We are very excited to expand our practice with the addition of Gia Diakakis, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC, an outstanding dietitian professional whose wonderful rapport with children is apparent from the start.
Gia joined Feed to Succeed officially in February, after several months of working intermittently with Betsy. Prior to this, Gia worked at Rush-Presbyterian – St. Luke’s Medical Center as a neonatal/pediatric nutrition support team dietitian. There she was responsible for parental nutrition and enteral nutrition along with diet management of weight loss, weight gain, diabetes mellitus, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, GI disease (including inflammatory bowel disease) food allergy and more. She brings this great depth of knowledge and experience to Feed to Succeed clients.
Since visiting a nutritionist in high school, Gia knew it was a field she wanted to explore. “Nutrition has always been a big part of my family life. Both my parents were born in Greece. My Dad owned fresh produce grocery store, so we had very little processed foods,” says Gia.
Now that she’s a practicing nutritionist herself, Gia says that working with kids is especially rewarding. When she is able to help a client with complex issues gain weight or start eating solids for the first time, Gia sees the direct impact of her efforts.
And for clients with less complex issues, the effort is no less rewarding. “People underestimate how powerful and impactful diet can be,” Gia says.
Gia tries to encourage small steps to lead to big improvements in clients’ lives. Two small changes at a time, like drinking more water at school and eating more fruit, can lead to more lifestyle changes. Attainable goals lead to real outcomes.
Ultimately, with any patient, Gia says that cultivating a relationship is essential. “I want them to see me as a friend who cares and not as the nutrition police.”
Gia says she is very fortunate to work with kids at Feed to Succeed. “Pediatric nutrition is when kids’ bodies are growing, creating the habits for rest of their lives.”