Veggiecator of the Month: Judy Prager | Veggiecation© a Culinary-Nutrition Education Program About Vegetables
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Monday, 20 October 2014 17:25

Veggiecator of the Month: Judy Prager

We had the pleasure of attending FNCE 2013, the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Houston, TX. We met thousands of people and introduced them to our small, but growing company. One very enthusiastic woman stood out, took our training workshop and is now our November Veggiecator Eduator of the Month!

 

Judy Prager is a Registered Dietician/Nutritionist who lives in New Fairfield, Connecticut, which is a suburb of Danbury. She trained in December of last year, around the same time as starting her own business which offers nutrition services for individuals, schools, restaurants or agencies. The fives areas that she focuses on are:

- Working with pre-schools and head start programs (she’s gone from 15 to 32 schools in just over a year! Keep up the great work, Judy!)

- Nutrition Education (including Veggiecation!)

- Food safety/ServeSafe specialist

- Menu development and nutrition analysis

- Home care

As a small business owner (Well Fed Connecticut), her time to teach Veggiecation classes is limited but she has been leading two monthly, free Healthy Kids Cooking Classes at the Danbury Whole Foods since March. These classes have been a huge success as portrayed in he pictures below!

Judy 4 Judy 6 Judy 5 

Judy is a mother of three grown daughters, all in their twenties. When they were little going through their picky phases as most young children do, she would ask them to help plan the menu which helped them feel apart of the meal service and made them more likely to eat. One child in particular was especially picky when it came to eating veggies but Judy says that to her own persistence, her daughter now enjoys them as an adult!

As someone who works with young children on a reguar basis, Judy has to think outside the box when it comes to teaching pre-schoolers about health and nutrition. She has had to get creative on more than one occasion to tie what the kids learn in schools and she she's trying to teach them about food. Judy's dedication to creating a fun space and energy level is perfectly illustrated in a story she told us about insect week at one of her schools. She read students the The Very Hungry Catepillar and in the story, the hungry catepillar ate spinach and strawberries so upon reading the story with the kids, Judy  made a smoothie using those exactly ingredients. Very cute!

Judy is a true believer in early intervention when it comes to nutrition education. She is curently working on a cookbook with week long lessons plans to teach pre-schoolers nutrition education. The book will focus on all the things learned in pre-school such as shapes, colors, and more!

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

I liked hearing about the 2 bite tasting and the voting on whether or not you like the veggies.  I think that giving children permission to not like something is very helpful.

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

I always tell a few stories about my daughter who was a fussy eater- one is when we went to a hibachi Japanese restaurant when she was about 8 and the chef made a whole show of chopping and cooking the vegetables, and my daughter proceeded to spend 10 minutes separating all of the vegetables to eat only the ones she liked.  The same daughter who ate about 2 veggies, goes off to college, called me and told me that she was at an all you can eat pizza place and asked what kind of pizza I thought she liked best.  Since she never put toppings on her pizza I said plain.  She said no I like the spinach.  When I asked her what possessed her to taste spinach pizza her answer was that she was on a date and the boy told her it was good and she should try it.  So much for 18 years of mom suggesting she should eat her veggies.

What are your favorite recipes to use?

I love the ZPB salsa recipe and the Rainbow Cabbage Slaw recipes, and I cannot remember the name but it was with rice noodles-  But I love them all, even the ones I say “that’s a strange combination” turn out to be delicious.

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* This course also qualifies for 3 CHES/MCHES CEU credits.

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