Amy Saxe-Custack, PhD, MPH, RDN

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Assistant Professor, Fixed Term

Dr. Saxe-Custack is a Registered Dietitian and Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Michigan State University. She received an MPH in Human Nutrition at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and, after an impressive career with Dole Food Company and USDA, Dr. Saxe-Custack completed a PhD in Human Nutrition at Michigan State University. She currently serves as the Nutrition Director for the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a joint effort between Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital, to address the impact of Flint’s population-wide lead exposure on children.

A long-time resident of the Flint community, Dr. Saxe-Custack is dedicated to the evaluation and expansion of nutrition programs that target children and families living in Flint, with a particular focus on improving access to fresh foods. Much of her work has been initiated in partnership with the Flint Farmers’ Market and Hurley Children’s Center to examine the impact of an innovative fruit and vegetable prescription program for pediatric patients. Through recent grant awards, Dr. Saxe-Custack is working with community partners to expand and evaluate both the fruit and vegetable prescription program as well as an experiential nutrition and cooking program for Flint children, Flint Kids Cook.


Selected Publications:

Saxe-Custack A, Sadler R, LaChance J, Hanna-Attisha M, Ceja T. Participation in a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program for Pediatric Patients is Positively Associated with Farmers' Market Shopping. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jun 12;17(12): E4202. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17124202. PMID: 32545578

Saxe-Custack, A.; LaChance, J.; Hanna-Attisha, M. Child Consumption of Whole Fruit and Fruit Juice Following Six Months of Exposure to a Pediatric Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program. Nutrients 202012, 25.

Saxe-Custack A, Lofton HC, Hanna-Attisha M, Tata Z, Ceja T, LaChance J. Caregiver Experiences With an Innovative Farmers' Market Incentive Program for Children in Flint, Michigan. Glob Pediatr Health. 2019;6:2333794X19870989. doi: 10.1177/2333794X19870989. eCollection 2019. PubMed PMID: 31489342; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6712753.

Saxe-Custack A, Kerver JM, Mphwanthe G, Weatherspoon L. Participant experiences in a paraprofessional-led weight management program for children and families. Sage Open Medicine. 2019 Jul 12;7:2050312119863920. doi: 10.1177/2050312119863920. eCollection 2019.

Saxe-Custack A, LaChance J, Hanna-Attisha M, Ceja T. Fruit and vegetable prescriptions for pediatric patients living in Flint, Michigan: A cross-sectional study of food security and dietary patterns at baseline. Nutrients. 2019; 11(6):1423.

Saxe-Custack A, Hanna-Attisha M, Zvoch K. Fruit and vegetable prescriptions for pediatric patients in Flint, Michigan: Program development, methods, and baseline characteristics. Current Developments in Nutrition. 2019 June 13; 3(Suppl 1).

Saxe-Custack A, Lofton H, Hanna-Attisha M, Victor C, Reyes G, Ceja T, LaChance J. Caregiver perceptions of a fruit and vegetable prescription program for low-income pediatric patients. Public Health Nutrition. 2018. 21(13):2497-2506.

Saxe-Custack A, Weatherspoon L. A qualitative assessment of self-management priorities among persons with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 2014. 46(4):S186.

Research Projects:

Michigan Health Endowment Fund, 05/18-04/20

Innovative Nutrition Practices in Pediatric Health Care: Expansion of a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program for Children and Families in Need

The aims of this project are to: 1) expand a fruit and vegetable prescription program for pediatric patients and measure long-term impact; and 2) expand the reach of an innovative cooking class for children and measure impact on cooking and dietary behaviors.

Role: Principal Investigator

Shape of Future Things to Come, Inc., 05/18-10/19

Innovative Nutrition Practices in Health Care: Effectiveness and Family Perceptions of an Experiential Nutrition Intervention for Pediatric Patients

The aims of the project are to expand and further evaluate an experiential cooking and nutrition education program for low-income children ages 8 to 18 years.

Role: Principal Investigator

Selected Media Coverage:

PBS News Hour: Flint Fights Lead Poisoning with Farmers Markets and Cooking Classes

U.S. News: Innovative Hub Feeds the Need for Fresh Produce in Flint 

Cooking Light: Children are receiving prescriptions for fresh fruit and produce from their doctors

MSUToday: Flint inspires national nutrition prescription program in U.S. Farm Bill

Stateside, Michigan Radio NPR: Kids leave this Flint doctor’s office with a prescription for fruits and veggies

Michigan Good Food Fund: Food is helping Flint recover and reimagine itself

Today's Dietician: Fruit and veggie prescriptions encourage healthful eating in children

Flint Side: Prescriptions for nutrition: How culinary medicine is advancing health equity in Michigan

Research at MSU: MSU scientists improve health for children, seniors through better nutrition

MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources: Flint Kids Cook - - MSU community collaborations

Gizmodo: After the water crisis, Thanksgiving in Flint is about healing

To schedule an appointment or request a comprehensive CV summarizing Dr. Saxe-Custack's achievements email her at




Scholarly Interests

    Role of lifestyle and ecological factors in the risk, prevention and management of diet-related health disparities and chronic diseases. Special interest in pediatric nutrition, including access to fresh foods.




    Doctorate in Human Nutrition,
    Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
    Michigan State University,
    East Lansing

    Dietetic Internship,
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    Master of Public Health in Human Nutrition, School of Public Health
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
    Michigan State University,
    East Lansing