Nutrition Influencer Insights: Q&A with upwaRD Winner Mackenzie Burgess, RDN

The FoodMinds upwaRD program is an industry-leading professional recognition and development program, elevating the voices of emerging nutrition communication leaders. This year’s winners were selected for their expertise in translating evidence-based nutrition recommendations into exciting, engaging and accessible content in both traditional and social media channels.

Today, we hear from Mackenzie Burgess, RDN –recipe developer extraordinaire and one of the 2021 upwaRD winners! So Mackenzie…

1. What kinds of messages are you passionate about sharing?

With my brand Cheerful Choices, I enjoy sharing customizable recipes with ingredients “of your choice.” This allows people to choose ingredients they have on hand and love most. As a culinary dietitian, I also like sharing quick kitchen hacks to try.

2. What platform or medium do you think is especially powerful for nutrition education today and why?

I think today’s world is all about short form video content. Whether it’s a hyperlapse recipe video, a short TV interview, or a fun Instagram reel—you can pack a ton of helpful information into a few minutes or seconds, really! 

3. How do you think nutrition communication will – or should – change in the next 5-10 years?

Rather than turning to self-proclaimed gurus, I would prefer that everyone look to the experts—registered dietitians—to learn about nutrition. I think many people still don’t really know about all the things dietitians can help with, so that’s something we need to continue to educate on over the coming years.

4. What types of brands or organizations do you get excited about working with?

Since I work with busy professionals, I love products that help make a healthy lifestyle quicker and easier such as veggie-filled sauce, microwavable grain packets, or wholesome bars. I also appreciate working with food companies who elevate dietitian voices to speak to the benefits of their products. I really think that’s a win-win for the brand and the consumer.

5. Where can people find you? 

For easy recipes, kitchen hacks, and information about my virtual cooking program, you can follow along @cheerfulchoices or visit

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