Pediatric Nutrition at UF&Shands: Innovation and Excellence from Birth to Adolescence

A Special Message from Scott Rivkees, M.D., Chair of Pediatrics

A child’s nutrition is as essential and important as the air he or she breathes. Pediatric nutritional needs differ from adults, as children need extra calories for growth and activity, with young children needing up to three times more calories per pound than adults. Pediatric food preferences and eating patterns also differ from adults, with younger children favoring calorie-rich food eaten frequently. We increasingly recognize that pediatric nutrition influences long-term eating habits as well as the potential for obesity. We see that many external factors influence diet, including media, children-specific marketing by food companies and the widespread availability of fast food and junk food. Children swim in a world of calorie-rich beverages, including popular sports drinks, and some children will take in more than 30 percent of their calories from beverages.

We also recognize that sick children have unique nutritional needs that require special attention.

At UF&Shands, we have nationally leading programs that focus on the special nutritional needs of children. These recognized programs begin at birth and continue through childhood and adolescence in primary care. We also have custom nutrition programs for ill children to meet their special needs when they are hospitalized and at home.

Click the link below to read about the UF Center for Breastfeeding and Newborns, the Primary Care Initiative to Promote Healthy Eating and Shands Hospital for Children at UF Nutrition Services.

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Shands at UF Food and Nutrition Services

The department's mission includes 1) optimizing the health and well-being of all customers through timely, quality service that meets each individual's needs; 2) meeting diverse nutrient and psychosocial requirements of patient; and 3) educating staff, students, patients/families/significant others.

Let's Go! 5-2-1-0

Let’s Go! is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program. Its goal is to increase physical activity and healthy eating for children from birth to 18 through policy and environmental change.  Let’s Go! has six programs, otherwise known as sectors, to reach families where they live, learn, work and play to reinforce the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.



Bright Futures Health Promotion Information Sheet "Promoting Healthy Nutrition"

The Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Third Edition features 10 health promotion themes. These state-of-the-art discussions focus on topics of key importance to families and health care professionals in their common mission to promote the health and
well-being of children from birth through adolescence.

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