Meet Sarita Valji

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Sarita earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Pharmacy from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where she practiced in both community and hospital settings.   

There, she saw first-hand how lifestyle choices impact health. Sarita's knowledge in nutrition comes from self-study courses, personal triathlon/fitness training experience, and a passion to cook healthy and delicious food. This knowledge continues to grow and evolve as she reads, learns, practices, and finds new ways to empower her two teenagers to cook and eat healthy.

Sarita has volunteered in local schools for more than a decade, and in early she 2017 created and taught a healthy cooking class elective at her son’s middle school. In her spare time, Sarita loves to socialize with friends and family over good food, stay fit, enjoy Seattle’s great culture, travel, and indulge in her newest goal — learning to play the piano. 

Meet Laurie Hugdahl

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Laurie is thrilled to be part of the Pure Food Kids team where she can bring together her love of teaching and passion for cooking healthy food. As a mom of four fabulous kids who has taught in public, private, and home school settings in the U.S, and internationally, Laurie brings a wide range of experience to her workshop instructor role.

When she is not teaching for Pure Food Kids or working in her favorite role as mom, she spends her time teaching people how to live healthier lifestyles, writing for her natural living blog, trying out plant-based recipes, working on her next cookbook, practicing yoga, tending to her veggie garden, or walking dogs. She also likes to nap.

Meet Margaret Chaykin

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Margaret first became aware of the connection between nutrition and health outcomes when working as a dialysis technician. Since then, she has made it her life goal to ensure that all persons regardless of age, race, socioeconomic status, orientation, or religion receive the education and resources they need to make informed decisions in relation to their nutrition and, ultimately, health. 

Margaret earned a bachelor's degree in nutrition from Bastyr University and completed the didactic program in dietetics making her an RD eligible nutritionist. She is currently pursuing her masters degree in public health with community focus at Bastyr University. When Margaret is not teaching new food detectives, she offers individual nutritional counseling and is busy as a full-time single mom to her daughters, ages 3 and 5.  

Margaret is a SoCal native. She has lived in California, Alaska, and Hawai’i, but calls Seattle home. She has two cats, Meatball & Luna, that complete her family. In addition to teaching, Margaret enjoys spending time in and on the water, marveling at the Giant Pacific Octopus, and planning her next travel destination.

Meet Victoria Haley

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Teaching nutrition and wellness to help others live long, healthy, and active lives is a passion for Victoria, and she is thrilled to be an instructor with Pure Food Kids. She earned a BS In Nutrition and Dietetics and a Masters in Education from the University of Arizona. Next, she completed a dietetic internship to become a Registered Dietitian. Victoria has taught nutrition to a wide range of individuals in outpatient diabetes classes and clinically to patients in hospitals. In addition, she has taught dietetic interns, degree-seeking culinary students, and students enrolled in wellness classes at Miraval resort.

When she isn't teaching nutrition, Victoria loves to garden, and cook and bake for loved ones. She also like to run, hike, and explore with her husband, young children, and dog.

Drumroll, please...

This year, Pure Food Kids instructors turned 20,452 4th and 5th grade students into food detectives! The good news continues: Eight out of ten students report being more curious about what is in their food and plan to use skills they gained in the workshop. Overall, students experienced a 45% growth in knowledge after taking the workshop, and nine out of ten kids said they had a blast during the free, 2.5 hour program.

We're currently booking workshops for the 2017-18 school year in Seattle and New York City; teachers can click here to schedule a slot. 

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We want to send a special thanks to the hundreds of classroom teachers that hosted our workshop during the past year. A chili cheers to all for a successful 2016-17 school year! 

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