Johns Hopkins All Children's Foundation


Building a Foundation on Nutrition

Posted on Feb 19, 2019

Brenna Denhardt, R.D., clinical dietitian
Brenna Denhardt, R.D., clinical dietitian


It’s not a state of mind that Brenna Denhardt, R.D., frequently sees in her patients. An eating disorder is a tricky thing after all. Often insurance doesn’t cover treatment. Many kids resist or are not completely aware of how serious their condition is. Eating disorders are more common in girls but can be more severe in boys or the LGBTQ community because they often are diagnosed later.

When Samantha and her family met with the eating disorder clinic team in early January, it was apparent that they wanted and needed help.

“From the start, she has been open to making changes,” Denhardt explains. “I’ve been so impressed by how willing she is to get better and how supportive her family is.”

While Samantha is inpatient, Denhardt carefully makes nutrition recommendations and plans her meals. When nutrients are brought back to the body, things like electrolytes have the possibility of going haywire. It’s Denhardt’s job to keep the balance, carefully selecting how nutrients will be delivered and how much.

After starting the New Year in a precarious state weighing around 70 pounds, Samantha now has a team behind her, guiding her back to physical and emotional health.

“Brenna, Erin, Dr. [Jasmine] Reese and her entire office staff have provided a level of care, with love and true compassion unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed,” add parents Brian and Bridget. “Because of Johns Hopkins All Children’s we are getting more than expert medical support and care, we are being infused with hope and it has brought our family comfort and peace of mind when we so desperately needed it.”

To learn more, visit the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Eating Disorders program.