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Spotlight on: Jennalle Butcher RD  

Private Practice and Sobeys Dietitian


Jennalle has worked as a Registered Dietitian since 2010, after graduating from MSVU's dietetics and integrated internship program in Halifax. She has enjoyed work in various practice areas but has predominantly worked in the community setting as a Sobeys Dietitian. She loves her work with Sobeys because it's all about food! She gets to help people navigate grocery shopping, label reading, and cooking delicious food, while running group programs that are accessible to all. The position also allows her to work with customers one-on-one in nutrition education. The challenge of adapting to a virtual practice is keeping her on her toes in 2020.

Jennalle currently finds a beautiful balance between working part-time as a Sobeys Dietitian in Upper Tantallon, and working part-time in private practice in Halifax, above the Bedford Basin Farmers Market. She enjoys the challenge and independence of running her own practice, and the opportunity to focus on clinical interests. She calls her practice Appetite Nutrition because she helps her clients learn to trust the body's appetite as an important guide from within.

At Appetite Nutrition, she is able to work in two different, yet related, specialty areas. She works with adults who are struggling with weight to help them establish a new relationship with food and eating that doesn't define success using the number on the scale. She uses a Health At Every Size [HAES] approach that is unique for each client, but encompasses the Satter Eating Competence model as well as principles of Tribole and Reach's Intuitive Eating model. 

Her other specialty with Appetite Nutrition is working with families who have concerns about a child's eating or weight. From birth to adolescence, she helps parents understand the root causes of feeding difficulties and growth challenges. She had the amazing opportunity to train at the Ellyn Satter Institute in Madison, Wisconsin, and practice using the Satter Feeding Dynamics model (also known as the Division of Responsibility in Feeding or sDOR). 


What one food is always in your fridge/pantry/freezer?

Eggs! When we are out of eggs... It's time for groceries! And freezer staples are most definitely frozen peas and frozen wild blueberries. 


What first sparked your interest in nutrition? 

I was studying psychology at UVic and took a university elective in environmental studies. The class looked at environmental issues through the lens of something everyone could relate to - food! I loved the class, but it brought up so many questions for me about truth vs. myth in nutrition. I wanted to learn the science so I could understand how to navigate all the different health claims I was hearing. I moved home to Halifax to study nutrition at MSVU, and the rest is history!


What do you look forward to each day in your job?

I love my job because I get to do what lights me up. I get to help people make peace with their food fights and enjoy the pleasure of taking good care of themselves and their families with food. I also love that working as a dietitian is a career of lifelong learning. Learning from Ellyn Satter has been a highlight.

If you weren’t a dietitian, what would you be?

Wow! I would love to be a farmer. I come from a farming family and appreciate the dedication that goes into producing good food. I love being outdoors and interacting with animals. Working as a dietitian has been a perfect marriage between my love of good food and my passion for counselling and helping others.

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