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Culinary Medicine, With a Focus on Pediatrics

Nov. 22, 2021

Eat Well: Culinary Medicine, an educational offering within the Department of Pediatrics at Dell Med, aims to teach basic cooking skills and foundational nutrition knowledge that residents and fellows can discuss with patients to promote healthy lifestyles. Hanh Keyburn, D.O., assistant professor of pediatrics, and Keli Hawthorne, M.S., R.D., director of clinical research in the Department of Pediatrics, led the first Culinary Medicine sessions this Fall on Zoom for pediatric residents and fellows. The sessions focused on pediatric nutrition, breastfeeding, infant formulas, introduction of complementary foods and what foods to focus on (and why), baby-led weaning, strategies for picky eaters, division of responsibility for parents and children, and healthy family meals.

A virtual session of Dell Med's Eat Well: Culinary Medicine program.

Residents and fellows cooked along with Keyburn and Hawthorne in breakout groups to make butternut squash macaroni and cheese, strawberry dessert tacos, beef and vegetable pasta, and whole wheat strawberry shortcakes. These recipes included whole wheat flour in substitute of white flour to increase the insoluble fiber content, which helps prevent constipation often seen in children and is linked to a decreased risk of colon cancer in adults. The recipes were also rich in vitamins and antioxidants found in the butternut squash and berries.

Nutrition students at UT working in their internship program to become registered dietitians also participated in the sessions. They discussed the training and role of a registered dietitian, their individual career aspirations and how certain nutrients in recipes impact health. Having this interprofessional aspect to the program provided opportunities to discuss how dietitians and physicians can partner in inpatient and outpatient settings and foster communication early in their respective careers.