Dial-a-Dietitian

A program of the Provincial Health Contact Centre

Eating well for your health just got easier!
Speak to a registered dietitian for FREE by calling1915dadwithnumber

Do you have a question about nutrition and eating healthy?

Dial-a-Dietitian is here to answer questions and provide easy to use advice on food and nutrition to assist you, and your family, to eat well, live well and stay healthy.

You will be connected to a registered dietitian, a licensed health professional who has studied the science of nutrition. Registered dietitians have the ability to translate food and nutrition science into everyday practical advice that helps you make the best decisions based on your needs.

Dial-a-Dietitian services are available in English and French; services in over 100 other languages are also available through over-the-phone interpreters. Any Manitoba resident is welcome to call – the general public, health professionals or community leaders. This service is free and confidential; no health-care provider referral required.

Are you looking for nutrition services or a registered dietitian in your area?

Find community nutrition services and private practice dietitian listings in Manitoba here.

Services may require a referral from a health-care practitioner and may be dependent on catchment area. Private practice dietitians are also available based on a fee for services; most secondary insurance providers cover the cost of registered dietitian consultation, individual insurance providers may be able to provide more information.

FAQ

What is Dial-a-Dietitian?

Dial-a-Dietitian is a convenient, confidential, telephone-based service to answer questions and provide caller-focused professional food and nutrition advice.  Dial-a-Dietitian gives Manitobans an easy and no-cost way to converse confidentially with a registered dietitian to get trusted advice that will influence and support  individuals and families to make informed decisions or behaviour changes to live well and stay healthy.

It’s easy to reach a registered dietitian by calling 204-788-8248 or toll free 1-877-830-2892.

Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm.
No statutory holidays.
Voice messaging is available.

When was this service introduced?

This service was introduced in February of 2010 to enhance access to registered dietitians and support the Manitoba Government’s chronic disease prevention and health self-management strategies to improve the health and wellness of individuals and communities.

Consumers today have access to a myriad of nutrition information from the internet, TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, and so called ‘nutrition experts’. With all this information out there, it can be a challenge to figure out who and what to trust.  Many people have questions that are not being answered.  By connecting Manitobans with registered dietitians, callers have access to one of the best resources for healthy eating and nutrition information. Dial-a-Dietitian uses the latest and credible evidence to help people better understand their nutrition issues and assist them to make eating and lifestyle healthy choices.

Who can call?

The service is available to all residents of Manitoba – the general public, health professionals and community leaders. A new mom coping with a finicky eater, a physical education teacher coaching young athletes, an older adult with diabetes or a nurse looking for calcium sources… all can access the service and get the answers they are looking for.

Who will callers be speaking to?

Callers will be connected with a registered dietitian. A registered dietitian is a licensed health professional who is trained to provide advice on nutrition, food and healthy eating.

To become a registered dietitian, one must have a four-year university degree specializing in food and nutrition, complete a one-year internship (with practical training) or an accredited Masters program in a patient care setting, and write a national licensing exam. Registered dietitians are members of a provincially regulated profession and the term “registered dietitian” is protected by law.

Registered dietitians are the best resource for answering questions on nutrition, food and health.

What are the hours of service?

Phone service is available Monday to Friday 8 am-6 pm. Outside of these hours, callers may leave a voice mail message and a registered dietitian will return the call either the same day or the next business day.  Caller confidentiality is respected when returning calls left on voice messaging.

How often can people call?

There are no limits to how many times a person can call. The service, however, is not set up for long-term or ongoing counseling.  Contacts for local community services and programs may be recommended and provided as needed.

In what languages is this service available?

The service is available in English and French with access to interpretation for over 100 other languages.

Is a doctor’s referral needed to use this service?

No. A referral from a doctor (or other health professional) is not needed to use the Dial-a-Dietitian service.

This service provides general nutrition and disease prevention information related to food, diet, and nutrition. The registered dietitians cannot provide individual in-depth counseling; symptom assessment, diagnosis, and/or triage; prescriptions; and/or medical advice. The registered dietitians can assist callers to locate health services in their area. Dial-a-Dietitian has an extensive database of dietitian contact information for hospitals, clinics, community health centres, and other health supports for more in-depth advice and health care.

