Veggiecator Educator of the Month: Betty Rabe | Veggiecation© a Culinary-Nutrition Education Program About Vegetables
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Friday, 04 March 2016 10:33

Veggiecator Educator of the Month: Betty Rabe

Betty Rabe is an entrepreneur whose Veggiecation journey started with a passion for table etiquette. A long time elementary school teacher, Betty has a knack for working with children and teaching them topics that are sometimes difficult for them to understand. Her already successful etiquette company has been able to offer her community more when she combined it with her natural interest in wellness and nutrition.

Living and working in one of the country’s most vibrant cities - New Orleans - Betty is connected to its love of food, traditions and centers many life celebrations around sharing a wonderful meal with loved ones. Living in such a city, it’s no wonder that Betty has always had an interest in food! As she started to get older, she began seeing the truth in the motto, “you are what you eat,” and could feel the difference in her energy levels, skin, and overall wellness.  

However, it wasn’t until she became a mother that she started exploring the culinary aspect of food. A favorite mother/daughter activity is cooking! Luckily for Betty, Kate (9) loves eating veggies on most days. And on the rare days when she doesn’t, Betty respects that decision and doesn’t force anything on Kate.

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(Betty's adorable daughter, Kate) 

Betty’s business, Spoonful of Sugar, originally focused on manner classes for children. The concept was formed out of the idea that food should be about bonding and that eating together should bring people closer. In order to be able to be able to get to that point, Betty believes that children must at least learn the ability to sit throughout the meal. Something as simple as staying in a seat can have huge benefits for mealtime. The goal of the manner class is to enhance the enjoyment of the meal and bring back mealtime communication.

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(Betty in action at Spoonful of Sugar!)

As time went on and the manner classes grew in popularity, she had parents asking about how to get the children to eat vegetables once they had them sitting and engaged at the table.  That’s when she discovered Veggiecation and decided to train. Having already created traction with her previous business concept, Betty has been able to pick up traction with the Veggiecation classes.

In these classes, Betty never uses an oven or stovetop because she believes that the children should be able to participate in every step. As a long time elementary school teacher, she learned that when you set high expectations for students, they can and will rise to the occasion. Letting children explore their interests and taste buds gives them room to grow and learn in way that sticks!

What has been the best thing about your Veggiecation training? and VEN membership?

I love the recipes and ideas…it is a great way to share ideas on VEN. As an educator, I loved training and how positive it is. Lots of time veggies get a bad reputation…Veggiecation is fun, exciting and good for you!

What's your favorite anecdote about an especially cute or picky child?

I remember 1 little girl in one of my classes who did not like carrots…and BOY! She made a point of letting and everyone else know how much she hated them! I thought…oh dear, this could be a problem for the group…then, I went on about how good they are for you, following my lesson, of course…I let her know that it was ok, she doesn’t have to like carrots at all…we don’t all love everything and that is perfectly fine. I asked her if she could help us with the rest of the recipe because that is totally fun and if she didn’t want to taste it at the end…that was ok…..well, after she saw all of her friends trying it and loving it…I could see she was starting to consider giving it a try. Then, I broke out the “I tried it “stickers…and immediately she jumped in and tasted it! She actually realized she liked carrots! It was awesome! When you give out those stickers and make a big deal about the fact that they made the snack themselves and how smart they are to try new things and then, decide whether you like it or not! Special things can happen!

What are your favorite recipes to use?

My favorites are the cauliflower popcorn and also I loved the special seasonal recipe: pumpkin hummus! That one was very popular this fall!

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