Who we are
We carry on the Satter legacy
The non-profit Ellyn Satter Institute is named for Ellyn Satter, and was created to carry on the legacy of her work. Followers say that Satter’s work transformed their lives: Satter addresses not only food, eating, and feeding, but emotional health and positive family relationships. Satter gives her blessings to all food, and to you for eating it, by demonstrating her conviction that you and your family are more important than what you eat. Satter’s research confirms that being positive and self-trusting with respect to food and eating does more for your nutritional, medical, and emotional health than adhering to a set of rules about what to eat and not eat. Will letting yourself be positive and joyful with eating make you fat? Despite your worst fears, it will not. People who are competent with eating—who approach food and eating with optimism, self-trust, and curiosity—weigh less than those who guide their eating with negativity, self-denial, and avoidance.
Satter is an internationally recognized authority on eating and feeding. She created the Satter Feeding Dynamics Model and the Satter Eating Competence Model and is active in research testing the models as well as helping professional and parents apply them. Satter is the author of the division of responsibility in feeding, which is considered the gold standard for feeding children. Satter’s “What is normal eating?” is a refrigerator-door and social media icon. Satter is a dietitian, family therapist, author, trainer, publisher, and consultant. During her over 40-year clinical career, she worked first as a Registered Dietitian in an outpatient medical practice, then as a psychotherapist in private practice specializing in family-based treatment of eating disorders. She began her writing and speaking career in 1983 with the publication of Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense.
Evidence for the Satter models
- We believe eating can and should be joyful.
- We believe that bodies are designed to know how much to eat and grow accordingly.
- We believe that meals provide the foundation for this trust, whether dining by oneself or in a group of twenty.
- We believe that understanding and supporting positive feeding and eating relationships is the key for avoiding feeding eating struggles.
- We believe that people are healthier in all ways when they eat and feed with practicality, trust and enjoyment.
The Ellyn Satter Institute (ESI) is a 501c3 not-for-profit with Board oversight. The organizations daily operations, program coordination, and decision-making functions are carried-out by a 10-member Faculty.
ESI Faculty members are highly experienced professionals with a passion for carrying on the feeding dynamics and eating competence work. Each brings particular expertise in the areas of clinical medical nutrition therapy, WIC, Head Start, public health, mental health, education, child care, extension, and school nutrition. They have made themselves expert in fdSatter and ecSatter by studying and consulting with Ellyn Satter and following the concepts outlined in her professional articles, books, and teaching materials. Each has taken a leadership role in teaching the principles and practice of ecSatter and fdSatter to others within specific agencies and practice settings. ESI faculty members do training and consultation with professionals and parents and with local, state, and regional organizations and agencies.
Ellyn Satter, Creative Director, Programming Consultant
Ellyn Satter, MS, MSSW, is a dietitian, family therapist, and internationally recognized authority on eating and feeding. Research on Satter’s evidence based and clinically tested models shows that people who take the guilt and anxiety out of eating and put the joy back in are healthier in all ways. Satter’s research demonstrates that our eating, and feeding our children, becomes positive, orderly, and healthful when we feed ourselves faithfully with rewarding meals and, while we are there, eat as much as we want of food we enjoy. Satter pioneered the Satter Eating Competence Model (ecSatter) and the Satter Feeding Dynamics Model (fdSatter) and created the Division of Responsibility in Feeding (sDOR), which is the gold standard for feeding children. She is the Founder and Developmental editor for the Ellyn Satter Institute.
Anne Blocker, Executive Director
Anne Blocker, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, CDE, is a dietitian, diabetes educator, consultant, professional speaker, author, nutrition therapist and health coach. For the past 26 years she has been helping people live healthier and happier lives by breaking free of rigid dieting and developing a trusting relationship with food and their bodies. Seeing first hand the end result of the distortions caused by poor feeding practices and restrictions led Anne to incorporate Satter’s feeding models into the heart of her counseling and nutrition programming work. Anne works with the Wellness Program at Luther College in and sees patients in her private practice. As we are bombarded daily to slim down, eat less, and eat right, Anne is passionate about helping people bring joy back into eating.
Alexia Beauregard, MS, RD, CSP, LD
Alexia Beauregard is based in Greenville, South Carolina where she currently works for an adult gastroenterology group, is an adjunct instructor at Greenville Technical College, and has her own private practice. Alexia bases her work with food allergies, restricted diets, and eating and feeding disturbances on Satter’s eating competence and feeding dynamics models. She helps her clients advocate for themselves, find as many safe foods as possible, and overcome food phobias. Alexia’s main goal for her clients is to help them find joy in food and thereby improve their quality of life. She firmly believes that food should not hurt or generate anxiety and that meal times can be a relaxing part of the day.
Anne Buffington, MA, RDN, CSSD
Anne Buffington is a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in the areas of eating disorder recovery, sports nutrition, and health communication. She began her career at a residential treatment center for eating disorders, and then broadened her experience as a school district wellness administrator before enhancing her skills as a college health professional at Brown University. Anne completed her master’s degree in health and risk communication and is currently the nutrition program coordinator in the health promotion department at Michigan State University. She provides nutrition counseling, educational programs, and develops resources using a weight-inclusive approach with a focus on competent eating. She has found that applying the Satter Eating Competence model to her work has been most effective in promoting positive eating behaviors that support optimal health. Anne is inspired to continue to share with others the hope and healing that can be achieved through joyful eating.
