Interview: March Break Meal Prep

Media outlet: Rogers Daytime TV Waterloo Region, Ontario

Expert guest: Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD, Dietetic Directions,  Twitter: @DAmbrosioRD

Air date: March 10, 2016

Interview Rewind: We review a media interview and offer our expert POV, highlighting strengths and suggestions for improvement. Let’s watch Registered Dietitian Andrea D’Ambrosio as she discusses “March Break Meal Prep.”

Reviewed by Gina Sunderland and Sue Mah, Co-Founders, Media Training Boot Camp


Topic and Key Messages

  • This was Andrea’s fifth TV interview! She discussed three key tips for making family meal preparation easy, especially during March break.
  • Andrea set the stage for the importance of the topic by stating “meal prep is the key to having eating success” and backed this statement up with a compelling statistic: reporting that a large scale survey has found that 75% of Canadians rely on convenience when choosing food. Suggestion: To add credibility to this stat it would have been helpful to include the name of the survey and/or the the organization that conducted the survey e.g., Health Canada, Dietitians of Canada.
  • Andrea had three key messages that were clearly delivered to viewers:
  1. Have a meal plan.
  2. Look at recipes and apps for inspiration. Suggestion: Provide the names of some of your favourite recipe websites/apps or even mention your own website. You are the expert and people are looking to you for recommendations and ideas.
  3. Have premade portions available for the size of your family and for various purposes. Good examples shown included homemade chili, muffins, and Andrea suggested making a double batch of muffins that can be frozen and eaten another time for snacks or lunches.
  • Andrea provided several, excellent practical tips such as planning meals in advance, looking for favourite recipes or apps to provide inspiration for the task of meal planning, prepping veggies and fruits, and making big batches of food and freezing for later.

 Key Message Delivery

  • Andrea had a friendly tone and spoke clearly. She has a beautiful smile and interacted well with the host. There was a nice exchange and sharing of information between Andrea and the host. Suggestion: Instead of just saying “Yes” in response to the host, provide positive feedback when the host shared her own personal activities. For example, when the host mentioned that her family eats best when she takes time to plan her meals on the weekend, Andrea could say something such as, “That’s great to hear! Meal planning does take time, but as you know, it is worth the investment.”
  • Andrea used clear, easy to understand language throughout the interview and avoided technical jargon.
  • Andrea frequently nodded her head throughout the interview. This demonstrated engagement with the host, but also become a little distracting to the dialogue at times when watching the interview. Suggestion: Practice key message delivery in front of a mirror to be more aware of your body language. Being mindful of our own small movements can be challenge for even the most experienced media dietitian!
  • Andrea’s body language was calm and friendly throughout the interview. Occasionally she moved her hands while sharing her tips. Yet she was still energetic about her topic and appeared to be enjoying herself. Suggestion: Include a little bit more movement during the interview. For example, when describing the white board, Andrea could pick up the white board and point to the different meal ideas. Or when mentioning the Two Minute Tuna dish, Andrea could pick up the bowl and talk about how she actually made the recipe or even demonstrate this simple recipe.
  • Andrea had excellent eye contact with the host throughout the interview. She spoke clearly and at a conversational pace to ensure information could be understood. Suggestion: It is okay to look at the camera occasionally throughout the interview to engage with the viewers as well. This will allow viewers to see you face on occasionally, instead of just your side view. For example, at the end of the interview, Andrea could look straight ahead into the camera while the host was saying goodbye.


  • Andrea used a great range of colourful, visual props to support her tips, showing chopped vegetables, muffins, tuna salad and make-ahead entrées. Suggestion: Use clear bowls and contains to allow the viewers to see food examples more clearly than the blue bowl or green plastic containers.
  • The cookbook and iPad visuals at the start of the interview didn’t get mentioned. Suggestion: Andrea could point to the iPad as she discussed the tip of meal planning and/or say, “I actually book 2 hours on my iPad to plan my meals on the weekend just the way I book time for an appointment with my clients. It’s in my calendar and I don’t cancel the time.” Plus the iPad showed the January calendar, and perhaps it would have been better to show the March calendar since the interview aired during March break.
  • General suggestion: This interview was 7-minutes long which is about two times longer than a typical TV interview and is a fantastic opportunity to share lots of information! To keep the audience engaged for a 7-minute segment, consider creating a simple recipe, such as the muffins or the Two Minute Tuna Salad recipe. These visuals looked great and would lend themselves to an easy, engaging recipe demo to show how quick and fun it can be to make the recipe. You could then direct viewers to your own website for the recipe.


  • Andrea looked fantastic on camera in her jewel-toned, blue cardigan and she smiled throughout the interview! Her make-up looked professional. Her top had a small pattern throughout it and looked a little fuzzy on camera, as patterns often do. Suggestion: Consider wearing a plain, fitted top or blouse to accompany your colourful sweater.

Overall, a great interview with a nice range of visuals and lots of fantastic, practical tips for the viewers!