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Join fellow U of T alumni and friends for a panel discussion that explores child nutrition

U of T in your Neighbourhood
U of T in your Neighborhood
  • Refreshments & Presentation
  • Q & A to follow

***Online registration is now closed. If you would like to be added to the guest list, please email

Join fellow U of T alumni and friends for a thought-provoking panel discussion, Feeding Young Kids Well in Canada Today, featuring faculty panelists from the University of Toronto’s Joannah and Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition and moderated by Prof. Daniel Sellen.

Parents, caregivers, educators and health professionals responsible for keeping young children healthy through good nutrition face many challenges old and new.

Through an accessible and engaging panel discussion format, leading researchers at the University of Toronto’s Joannah and Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition will answer key questions and share lessons learned from the latest studies on selected topics. Questions and answers will be exchanged on a range of topics including: labelling and marketing of kids foods; increased patient engagement in child nutrition and health care; innovations in feeding premature babies with fortified breast milk; feeding behaviours, preferences and approaches to perception of picky eating and much more.

Light refreshments will be served.


Jonathon Maguire MD, M.Sc., FRCPC
Lawson Family Chair in Patient Engagement in Child Nutrition
Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics
Associate Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital
Staff Pediatrician, Department of Pediatrics, St. Michael’s Hospital
Co-lead, TARGet Kids!

Dr. Jonathon Maguire co-leads TARGet Kids!, the largest primary care research network for children in Canada. His research focuses on patient-oriented research involving nutrition and development in young children, as well as the creation of tools to facilitate evidence informed child health practice and clinical trials of innovations to prevent nutrition health problems. Lawson Chair in Patient Engagement:

Sharon Unger BSc, MD, FRCP(C)
Professor, Departments of Paediatrics and Nutritional Sciences
Neonatologist, Sinai Health System
Medical Director, Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank
Senior Clinician Scientist, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute

Dr. Sharon Unger graduated from the University of New Brunswick, Dalhousie University and the University of Toronto. She is a Neonatologist at Sinai Health System and the Medical Director for the Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank ( She serves as a co-primary investigator for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded OptiMoM and MaxiMoM programs of research in human milk (

Mary L'Abbé PhD
Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
Director WHO Collaborating Centre on Nutrition Policy for Chronic Disease Prevention
Member of the Order of Canada

Dr. Mary L’Abbé’s food and nutrition policy for population health research program provides an evidence base to support public health nutrition policy in areas such as health claims on foods, front-of-pack labelling, children's marketing on foods, nutritional quality of packaged and restaurant foods, menu labelling, food fortification, food-like natural health products, trans fat, sodium and sugar. Prof. L'Abbé’s group has developed two large national food databases, which have been used to answer a number of policy related research questions and that serve as the basis of their consumer apps. Dr. L’Abbé is a Member of the Order of Canada, awarded for contributions championing the nutrition health of Canadians. 

Meghan McGee PhD
CIHR Health System Impact Fellow, Deloitte Canada in collaboration with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Dr. McGee completed her PhD in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. Her doctoral research focused on elucidating the effect of donor breastmilk, when compared to preterm formula, as a supplement to mother’s own breastmilk on childhood growth and body composition. She won the University of Toronto round of the Three Minute Thesis Competition in 2018. Using Donor Breastmilk to Fight Obesity:

Laura Vergeer BSc
PhD Candidate, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Laura is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and is supervised by Dr. Mary L’Abbé. Laura’s primary research focus is on evaluating food company policies, commitments and actions shaping the food environment. Her work is supported by a CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. 

Shelley Vanderhout MSc, RD
Registered Dietitian and PhD Candidate, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Shelley is part of the TARGetKids! practice-based research network and is focused on how early life exposures influence health throughout childhood and beyond. For her PhD research, she is conducting a clinical trial to determine the best type of milk for children to drink for growth, development, and risk of chronic disease.


Daniel Sellen PhD
Director, Joannah & Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition
Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Global Health
Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
Professor, Social and Behavioural Health Sciences, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Senior Resident Scholar, SickKids Centre for Global Child Health

Professor Daniel Sellen specializes in design, testing and evaluation of large-scale programs to improve infant, child, adolescent and maternal nutrition security. He has collaborated in studies on child nutrition in many countries and was formerly inaugural Associate Dean of Research at the Dalla School of Public Health. 

This panel is part of an ongoing series of compelling lectures for alumni, hosted at venues across the GTA. U of T in Your Neighbourhood brings the university right into your community, keeping you informed, inspired and connected.

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