Lori has been a nurse for many years and recently became a registered dietician. It was while she was looking internship opportunities that she discovered Veggiecation. She knew she wanted to be apart of the program at that very moment but between school, five kids, and her job as a nurse, she didn’t have enough time to dedicate to it. Once she graduated the first thing she did was to reach out to us about getting started.
Lori’s business started before she even completed the certification process. Before taking the training, Lori wanted to ensure that her community would be responsive to the program so she compiled a list of daycare centers and after-school programs and sent them an introduction email with the sample video found on our home page and people loved what they saw! By the time she trained in February 2014, she had a list of locations ready for her to come in and teach Veggiecation lessons! Currently, Lori teaches eight classes per month during the school year and offers programming at local preschools, daycares, and community centers.
And as much as she teaches in schools and after-school programs, Lori makes sure that she brings her work home with her – in the best possible way! She makes sure her kids know about healthy vs. unhealthy snacking, portion control, and reading food labels.
After only a couple months, Lori has built a name for herself and has had to recruit someone in the area to help with the demand that she has found herself in. As an ambitious Veggiecator Educator, Lori believes that success comes in numbers. Her goal is to set up a monthly or quarterly meeting of Veggiecator Educators to discuss marketing plans, offer support, and share ideas.
What got you interested in this program? Why did you decide to train?
The reason I chose to become a part of the Veggiecation program is because my passion is children's nutrition. Being a nurse/dietitian I naturally lean toward therapeutic nutrition, however, getting kids to eat healthy will help them to prevent needing medical intervention in the future. Many parents think that because their child is active and thin on the outside it's ok for them to eat whatever they want. The problem is we can't see what their bodies are telling us on the inside. Allowing children to eat whatever they want now will only set them up for failure later. They won't know how to eat properly because they have been allowed to eat adult sized portions all their lives, which can lead to clogged arteries, hypertension, and diabetes. Teaching kids to eat healthy as young as possible is crucial to their future selves.
What has been the best thing about your Veggiecation training? and VEN membership?
The best part of my Veggiecation training and VEN membership is the support system. Every question I have had, every idea I wanted to bounce off of someone, Nina has promptly responded. Having a support system is imperative when you start a business. I could not have done this without Nina. The VEN is amazing because all of the work is already done. Contracts and proposals to flyers and activity sheets. I love looking at VEN to see what else has been posted. Overall the Veggiecation experience has been the perfect way for me to spread my wings as a new dietitian.
What's your favorite anecdote about an especially cute or picky child?
My favorite anecdote of a picky child has to be when I had one little girl who told me that she was allergic to one of the ingredients in one of the recipes. As we made the recipe she suddenly began to change her story to, "Miss Lori...its not that I am allergic to it...it’s that I don't know if I'm allergic to it.” The next time the bowl came to her she said, "Miss Lori... I think it’s the other kind I'm allergic to." And then she told me she was never allergic at all she was just afraid to try something new. Once we verified that she didn't have any food allergies at all, the little girl tried the recipe and absolutely loved it. I received an email that night from her mother thanking me for getting her daughter to try something new.
What are your favorite recipes to use?
I love teaching the Raw Cauliflower Popcorn because we pretend we are in the microwave popping the kernels. Each child has a small Ziploc baggy with the ingredients. We stand up; hold the bags over our heads, and jump around like popcorn kernels until we think it's done. Then they get to taste it. The kids love the recipe and the journey and adventure of being a popcorn kernel.