Recorded Symposium Session: Trauma-Informed Nutrition: Principles and Application of Trauma-Informed Care to the Field of Dietetics

Psychological trauma is a pervasive and harmful public health issue. Its impacts can be lasting and severe without proper intervention and prevention. Due to the high prevalence of trauma, RDs are likely to experience clients, patients, and community members who have histories of trauma; therefore, it is critical and urgent for dietetic professionals to integrate trauma-informed approaches into practice.    

The biology of trauma and the chronic activation of the body’s stress response can lead to numerous negative health behaviors. Trauma is associated with intense food cravings, disordered eating, eating disorders, addictions, and other unfavorable behaviors. Trauma-informed approaches to nutrition can be applied to the dietetic practice in a variety of ways and settings. RDs should use trauma-informed nutrition approaches to provide effective and higher quality care to individuals with histories of trauma.     Learn the basic knowledge of trauma and its biological impacts and discuss the USDA’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) principles of trauma-informed care. This presentation will detail how these approaches can be applied to clinical, counseling, and community dietetic settings.

Learning Objectives

After attending this session, nutrition professionals should be able to:

  1. Summarize the basic biology of trauma and how it can impact food behaviors.
  2. Explain six key principles of trauma-informed care.
  3. Apply trauma-informed approaches to a variety of dietetic settings.

Additional Information

Suggested CDR Performance Indicators: 
8.3.4, 9.6.2, 9.6.11, 10.2.12
CDR Activity Type: 
CPE Level: 
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 CDR
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Kristi Mollner is an RDN with the nation’s third largest health jurisdiction, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health in Phoenix, Arizona, and has been part of this community for the past 10 years. Personally experiencing and witnessing the role of trauma and toxic stress on food behaviors, community health, and health outcomes, Kristi takes a trauma-informed approach to all her work. Her passion to empower and transform the lives of trauma survivors led her to become a Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist-Individual (CCTS-I) through the Trauma Institute International and certified in Trauma Counseling through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.   

Kristi speaks to universities and organizations across the country to bring awareness to the role trauma and toxic stress have on health and behaviors. She also educates on trauma-informed strategies, such as mindfulness and balanced nutrition, that can be used to regulate and manage stress.   

Kristi received her BS in Dietetics from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and her MS in Nutritional Science from Arizona State University. She is a Certified Master Gardener through the University of Arizona’s Cooperative Extension program. Her favorite mindfulness activities involve taking leisurely walks in the city and exploring the abundance of hiking trails in Arizona. She also enjoys landscaping and taking care of her 17 houseplants.

Kristi Mollner, RDN has no relevant disclosures to report regarding this program. She has certified that no conflict of interest exists for this program. View our disclosure policy.

Adrienne Markworth is founder and Executive Director of Leah’s Pantry, a California-based thought-leader and authority on trauma-informed nutrition security. Since 2006, Leah's Pantry has been a driver of quality programs and services that are grounded in trauma-informed principles. Through innovative partnerships across settings, including state SNAP-Ed programs, health care, food banks, schools, and housing, Leah’s Pantry leads a growing national movement to catalyze resilience and build protective factors through public health and food security initiatives.

Adrienne Markworth has no relevant disclosures to report regarding this program. She has certified that no conflict of interest exists for this program. View our disclosure policy.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 CDR


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