Born and raised in Chicago, Ill., Tanda Kidd is “a city girl through and through.” After she joined her husband, Michael, who was stationed at Fort Riley with the Army, Kidd had to adjust to the small town life. Even though it may have taken a little bit to get used to, Kidd says she loves Manhattan and the people that fill it.
After four years of serving in the Army, Kidd decided to attend the nursing program where she became a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Kidd then moved on to attend Kansas State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science, masters in dietetics and a PhD in human nutrition. She found it to be a logical transition from nursing to her current position as an associate professor and extension specialist for the Department of Human Nutrition as nursing and dietetics tend to work together.
“My favorite part is the creative piece because I can take the science and translate that technical jargon into useable information for the public,” Kidd said. “Being a dietitian and a nurse allow me to use different skill sets when I am doing things so I tend to have a different perspective at times but I can design more complete pictures of things.”
Designing and creating that complete picture is important for Kidd as she is constantly thinking of and developing materials to support nutrition-related programs across the state. The three main programs that primarily get Kidd’s attention serve the school age to adult populations and they are: Walk Kansas for Kids for 1st to 6th graders, Knowledge of Nutrition and Activity for Communities in Kansas (K.N.A.C.K.) Online for adolescents ages 12 – 15 years, and Kansas Move into Health for adults.
“Everything I do centers around nutrition education and physical activity,” Kidd said. “I am always working on nutrition education materials or researching topics related to obesity, as well as also assisting graduate and undergraduate students.”
When Kidd is not designing nutrition programs she is working on research projects. Currently she is busy with two projects; the Young Adults Eating and Active for Health (YEAH) project where for 10 weeks they monitored eating habits and physical activity of 156 participants from the ages of 18-24. The second project is in the early stages and is focused on adolescent obesity in children from 6th- 8th grade.
In between her busy schedule of research and designing programs Kidd is active in her community serving on the advisory board for the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity. Along with that she is active in her church, enjoys reading, and cooking.
“I like to cook and bake and I enjoy trying to find ways to make a recipe better either for flavor as well as the nutrition content of it,” Kidd said.
She also loves spending time with her family. Her two adult children Tanzania and Marcus keep her grounded while her four year old granddaughter, Taniyah, keeps her entertained but they all make her smile she said.
Story by: Casey Droddy, Agricultural Communications & Journalism student