Colorado State University Launches Nutrition Center Offering Cooking Demonstrations, Nutrition Counseling

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition recently unveiled its new Nutrition Center that provides outreach to Larimer County residents and the Colorado State University community.

Located in the Gifford Building, the Nutrition Center offers individual nutrition counseling, diet intake analysis, body composition measurements and meal planning. The center also features a TV cooking show-inspired kitchen that equips visitors with the skills needed to create healthy meals and snacks. Monthly classes include portable breakfasts, fast food makeovers, vegetables and grains, desserts, and other cuisine.

Besides individual appointments and cooking demonstrations, the center offers supermarket and farmer’s market tours, lunchtime learning sessions, and classes on a variety of topics including disease prevention, food allergies, and responsible weight loss.

"We don’t put people on diets because for the last 20 years we’ve seen they don’t work," said Melissa Wdowik, registered dietitian and director of the Nutrition Center. "We teach people about nutrition as well as how to make real behavior changes."

Instead of diets, the Nutrition Center offers lessons on portion control, mindful eating, balancing food choices, eating out and incorporating physical activity. Both group and one-on-one sessions utilize measuring cups, food models, and food labels for applied learning.

The Nutrition Center was developed by Chris Melby, Food Science and Human Nutrition department head. After getting requests from students for more hands-on experience outside the classroom, he initiated a multi-year campaign to build the Nutrition Center.

Since its opening in January, the center has also been home to graduate students taking an advanced nutrition counseling course. Students spend the first half of the semester shadowing Wdowik while she counsels visitors and conducts classes. During the second half, students directly work with visitors under her supervision.

"Before the opening of the Nutrition Center, they didn’t have this as part of their graduate education," Wdowik said. "Now they can get the hands-on experience they need while providing valuable service to the community."

The Nutrition Center is located in 114 Gifford. Its hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday by appointment. Counseling rates are $50 and are competitive with other area nutritionists. All classes are $10 each. For more information call (970) 491-8615 or visit