Allison Collins, MD, is a general pediatrician and a board-certified lifestyle medicine practitioner. She specializes in working with kids, teens, and families on lifestyle change. Collins has been an avid cook since she was 8 years old and continues to cook as a hobby, passion, and tool for health.
In 2011, she founded the HEAL (Healthy Eating, Active Living) program at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara in California. She works with a multidisciplinary team — including a pediatric nutritionist, pediatric physical therapist, pediatric psychologist, and clinical health educator — to run individual and group visits for kids and teens who struggle with weight and obesity, along with health issues such as prediabetes or diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and other issues that put them at risk for future medical issues.
As part of the HEAL program and in collaboration with The Discovery Museum of San Jose, California, Collins started a healthy kids’ cooking class. It is offered 1 or 2 times a month and there are 5 unique class themes, including breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, and dessert. Kids can go to the museum’s garden to pick produce that they will be cooking with that day. At the end of the class, they all come together to sit down and enjoy tastes of what they cooked together and discuss how to modify and use these recipes at home.
In addition to cooking with her kids, Collins has led simple cooking classes with patients, other physicians, and the public and these easy — and tasty — sessions are always well-received.
Collins attended Tufts University in Boston where she earned her B.S. in psychology and biomedical engineering. After college, she received a Fulbright scholarship and conducted research on obesity in Indonesia. She received her medical education at University of California, San Diego and was awarded the American Nutrition Society Fellowship. Collins completed her residency training at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford and joined Kaiser Permanente in 2010.