Peggy Crum, MA, RD
Peggy Crum is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in health and risk communication. Her early career was in pediatrics, first at St. Paul Children’s Hospital, then in the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University where she guided families of children with special needs with the help of Satter’s feeding dynamics model. Currently Peggy is a nutritionist for MSU’s health promotion and student health education programs where Satter’s eating competence model informs her writing, program development, and counseling. Peggy trained with Ellyn Satter in Treating the Dieting Casualty in 2007 offering How To Eat to individuals and groups since then. Her most recent endeavor applying the Satter model was as invited lecturer for an undergraduate course on personal nutrition where ecSI-2 was used as pre- and post-tests.
Carol Danaher, MPH, RD co-founded and leads the Childhood Feeding Collaborative of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. She has designed and administered nutrition programs for nonprofit childcare programs, including Early Head Start. Carol served for 5 years as Child Health and Disability Prevention Nutritionist in Santa Clara County where she worked closely with pediatricians. Carol has worked for the Food and Nutrition Service of USDA evaluating child nutrition programs. Volunteer work in Jakarta, Indonesia led to her interest in Public Health.
Cristen Harris, PhD, RDN, CSSD, CD, CEP, FAND
Cristen Harris is a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified sports dietitian and exercise physiologist. She has nearly three decades’ experience in settings including clinical care (hospital, sub-acute and long-term care), fitness and rehabilitation, community health, higher education, research, and private practice. Her approach to counseling, education, research, and parenting is grounded in Satter’s feeding dynamics and eating competence models. Dr. Harris is Senior Lecturer in the Nutrition Sciences Program at the University of Washington, Seattle. In her private practice, Dr. Harris also maintains a small but robust private practice, specializing in the treatment of eating disorders, child feeding, and eating incompetence. Dr. Harris is passionate about facilitating paradigm shifts in how the public, professionals, and policy-makers youth and adults view their bodies, food and eating.
Jennifer Harris, RDN, LD, CEDRD
Jennifer Harris is a registered and licensed dietitian nutritionist. She has a varied work background which includes working at a WIC clinic, in an acute care hospital setting as a clinical dietitian, and as part of a student health service/wellness promotions clinic at an all-female college. For over 24 years Jennifer has worked at CentraCare Health in St. Cloud, MN and specializes in the treatment of eating disorders including: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and feeding and eating disorders not otherwise specified. She understands that in order to help those who struggle with disorders, treatment providers need to have a solid foundation in effective and functional eating and feeding. Her work in the area of eating disorders led her to the conclusion that the Satter eating competence and feeding dynamics models are the ultimate prevention and treatment modality for childhood feeding and eating issues; including dysfunctional and disordered eating and weight divergence. Since her first exposure to the Satter feeding dynamics model in 1996, she has incorporated it into her practice to support patients and family members during treatment.
Rebeca Hernández, MS, LD
Rebeca Hernández is a licensed nutritionist/dietitian (RDN, LD) with a master’s in Eating Disorders and Obesity from Universidad Europea de Madrid. Rebeca works and lives in San José, Costa Rica. Having experienced first-hand Ellyn Satter’s message of “when the joy goes out of eating nutrition suffers,” she has been focused in helping adult and children, find this joy in eating and life. She is most passionate about working one-on-one, so her work is focused on private counseling, based on the Satter Feeding Dynamics and Eating Competence models. She has developed special programs for parents in Costa Rica, working with psychologists who share the vision of feeding with love and respect. Besides her private practice, she delivers regular workshops, and is starting an intensive program for counseling parents in recovering their joy of eating and feeding.
Keira Oseroff, MSW, LCSW, CEDS
Keira Oseroff is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her Bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University and her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia. Since 1999, Keira has worked in a variety of clinical settings including residential treatment and private practice. Working with individuals, couples, families and groups, she specializes in the treatment of those struggling with disordered eating (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder), including childhood feeding issues and dual diagnosis. Since being introduced to the Satter Feeding Dynamics and Eating Competence Models in 2002, she has utilized them in the assessment and treatment of the individuals and families with whom she has worked. Keira serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP), Atlanta Chapter, and is a Clinical Supervisor for the Atlanta staff at Hope Homes Recovery. She is passionate about the important distinction between treating people, not disorders, and guiding people of all ages toward a healthy relationship with food.
Eve Reed, APD
Eve Reed is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian based in Sydney, NSW, with over 40 years experience working with children and parents and other health professionals. Eve has an extensive background in child and adolescent nutrition, early childhood care, childbirth education and breastfeeding counselling. She was a senior member of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead for over 13 years. She now runs a clinical private practice where she specialises in paediatric nutrition. In her practice Eve works with families using the Ellyn Satter’s feeding dynamics model. Eve has co-authored three books on children’s nutrition and health as well as publishing a DOR consistent ebook on Fussy Eating. She is a mother and grandmother and is passionate about family meals and helping parents enjoy feeding their children.
