Q: What is a Registered Dietitian?
Over the years we have been called many wonderful names from Nutrition-Lady to Food Police, Hippie-Granola-Crunchy-Girl to Waitress, and many more! But we are none of those.
We are dietitians.
Here is what we are about.
Registered Dietitians are university-educated and must earn a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university specializing in food and nutrition. Many dietitians increase their knowledge by pursuing Master's or Doctoral degrees. All dietitians in Canada are required to maintain their proficiency by completing ongoing education.
Registered Dietitians have completed a minimum of 1250 hours of supervised practical training through a university program or an approved hospital or community setting. They must pass a registration exam (the Canadian Dietetics Registration Exam or CDRE) to become a regulated health professional.
ACCOUNTABILITY & REGULATION
Registered Dietitians are regulated health professionals. The title "dietitian", "Registered Dietitian" or "RD" is protected, by law. Only individuals who have fulfilled the educational and professional requirements are legally allowed to use the titles RD (or P.Dt & Dt.P in French).
All dietitians in Ontario are members of the College of Dietitians of Ontario. Each province has its own college. The colleges regulate and support dietitians to ensure safe, ethical and competent nutrition services are being practiced which ensures protection of the public (similar to other regulated health professionals).
For more information on Registered Dietitians, please visit Dietitians of Canada
Q: What is a Nutritionist or Holistic Nutritionist vs. Dietitian?
This is a great question! Not many know the answer.
The terms “nutritionist”, “registered nutritionist”, or "holistic nutritionist" are not protected terms in Ontario. In other words, this means that anybody can call themselves a nutritionist and there are no standards for their quality of care.
Of course there is a trick to this! Depending on what area a dietitian works in, he or she may have a different job title. For example, dietitians working in community settings often have a job title that uses the term “nutritionist”. To know if that person is a Registered Dietitian, look for the initials “RD” or “Registered Dietitian” after their name.
To verify if your nutrition provider is a qualified Registered Dietitian, consult the directory at the College of Dietitians of Ontario.
In terms of the difference in philosophies of dietitians vs. nutritionists, this will vary greatly depending on the individual dietitian or nutritionist that you choose to work with. Most people assume that dietitians will show you Canada's Food Guide and send you on your way. At Blueprint Nutrition, this is NOT the direction that we take. Please see our dietitian's page to learn more about her personal nutrition philosophy.
Q: Who should see a Dietitian?
Anyone and everyone! Dietitians can assist people of all ages and stages of the lifecycle, from infancy to geriatric care. Registered dietitians can help with preventative nutrition care and can help you to control an already existing condition.
Q: Do I need a referral?
You DO NOT need a referral to be seen by a dietitian. However, you may be referred from another health care professional and wish to share your progress with that referring individual. We are happy to support you in a team approach to your healthcare and can send progress reports to your medical team, if desired.
Q: Do you direct bill to insurance companies?
We do not invoice directly to insurance companies at this time. We will, however, provide you with a detailed receipt after each session containing all of the necessary information required to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Many extended health insurance benefit plans have coverage (or partial coverage) for the services of a dietitian. Check your plan today!
Services provided by a consulting dietitian business (i.e. Blueprint Nutrition) are not covered by OHIP. However, in Ontario, dietitians are considered "Authorized Medical Practitioners". Accordingly, you can submit receipts to your accountant to receive a non-refundable tax credit.
Please note that some insurance companies may require a physician's note in order to claim the expense of a dietitian under your plan. Contact your health insurance provider to find out if this is required.