Sarah McCormick, MS, RDN, LD
I help parents solve feeding problems with children of any age by implementing the division of responsibility in feeding. Whether it’s navigating picky eating, weight faltering, or fueling a young athlete; when parents do their jobs with feeding, children will do theirs with eating.
Children are born knowing how much to eat and how to grow. Parents can support this by taking leadership in the what, when, and where of feeding and allowing children to determine how much, and whether to eat from what you provide. This approach helps parents focus on feeding behaviors and supports the long term goal of raising a child who is responsible and competent in feeding him/herself.
Midway through college I learned about the Dietetics profession and haven’t looked back. I dove right into the coursework learning about nutrients and scientific pathways, but never lost track of why the profession 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 so much. My work as a Registered Dietitian over the past 17 years has focused on helping adults and children find joy in eating while navigating nutritional needs at different stages of life.
Seven years ago I retired from a rewarding career in nutrition and health promotion research to stay home with two young children. Since experiencing the joys and challenges of feeding a growing family, I felt called to return to my profession with the goal of helping families improve their food parenting relationship. I am excited to support you and your family through the ups and downs of implementing the division of responsibility in feeding.
Outside of work, you can find me advocating for the Dietetic profession, chairing school fundraisers, and spending time outdoors with family and friends. I especially enjoy snowboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, and assisting our children with whatever baking competition they come up with.
Approach & Philosophy
My approach is based on Ellyn Satter’s division of responsibility in feeding. When parents follow the division of responsibility, children grow to become confident and capable eaters. I help parents relieve the pressure of having to “get my child to eat” certain foods and instead focus on behaviors around feeding and eating. When children are supported with structured and neutral food exposures their ability to explore, enjoy, and relax around food develops and nutrition follows.
Education & Training
I graduated from Linfield College with a double major in Exercise Science and Health Education. Through athletics and related course work I was inspired to focus on nutrition. When I decided to become a Registered Dietitian, I went back to school at Oregon State University to complete a third bachelor’s in Dietetics and went on to The University of Utah 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 specialization in sports nutrition.
After finishing my internship I returned to Portland and 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 worksites. My most recent and valuable experience, however, has been feeding our children (7 & 9) and experiencing first hand the challenges and rewards of raising confident eaters. I look forward to working with you on establishing the division of responsibility in feeding your child/children.
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)