Jacqueline Berning, professor, Department of Biology, recently received the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation’s 2014 Mary Abbott Hess Award in recognition of her innovation in the field of food and nutrition.
Berning, a registered dietitian nutritionist, was recognized for a cooking program she initiated with the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Buffalo football team.
Annually, the Hess award annually recognizes original work in areas such as publication, service, educational program, product or activity in food and culinary education.
Berning designed “Cooking with the Colorado Buffalos” to teach players how to shop, prepare and cook nutritious foods that would provide the proper nutrients to optimize athletic performance.
“My objective is to teach student athletes the basic cooking skills they can utilize at home and on campus through interactive learning,” Berning said.
Part of that interactive learning was taking the players to the grocery store and pointing their carts away from isles full of pre-prepared foods and other unhealthy items.
“It was fun taking these guys to the grocery store and teaching them what the labels on food really mean and how what they eat will affect how they play,” Berning said. “For many, it was new information.”
Berning, an Academy member since 1985, has taught at UCCS since 1990. She was a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics from 1998 until 2005, is board certified in sports dietetics by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition dietetic practice group.
In addition to Buffalo football, Berning is a nutrition consultant to UCCS athletic teams and has worked with professional teams including the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Indians. She was the nutrition coordinator for United States Swimming where she worked with national and Olympic teams.