Veggiecator of the Month: Nicole Lettieri | Veggiecation© a Culinary-Nutrition Education Program About Vegetables
Thursday, 05 March 2015 09:39

Veggiecator of the Month: Nicole Lettieri

We’ve come a long way since our program first launched in 2009 and we have evolved and grown in ways that we never imagined. Throughout it all, we have worked with a number of organizations and companies, but even more instructors. We are happy to say that we have trained 100’s of Veggiecator Educators in the year and a half since we launched our online certification program. But before we did things digitally, we worked with instructors on a one-on-one level. Nicole Lettieri was one of our very first Veggiecator Educators, before we could even imagine transformation and expansion our company would make. 

Nicole is a New Jersey native who first started with Veggiecation while going to school for her masters in Nutrition Education to gain some hands on experience in the nutrition world. Her first day with Veggiecation was actually on Food Day 2011, when we hosted an event called EATNYC. Nicole wrote an article on the event for the Veggiecation Blog and began training as a Veggiecator shortly after. 

Currently resiting in New York City, Nicole is a Nutritionist and RD-to-be with an eagerness to learn and apply new information. Her love of fresh food and intereste in health and wellness led her to graduate school in 2011 where she concurrently completed a Masters degree in Nutrition Education and a Didactic Program in Dietetics. She began as a nutrition educator in 2011 and has since loved her role in the community.

Nicole first got interested in the Veggiecation program because it mixes her two favorite things, cooking and kids! The cooking classes are fun and the kids really appreciate being a part of the process. She firmly believes that she can make a difference with every class.

Nicole Lettieri 3

Although her schedule is a bit tight at the moment with her internship, Nicole teaches 3-5 classes a month on average. Her full-time dietetic internship takes up most of her time, however, community is where her heart is! Her passion for cooking and working with kids fuels her need to “veggiecate” as often as she can.

One of Nicole’s favorite things about teaching Veggiecation cooking classes is coming back to the same group after some time has passed. Last Spring, she taught a class for Brownie Troop 1212. The kids were really great, like little sponges! They asked her to come back again this year and she’ll be teaching the class this Sunday. Working with the same organizations and groups of kids, illustrates how much their attitudes towards foods have changed over the year.

Nicole Lettieri 1

Nicole is currently enrolled in a 12-month long Dietetic Internship through Sodexo. While community work is her passion, her internship provides her with valuable experience assessing patients in the clinical setting. She looks forward to further exposure and experience as she moves on to her specialty and towards her ultimate goal of opening up her own private practice, which will include nutrition counseling, sports nutrition workshops, and Veggiecation classes!

We wish Nicole the best of luck with her dietetic internship and future ventures in the nutrition and dietetic fields!

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

The best part of the VEN membership is the resources. I am always juggling a million things and having the recipes, coloring pages and posters, marketing materials, invoices and proposals available online is a huge help in making sure my classes are successful and operate smoothly. 

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

I had a picky eater who would not try a smoothie we made in one of my classes. He was really sticking to his stance. After all the kids tried it and he saw they liked it he came up to me and said “Ok, I’ll try it” I gave him a sample and he tried to pretend to make a “ew-gross” face. I said “Come on, is it really THAT bad?” He laughed and responded “I actually kind of like it.” 

What are your favorite recipes to use?

I always love a good smoothie recipe, the kids go crazy for smoothies! Being that its march, one of the tried and true smoothies I like to use is the Shamrock Smoothie. I also really like the Black Eye Pea Dip. The kids love to pass around the herbs and smell the thyme! 

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