About Katharine Jeffcoat
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with 20 years experience
I help parents navigate the “how”, “what” and “where” of feeding in order to raise children who are mindful and competent eaters.
I teach teens to trust their hunger cues and normalize their eating to nurture a positive relationship with food and their bodies.
I believe all children and teens are born to be intuitive eaters and can be successful self-regulating their own food intake to nourish their bodies combined with the guidance and positive role modeling of their parents.
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with 20 years experience, my career has focused on children; as a hospital pediatric dietitian and pediatric nutrition representative working in the industry. My passion has always been working with families and children. I decided to start a private practice specializing in pediatric nutrition consulting and counseling in order to focus on that passion.
Having two young children of my own, I realize the realities and challenges feeding children can bring. Despite the difficulty, its an important part of parenting and can be extremely rewarding.
I first become interested in nutrition my junior year in high school. After joining the cross-country running team, I soon learned how the food I ate affected how I felt while running. When I didn’t eat well, it adversely affected my training and performance while competing. My interest in nutrition and fitness continued to grow into my adult years. I eventually ran two marathons and became a certified fitness instructor and Registered Dietitian. I continue to love to run, cycle, hike and practice yoga.
Approach & Philosophy
My approach is based on mindfulness when it comes to eating and feeding children. Much of my philosophy comes from the respected dietitian, Ellyn Satter, MS, RDN. When it comes to feeding children, it’s the parent’s job to set an example. We prepare the food and make the meals. It is up to the child to decide how much (or little) to eat. Good habits form over time and children can learn to accept new foods with continued exposure and patience. Children are born to be intuitive eaters and it’s our job as parents to encourage that and allow children to listen to their hunger cues. Eating meals together is one of the most important rituals a family can have. I also am a big believer in moving the body, finding an activity one loves to do together as a family and making it fun for children. Exercise habits are established early in life and the sooner kids get started being active, the better!
Education and Training
I graduated from Willamette University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Exercise Science. When I decided to become a Registered Dietitian, I went back to school at Oregon State University to complete a second bachelors in Nutrition and Food Management and afterwards completed my dietetic internship in Salem, OR, at the Mid-Willamette Valley Dietetic Internship program.
My initial work experience includes over 8 years working at Legacy Emanuel Hospital as a pediatric dietitian. I provided medical nutrition therapy for a wide variety of patients in each age group including weight control, diabetes and eating disorders and became a Certified Pediatric Specialist at that time. My most recent work in the industry was with the Gerber Food Company, specializing in infant feeding and allergy prevention. Ultimately, I missed working directly with families and this is why I started Portland Pediatric & Family Nutrition in the Fall of 2015. I’m excited to be back doing what I love the most, working directly with families, forming relationships and working together to achieve positive outcomes with their children.
Memberships, Awards & Certification
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Oregon Pediatric Nutrition Group
- Oregon Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Columbia River Eating Disorder Network
- Certified Specialist in Pediatrics 2005-2010
- Young Dietitian of the Year Award 2001