Sylvia Meléndez Klinger, a licensed and registered dietitian and certified personal trainer, is the founder of Hispanic Food Communications, a food communications and culinary consulting company based in Hinsdale, IL. A Hispanic native who is a leading expert in cross-cultural Hispanic cuisine as it relates to nutrition and health, Sylvia speaks both English and Spanish fluently. Sylvia has an impressive record and knowledge of Hispanic foods and culture. She uses her in-depth culinary and cultural expertise to introduce new strategies for wellness to an increasingly health-conscious Hispanic population.
Culinary and Nutrition Consultant
Sylvia has consulted with food, beverage and pharmaceutical clients to develop recipes that promote healthy eating and wellness. Clients include Gorton’s, Ragu, Kellogg’s, ACH/Fleischman and others. Prior to founding Hispanic Food Communications, Sylvia was senior culinary development specialist and supervisor of consumer test kitchens at the Quaker Oats Company. Sylvia has consulted with food, beverage and pharmaceutical clients to develop recipes that promote healthy eating and wellness. Clients include Gorton’s, Ragu, Kellogg’s, ACH/Fleischman and others. Prior to founding Hispanic Food Communications, Sylvia was senior culinary development specialist and supervisor of consumer test kitchens at the Quaker Oats Company.
Advocate for Public Health and Nutrition
In 2010, Sylvia testified for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Washington DC, discussing nutrition issues affecting Hispanics in the US. Sylvia has been an advocate for nutrition and wellness in the Latino community, working with Chicago area schools, libraries, hospitals and community groups to deliver programs about healthy eating. Sylvia co-authored “”A Systemic Review of the Relationship between Acculturation and Diet among Latinos in the United States,”” an article published by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (2008) which found that the Latino diet tends to become increasingly unhealthy during acculturation into the United States.
Expert in Healthy Lifestyles for Families
Sylvia has a passion for Hispanic families and helping them establish healthy eating habits. She is on the board of Namaste Charter School in Chicago,, which serves mainly Hispanic children. She has helped them establish their nutrition curriculum and menus that promote a balanced diet; she also leads healthy cooking demonstrations for their parents. Sylvia provided heart-healthy nutrition and fitness articles and tips to the American Heart Association’s “”Go Red for Women”” and “”Go Red por tu Corazon”” programs in 2010. She has also worked with SHARE (Stroke Health and Risk Education), a program co-sponsored by the University of Michigan, the Diocese of Corpus Christi, TX and the American Stroke Association to educate the Mexican-American community about the role of nutrition in reducing stroke risk.
Sylvia has appeared on NBC, ABC, Fox News, CNN Spanish, Univision, Telemundo, America Teve, TV Azteca and Telefutura. She has made many guest appearances on Despierta América and Telemundo Chicago News, and numerous Hispanic cable stations. She has been a guest nutritionist on Hispanic radio talk shows and popular publications, including Latina Magazine, Siempre Mujer, Vanidades, Latino Social and Hispanic Business (South Florida.)
Prior to establishing her consulting firm, Sylvia served as senior culinary development specialist and supervisor of consumer test kitchens at the Quaker Oats Company. She has solid clinical and public health nutrition experience, serving as a research dietitian at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and the UC Irvine Medical Center, as well as a supervising nutritionist for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental feeding program. She began her career as an administrative dietitian at New England Memorial Hospital in Boston.
Sylvia’s professional affiliations include active membership in the American Dietetic Association, Illinois Dietetic Association and Latinos and Hispanics in Dietetics association network group (LAHIDAN), as well as Dietitians in Business and Communications, Nutrition Entrepreneurs and Food and Culinary Professionals practice groups. She is an active member of the Chicago and Illinois Dietetic Associations and a member of the Grain Foods Foundation Advisory Board.
Education and Awards
Sylvia earned a BS degree in dietetics and nutrition from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California in 1984 and her MS in public administration from DePaul University in Chicago in 1993. She is a registered dietitian of the American Dietetic Association. In 1994, the Chicago Dietetic Association presented her with the Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year award. Sylvia received the Outstanding Dietitian of the Year in January 2009 by the Illinois Dietetic Association West Suburban Chapter.
In her spare time, Sylvia trains for and runs marathons. She lives in Hinsdale, Illinois with her husband and their two school-aged children.