What are common questions from callers?

Registered dietitians answer questions on food, nutrition, diet, healthy eating, chronic disease prevention and health self-management strategies.

  • How do I lower my cholesterol?
  • How can I lose weight?
  • I just found out I have diabetes. Where can I go to for help?
  • How much should I feed my baby?
  • Is ________ still safe to eat?
  • How much fibre should I be eating?
  • I don’t drink milk. What can I eat to make sure I get enough calcium? Do I need a calcium supplement?
  • How can I get my child to eat vegetables?

How do callers receive the information?

Answers to questions, nutrition advice and tips are provided verbally over the phone during a conversation with the dietitian.  Resources can also be mailed to the caller.

Is there a charge to use this service?

No. Service is FREE of charge.

What questions will the dietitian ask callers?

In order to create a confidential secure file and provide advice that is more personalized, the registered dietitian will ask questions such as the caller’s name, date of birth, gender, phone number, and mailing address. During the call, the registered dietitian may ask about, for example, current eating habits, other health issues, and readiness for lifestyle change.  The registered dietitian will also ask how callers heard about the Dial-a-Dietitian service. The answers provide valuable information about the service users and can help to improve the service. All information is kept confidential. Callers’ requests for anonymity are respected.

What if this is an emergency?

When callers access the Dial-a-Dietitian line, they will hear the following mandated statements:

In order to better serve you, we may collect information from you including your name, date of birth and other personal information.  The information collected is confidential and is protected by the Personal Health Information Act and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.  Calls may be monitored and recorded for quality and educational purposes.  This service is not for Medical Emergencies. If this is a life or limb threatening emergency, call 911 or your emergency service provider for an ambulance.  If this is an emergency situation where you need to see an emergency physician, go to the nearest emergency department immediately.  If this is a poisoning or overdose, call the Poison Control Centre at 1-855-776-4766.  Otherwise please remain on the line.   

For in-depth health-related questions during a call, callers may be directed to Health Links-Info Santé (ie. to 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257), or advised to visit their doctor. The information received by Dial-a-Dietitian is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis, and/or treatment by a health-care professional.

Who funds the program? Who manages it?

The program is funded by the Government of Manitoba and Manitoba Health and is supported by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Misericordia Health Centre, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the College of Dietitians of Manitoba, and the Dietitians of Canada. Dial-a-Dietitian operates within the Provincial Health Contact Centre at the Misericordia Health Centre. The Provincial Health Contact Centre supports various co-ordinated clinical and non-clinical services for Manitobans including Health Links-Info Santé, TeleCARE-TéléSOINS Manitoba, The Manitoba Parent Line (Triple P), and the After Hours Central Intake Program.

In addition to answering Dial-a-Dietitian calls and voicemails, the registered dietitians with Dial-a-Dietitian also provide nutrition assessment and counseling to clients enrolled in the TeleCARE-TéléSOINS Manitoba self-management program for heart failure and Type 2 diabetes.

How is the program promoted?

Various promotion and outreach strategies have been implemented to promote Dial-a-Dietitian within the province.  Dial-a-Dietitian is on Facebook as Dial-a-Dietitian Manitoba. Pamphlets are available to use at exhibits or to give to clients, patients and community groups.

Order Dial-a-Dietitian promotional material by calling  204-788-8248 or toll free 1-877-830-2892 or download the decal.

Do the dietitians offer group education or presentations?

The services offered by the registered dietitians involve 1:1 conversations over the phone.  They may be available to be present at booths or displays that would promote the Dial-a-Dietitian program but currently do not offer group education, classes, or presentations.  There are a number of private practice dietitians who will do these types of activities for a fee.  Private practice dietitians are listed on the College of Dietitians of Manitoba website.

In Winnipeg, the Community Nutrition Educator (CNE) program may also be available to do presentations and events.  To find out more about the CNE program, go to the WRHA nutrition website.