Antonietta Alfano is a Diet Technician working with individuals who live in our residential homes. She coaches both Arc of Monroe staff and residents on healthy eating while working closely with each person she supports on nutritional needs.
To assist staff at each house, Antonietta will check receipts as needed to ensure healthy eating and recommends foods to purchase as needed for the individual’s diets as well as the rest of the home.
To help people she supports, she provides pictures of the foods that are recommended on their plates and work with them one-on-one to make healthier choices. Antonietta also has food replicas from all of the food groups to show healthy food items as well as healthy portion control. Antonietta also works directly with the Registered Dietitian and collaborates with the nursing team on diet orders, or meal plans, making sure each person is getting what they need for meals and snacks.
Regarding meals, Antonietta suggests:
- Eliminating food dyes, processed foods (including high fructose corn syrup, added sugars).
- Offering an ADDITIONAL family-style bowl of salad with a portioned meal every night so each person can help themselves to as much of that as they like.
- Using a portion scooper for all food items including starchy vegetables (corn, peas, etc.). With unstarchy vegetables, they can have as much as they want.
- Providing healthy alternatives, like yogurt-based salad dressings, using extra virgin olive oil, using turkey or chicken ground meat instead of beef or pork, etc.
The Example of ‘B’
“B’ is someone supported through the Arc of Monroe who was experiencing anxiety and began gaining weight. According to his BMI, he is obese. Antonietta knew that there were major changes that were needing to be made. She met with B’s family, House Manager, Nurses, Care Coordinator and B’s outside Dietitian to collaborate and put together a plan of action.
Antonietta created various resources to help B get back to a healthy weight. She created a “quick look” binder of activity, provided nutrition training and even recommended “Go Noodle” for fun dancing exercises since the individual loves dancing. She implements the suggestions above.
Every month for 4 months, Antonietta completes a dinner observation at B’s house though not required by the state. She helps him with healthy options and one time, they even dance together.
Over time B shows great progress. After one year, B has lost a total of 53 lbs. As a result, there is a decrease in B’s medications. B is moving more and is doing better overall.
In helping B, the other residents, along with staff, are also benefitting. They are all learning healthier habits together.
Our Article 16 Clinic also offers Nutritional services at our location at 2060 Brighton-Henrietta Townline Road, Rochester, NY 14623.
Antonietta Alfano is a Diet Technician at the Arc of Monroe. She is also a speaker, dancer and reiki master.