I am a pediatric dietitian passionate about family feeding. I help parents navigate common feeding challenges through implementing the division of responsibility and principles of intuitive eating. I work in collaboration with teens to explore their relationship with food and promote body positivity. My specialties are picky eating, weight fluctuations, disordered eating behaviors, and sports nutrition.
When I decided to pursue dietetics I dove into learning about nutrients and scientific pathways, but never lost track of why it appealed to me in the first place- the pure joy of eating! Ellyn Satter’s quote “When the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers” resonates with me. My work as a Registered Dietitian over 18 years has focused on helping adults and children find joy in eating while navigating nutritional needs at different stages of life.
Feeding my two young children has taught me that building a food-parenting relationship is a journey, changes don’t happen overnight, the struggle is real, and if you can’t find a solution, help is out there.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time outdoors with family and friends, especially if I’m snowboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, hiking, or judging my children’s baking competitions.
Approach & Philosophy
My approach is based on feeding expert, Ellyn Satter’s, Division of Responsibility in Feeding. Parents take leadership in the what, when, and where of feeding and children determine how much, and whether to eat from what parents provide. This focus on feeding dynamics supports a child’s autonomy and builds competence in eating. It is not a parent’s responsibility to “get their child to eat” a particular food or food group. Parents set the example through family meals and neutral food exposures to work towards building trust in the feeding relationship. A child’s ability to explore, enjoy, and relax around food develops and nutrition follows.
My work with teens incorporates principles of Intuitive Eating. With a weight inclusive approach we work through the impact of diet culture and food rules to restore normal eating. To me, normal eating is being flexible with food choices and eating enjoyable and satisfying foods while honoring how your body feels.
Education & Training
I graduated from Linfield College (McMinnville, OR) with a double major in Exercise Science and Health Education. I continued at Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR) to complete coursework in dietetics and went on to The University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT) to complete my dietetic internship and Master of Science in Food and Nutrition. I chose to study at The U because of the program’s pediatric research opportunities and specialized training in sports nutrition.
Upon returning to Portland I began working at Shriners Hospital for Children, where I provided medical nutrition therapy for children with special needs. Next, I took a big leap across the street (literally) for a position at Oregon Health & Science University where I researched, developed, and implemented team-based behavior change programs for schools, high school athletes, and employee wellness. My most valuable experience, however, has been feeding our young children and experiencing first hand the challenges and rewards of raising confident eaters. I look forward to supporting you on your family feeding journey!
Memberships, Awards, Certifications
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group
- Oregon Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Board Member- Secretary, Treasurer, President, Communications Director)
- Outstanding Dietitian of the Year 2017
- Co-op Preschool (Board Member- Secretary, President)
- Feeding with Love and Good Sense Vision Workshop (Ellyn Satter Institute)
Sarah is currently seeing all clients virtually. In-office appointments are available on Wednesday at the Portland office by request.