who shared with me some of her experiences working with young Type II diabetics, and the impacts […]



Headlines & Deadlines: Toby Amidor is Write On Target | Sound Bites RD Says:

[…] TOBY: When I was in college I wasn't sure what I wanted to be. I really enjoyed studying biology and science but becoming a doctor was something I really didn't want to do. At this time, my mom had also gone back to school. After having 5 kids and struggling with her weight for many years she decided to pursue a degree in food and nutrition. She was so in love with the field, it inspired me to take a few classes. That was all the push I needed to pursue my master's degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics and become a registered dietitian. You can read about this on my blog here. […]



31 Days of Healthy Eating: Tip 30 from Zipporah Oksman (yes, my mom is a RD!) - Toby Amidor Nutrition Says:

[…] honor of day 30 I asked my mom and fellow registered dietitian to contribute a healthy eating tip. My mom and I attending nutrition school at New York University together and graduated with our master’s degree on the same day (my dad was very proud and his wallet […]




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