Did you eat school meals as a child? What was your favorite?

I was a proud school lunch program participant, and Wednesday’s “Bosco Stick Day” will forever remain my favorite!

Please share a little of your K-12 school nutrition journey.

My first job as a registered dietitian was in school nutrition and after working in other segments of dietetics, I was quick to accept an opportunity to reenter this profession. I am beyond grateful to work in a field that has a profound impact on the health and well-being of children. I especially enjoy interacting with students, seeing their faces light up as they come through the lunch line.

As an SNA member for seven years, I have attended three Annual National Conferences and four Legislative Action Conferences (LAC). LAC is my absolute favorite. Being surrounded by peers who share my passion for nourishing the nation’s children is powerful and awe-inspiring. “Charging the Hill” for the first time lit my inner fire, helping me realize the significance of meeting with our legislative representatives. I enjoy every opportunity to educate others about the importance of school nutrition and the challenges our programs face every day.

What items would you place in a time capsule to be opened 100 years from now?

Pictures of my family, some of my children’s artwork and an iPhone—I love the thought of people in the future trying to figure out this “ancient” device.

Is there a TV series that you are binge-watching these days?

I just finished “Suits.” My twin sister is an attorney, and we watched the show at the same time, enjoying post-episode conversations about Hollywood vs. real life when it comes to the court of law. Overall, I tend to gravitate to dramas sprinkled with comedic relief.

What’s your least favorite household chore?

Laundry! How a four-person household produces so much laundry in a single day is beyond me—and the mystery of the missing sock gets me every time! I’m convinced that every time a sock goes missing, it comes back as an extra Tupperware lid that doesn’t fit any container.

What famous person would you want to spend a day with?

Abraham Lincoln. The Gettysburg Address remains one of the most influential statements in American history, and I admire his self-made character rich in humility, compassion and integrity. We would go on a walk and simply discuss the impact of his presidency.

If you couldn’t work in school nutrition, what would be your next dream job?

I would be an Emergency Room physician. I have always been interested in medicine and was pre-med in college before switching my major. I would enjoy working in a fast-paced environment while helping others.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Not everyone will like you—and that’s okay. Don’t conform to others to fit in. Instead, learn to love yourself and know your worth, because at the end of the day, happiness comes from within and not from the opinions of others.

Erin Coleman

Erin Coleman, RD

Child Nutrition Director

Perry Township, Indianapolis

Perry Township School District