Childhood nutrition is my passion. Helping parents, professionals, businesses and organizations impact the future health of children is my purpose.
Most parents want to raise a healthy child. They understand that food helps them achieve that goal.
But here’s the challenge: They’re not exactly sure what to feed their kids, or how to do it. Nor do they fully understand how child development and temperament influences food choices and eating.
Whether you’re a pediatric dietitian in business or a company or organization that targets kids and families, you’ve got to connect with parents.
You need to anticipate what they need and give it to them in a way that feels easy and achievable.
I help family-focused nutrition professionals and businesses, organizations and associations serve parents through their products, services, and educational offerings.
After I graduated from Indiana University (Bloomington) with a Nutrition Science degree, I moved to Boston, MA to begin my internship at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). I graduated top of my class and won the coveted Louise Hatch award.
During my internship, I discovered pediatric nutrition and knew I wanted to work with children. Fortunately, MGH needed a pediatric dietitian and I had just graduated from my internship. They hired me.
I worked with hospitalized children of all ages and went on to get my Master’s degree in nutrition (pediatrics focus). Eventually, I moved over to Boston Children’s Hospital.
There, I worked as a nutrition support dietitian, managing intravenous nutrition for kids undergoing bone marrow transplantation, gastro-intestinal diseases, cardiac surgery and intensive care.
I learned a lot about nutrition management of the chronically ill, hospitalized child during this time.
Becoming a Mom Changed Everything
When my husband and I started our family, I felt confident about nutrition and feeding our family.
Little did I know!
As a first time mom, I was not immune to the stressors, questions and humbling experiences that parenthood serves us all. In fact, I struggled quite a bit with feeding my first daughter.
Sure, I gave her healthy food, but she was less than interested. I worried she didn’t eat enough. Meanwhile, our parent-child dynamic was deteriorating. Feeding her was stressful. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t excited to come to the highchair for mealtime, either.
As a result, she was underweight at a year old and anemic by 18 months. I was discouraged and embarrassed.
I had to dig. Deeply.
My training didn’t prepare me for the day-to-day realities of feeding children. My hospital experiences didn’t afford me the confidence to answer the simplest of questions: How do I get my daughter to eat?
This was a turning point in my career. In motherhood.
A New Framework for Childhood Nutrition
I knew my training fell short and wasn’t enough for me, let alone today’s modern parents and their challenges.
There had to be a better way.
So I set out to find it.
My daughter and I muddled through that period and we both recovered (watch my TEDx talk and get all the details).
She gained weight and replenished her iron status.
And I began the process of redefining childhood nutrition. My knowledge of food, nutrients and medical conditions merged with feeding styles and practices, and child developmental milestones.
I created a comprehensive, integrated approach to nourishing the whole child, inside and out.
You can see the framework on my parent education website, The Nourished Child®.
The Nourished Child® is the first and only nutrition education website for parents who want to learn about nourishing and nurturing their child’s health at any age through food, feeding and an eye on child development.
From Stay-at-Home Mom to Pediatric Nutrition Entrepreneur
Our family grew and I became a stay-at-home mom, taking 9 years off from working to focus on raising them. I learned a lot about the day-to-day grind of cooking, snacks, meals, eating, feeding and all the stuff that goes into raising healthy kids.
Eventually, I went back to work in 2008 as a pediatric dietitian in private practice. I didn’t know what I was doing from a business stand-point, but I was determined to learn. And I did.
Of course, there were mistakes along the way, too.
My private practice afforded me many business growth opportunities. I started a blog, which led to my first co-authored book, Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School.
That book led to many speaking events. Eventually, another book was born, Eat Like a Champion: Performance Nutrition for Your Young Athlete.
I started speaking more, and consulting opportunities appeared. The ball was rolling and I was growing my business by leaps and bounds.
I added new revenue streams and a team to help me run the business.
To date, I’ve written 5 books about child nutrition. I’ve spoken to TEDx, parent organizations, national associations, universities, employee wellness groups, and international teams.
