Pediatricians are primary care specialists.  We spend much of the day in our offices diagnosing and treating illness:  infections and inflammations primarily; psychological as well as physical; both acute and chronic.

But a greater part of our day is spent educating patients and families on preventing illness:  the anticipatory guidance we provide to the parents of a newborn in a hospital nursery; the advice we offer to parents and kids at each and every well-child check-up which may not be available, in such an intimate and personal way, anywhere else; and the recommendations of treatments which themselves can, unfortunately, lead to more illness in the form of unintended consequences (side effects).

The PediaBlog has previously examined the important role of prevention in the American healthcare system.  Indeed, of all strategies currently being proposed by healthcare experts, it is the prevention of chronic disease (rather than its treatment) that will result in the largest cost-savings in our extremely expensive healthcare system.  It will also result in better health, which is truly paramount, after all.

Whether your pediatrician is dispensing advice in the newborn nursery, in the office, or over the phone, the one topic that seems to be most important to parents is eating:  “How often should I nurse?”; “how much milk should my baby be getting?”; “when can we begin solid foods?”; “why won’t my child eat vegetables?”; “is ‘organic’ really better?”; and, most urgently, “my child is overweight.  Now what?”

Introducing “Taste Buds”, a weekly column we hope will become a regular feature on The PediaBlog.  Scientific data and information will be posted here.  Questions from our readers, and their answers, will be presented here as well.  And hopefully we can even offer some healthy recipes that come from you!

This should be an interesting, fun and interactive forum presented by The PediaBlog.  The participation of parents and their children (our patients, of course) is encouraged!  All comments are welcome by submitting them in the “Comments” section at the bottom of each post, or by emailing us at