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Bangkok Faces: Anne Berends, Nutritionist and Sensory & Consumer Behaviour Scientist

Your Name: Anne Berends

Job Title: Nutritionist and Sensory & Consumer Behaviour Scientist

What is your nationality and background?

I was born and raised in Germany, went to Boston US for one year as a student and now since 2016 I live with my husband and son in Bangkok.

What is your profession?

I am a Nutritionist and Sensory & Consumer Behaviour Scientist. I give seminars on weaning and child nutrition to parents and parents to be in Bangkok and I train the industry and universities on food sensory science.

What are the key skills and responsibilities of this role?

My main responsibility is to help children to become Happy Healthy Eaters. This involves a strong partnership with the main caregivers of the child such as the parents, grandparents or the nanny. I combine scientific research on nutrition, psychology and sensory to encourage and to foster intuitive healthy eating practices as I believe that every child naturally likes to eat. For the industry and universities, I design specific trainings on sensory methodologies and consumer behaviour and understanding.

How did you get involved in your profession?

For 8 years I have worked for the food industry to analyse sensory profiles of foods and baby meals in order to increase healthy food choice. I have always loved my job as it is very diverse, and I was working with many different cultures and different markets to discover different food habits globally. After the birth of my son and getting involved with many parents struggling to get their child to eat a healthy variety of foods, I wanted to give more direct support and help both, the child and the parent to enjoy family meals and good healthy foods.

How does your role enhance the wellbeing or experience of children?

Eating is a major and one of the most pleasurable parts of everyday life. The first 1,000 days of a child´s development builds the foundation for their future diet. A healthy diet everyday is important not only for growth, it prevents nutritional related disease such as obesity or diabetes, and supports the development of a strong immune system.

Healthy children will become healthy adults.

What challenges do you face in this role?

Every child is different and so is every individual family situation. In order to understand why a child rejects foods, it is important to understand a whole set of environmental factors that can have an impact on the child’s food choice. The diet that is given to a child is only one part. Often the reasons are a combination of diet/nutrition as well as complex communication struggles.

What do you hope to achieve within your industry?

For most families, eating is about pleasure, about quality time together as a family. If every meal is a struggle, these moments have a negative impact on the wellbeing of the entire family. I hope with my work, families can enjoy more meal times together and on the long-term kids become healthy adults as they are able to enjoy a balanced diet with lots of variety.

Who or what inspires you?

If you look into today’s media, it is a lot about food, health and wellbeing. Every day there are new and not so new studies circulated. It is very inspiring to see how people’s health has become much more than a trendy lifestyle.

Only a Bangkok local would know…

We used to live in Ari. I love this area of Bangkok as it is very quiet and has many great cafes, restaurants and street food stands. If you have the time, go and take a walk around and grab a salad and fresh juice on soi Ari 1 foods stands or indulge yourself with the best carrot cake in town sold in Porcupine on soi Ari 4.

For more information, please contact Anne by e-mail.

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