I’ve ventured into food industry consulting, advising start-ups and other child-focused businesses in product creation and marketing endeavors.
I help these businesses conceptualize their opportunities, expedite market research, understand the parent market, figure out how they can leverage their unique product and perspective, and navigate getting it out in the market to help more people.
I use my framework of childhood nutrition as a model to encourage pediatric dietitian colleagues and my business and organizational clients to connect deeply and differently with their own expertise, using their knowledge, experiences, passion and purpose to develop their own approach with their own audiences.
Currently, I mentor pediatric- and family-focused nutrition professionals. I help them build their confidence, conceptualize their opportunities, and own their unique niche in my two programs, THRIVE and STRIVE.
Here, they take their dreams of a profitable business that changes the lives of children for the better and turn them into reality.
I have two different websites. The Jill Castle website focuses on my professional endeavors and thought leadership in the area of childhood nutrition. You can find my child nutrition and feeding educational content for parents over at The Nourished Child® website.
How to work with me, a childhood nutrition expert and entrepreneur
If you want to work with me as a mentor, advisor-consultant, speaker, or podcaster, here’s how you can do so:
- Hire me as your advisor or consultant. My nutrition expertise and parenting insights will help you ideate and launch products, programs and projects.
- Hire me as a nutrition entrepreneur mentor. I’ll help you get clear on your niche, business opportunities, strategy for growth, and sustain your momentum.
- Book me for a speaking event. I offer compelling events including workshops, breakout sessions, and of course, keynotes. I also offer training in my unique approach to child nutrition. Check out my topics!
My Abbreviated Pediatric Nutritionist/Dietitian Resume:
- B.S., Nutrition Science from Indiana University, Bloomington
- M.S., Pediatric Nutrition from MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston
- Registered Dietitian Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Licensure | Registration | Certification:
- Registered, Commission on Dietetic Registration, 1990 to present
- Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist, State of Connecticut, 2013 to present
- Clinical Pediatric Dietitian at Massachusetts General Hospital, 1989-1994
- Nutrition Support Dietitian at Boston Children’s Hospital, 1994-1997
- Owner, Pediatric Nutrition of Green Hills in Nashville, TN, 2008-2012
- Owner, Jill Castle Nutrition LLC in New Canaan, CT, 2012 – present
- Advisor, Parents magazine, Once Upon a Farm, Brainiac Kids, Needed, Sunnie
- Writer, US News & World Report, USA Swimming, US Rowing, About.com (now Verywell.com)
- Today’s Dietitian Top 10, 2019
- Outstanding Dietitian of the Year, Nashville, TN, 2009
P.S.S.: 10 things you don’t know about me…The FUN Stuff!
- I’m a mid-Western girl, born and raised in Indiana.
- I didn’t like broccoli until I was in my early 20’s. (Believe me, my parents offered it over and over.)
- I played basketball from 5th grade through my Junior year in high school. I wanted to be a cheerleader my senior year, so I gave up basketball. Big mistake. I didn’t make the cheerleading squad. (sad face)
- Mentally, and to this day, I’ve always considered myself an athlete. Physically, I was never more than a recreational, mediocre one. (But I still go for it!)
- I truly believe being a good parent is a lot of thoughtful work, and probably one of the hardest (and often, thankless) jobs on the planet. But, there is no other job that is quite as powerful or rewarding.
- I love a man who can cook (and who’s not afraid to do laundry and clean a bathroom…and a dirty diaper). Luckily, I snagged one.
- I’m a sucker for self-improvement and self-actualization. I read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand when I was 18. I’m a big fan of Brene Brown and Oprah. You could say I’m a thinker. I like to figure out why people do what they do and how to be better.
- I’m very, very afraid of heights and speed. I generally avoid these situations. However, I zip-lined in Costa Rica and that was HUGE for me. Did I really do that?!
- I do my best work very early in the morning, but I love a good, long sleep. So, basically, I fight with myself to get out of bed every morning. I love that snooze button!
- I have a super soft spot for children. I love, love, love them. Everything about them. They inspire me and make me laugh. I love to look at the world through their eyes.