Kerry Regnier, MPH, RDN, LDN
Kerry Regnier says that the division of responsibility in feeding is the one thing that helped her make sense of becomng a dietitian. She is a registered and licensed dietitian/nutritionist. She has a master’s degree in public health and has spent the majority of her career helping families do their best with feeding. She has done medical nutrition therapy in a tertiary care center, taught educators and child care providers the ins and outs of feeding, done advocacy work for dietitians, and served as university adjunct nutrition faculty. She currently is an administrator for a pediatric medical practice and is integrated into that primary care setting as a consulting dietitian. There, she has the privilege of working with families on a daily basis, helping them navigate the feeding process from birth to and through the teen years. She knew from early on in her career that the eating and feeding models of the Ellyn Satter Institute help guide people to a healthy relationship with food and feeding, helping return joy to meals.
ESI Adjunct Faculty carry on unique functions with ESI but do not participate in ESI governing and decision making. They advise and do specific projects. They are fully conversant with the eating competence and feeding dynamics models and practice in a manner that is consistent with the models.
Nancy Stroer, M.Ed.
Since 1992 Nancy has worked with children and families, most of them military, on three continents and two islands in a variety of capacities. As a counselor and health educator she has used Ellyn Satter’s How to Eat program to institute eating competence with individuals and groups. She has also facilitated parent discussion groups to teach the division of responsibility in feeding and improve feeding relationships in families. Currently she trains child care professionals and directs a before and after school program in northern Japan, teaching providers the division of responsibility in feeding, supporting best practices, and supporting great childhoods for children, and peace of mind for parents.
Inés M. Anchondo, DrPH, RDN, LD, CSP
Inés M. Anchondo is a registered and licensed nutritionist/dietitian with a doctorate and master’s in public health and a certification in pediatric nutrition. Dr. Anchondo works and lives in El Paso, TX located on the U.S.-México border. Her clinical work includes counseling parents in English and Spanish about their children’s eating and high or low weight and working with parents to resolve children’s nutrition issues such as: food selectivity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, food allergies, inborn errors of metabolism, feeding problems, nutritional issues related to prematurity and congenital heart disease, etc. Her research includes Parents Addressing Child Overweight (PACO) a new intervention for parents of overweight children, based on Ellyn Satter’s feeding dynamics models, Eating Competence in Pregnancy, barriers to breastfeeding in the local population, and breastfeeding attitudes and experiences of physicians. Dr. Anchondo is a founding board member and volunteer clinical faculty at the Ellyn Satter Institute.
ESI Emeritus faculty have made major contributions to the structure, functioning and mission of ESI and have retired from active duty. They continue to be involved in an advisory, supportive, and networking capacity.
Pam Estes, MS CD
Pam Estes retired in 2014 after being a Clinical Faculty member of the Ellyn Satter Institute since 2001.Pam credits the Satter models with allowing her to continue in the dietetics profession. Using the models, she worked to bring the joy back to eating and the fun back to feeding. Pam worked with WIC, Extension, Early Intervention, and Health Risk Management. Her piloting of tools measuring positive feeding practices demonstrated how an assessment of feeding dynamics guides nutrition education and increases counseling satisfaction.
Patty Nell Morse, RD, LDN, CDE
Patty retired from ESI in 2014 after being an ESI faculty member from the beginning of the organization in 2001. She currently does ongoing nutrition counseling in a trade union HMO clinic. In her 30 years as a clinical dietitian, Patty has found that even strict medical nutrition therapy can, and must, emphasize joyful and confident eating and feeding based on ecSatter and fdSatter. Patty finds that using the Satter models transforms her counseling from information-giving into conversations that truly help people get to the root of their eating and feeding problems.
Associates qualify by graduating from the ESI Affiliate program. Building on their Affiliate mentoring in the Satter Feeding Dynamics Model, they have participated in a year of training, self-study, and mentoring to increase their understanding and mastery of the Satter Eating Competence Model. Associates participate actively in the the programming of ESI and act as representatives of ESI in their communities.
Nicole Napientek MPH, RDN works with adults who have cancer, and those who are trying not to get cancer. Based on the Satter models, she helps her patients to replace fear and food avoidance with relaxed and confident food enjoyment based on the Satter Eating Competence Model. In her private practice and public presentations, she addresses eating problems, chronic dieting, and weight by teaching the permission and positive discipline of eating competence and the Satter Division of responsibility in feeding.
Michelle Segovias, MOT, OTR/L is an occupational therapist who works with children whose families have described them as picky eaters and who are struggling to learn to eat family foods. Michelle helps families implement the Satter division of responsibility in feeding and reestablish family mealtimes. Working with children with autism, developmental delays, and medical complications, Michelle strives to show families the value in mealtimes even if they aren’t perfect.
ESI Affiliates have completed a 10-session certificate program for professionals who are using the Satter models in their work. The Affiliate program has provided them with additional, practical training to increase their knowledge and application of the Satter models.