Lisa Suriano is the creator of Veggiecation, an organization dedicated to educating communities on the health benefits of vegetables, and how to prepare them in simple, unique, affordable, and most importantly, delicious ways. With an M.S. in Nutrition and Food Science and an interest in healthy food since childhood, Lisa’s passion for marketing healthy whole food to kids is making big waves:
“We believe in empowering children with the essential culinary skills and confidence needed to prepare home-cooked meals. These are lessons that will benefit their health throughout their lives. The Kids Cook Monday Campaign shines a light on this idea and helps families commit to making a habit of cooking together.”
How did Veggiecation get started and what is its mission?
I developed Veggiecation after several years of working as a school food service nutritionist for JC Food, an independent school food service company and realizing that I needed a way to help “market” vegetables and other healthy, whole foods to children. Processed foods and junk foods are so popular because they have the advantage of effective marketing plans and strategies to promote them. I felt it was time to start fighting fire with fire! The mission of Veggiecation is to promote and educate communities on the health benefits of vegetables and how to prepare them in simple, unique, affordable, and most importantly, delicious ways.
We understand there are some very exciting changes at Veggiecation. Tell us about your new Veggiecator training program.
The Veggiecation Educator Training Workshop (VETW) gives passionate individuals the skills and resources needed to teach the healthy kids cooking classes that Veggiecation is famous for. If you are a healthy eating advocate or someone who loves to cook whole foods, our training program is the perfect way to engage your community in your passions! Veggiecation is excited to open up its evidence-based methods to entrepreneurs interested in food and nutrition.
Training will consist of a three hour online training course where I will guide you through a presentation that covers all the basics of “Veggiecating.” Engaging videos will illustrate Veggiecation’s specific messaging and methods of teaching. The interactive structure will allow for your questions to be answered throughout the training program. It is our goal to empower others to live their passion for healthy cooking with kids! For more information on the Veggiecator Educator Training Program, click here.
What are your words of wisdom for parents who want to make a habit out of including their kids in cooking family dinners, but are challenged with time constraints?
Cooking doesn’t have to be a time-consuming activity if you stick to simple recipes. Engaging your kids as your “sous-chef” will not only familiarize them with whole ingredients, teach them critical life skills and make them more interested in eating healthy foods but it will be a great help in getting meals on the table! Give them simple tasks like peeling carrots, ripping lettuce or whisking dressings. Before you know it dinner will be served!