During the past few months, the Sylvia Center worked with dietetic interns who helped build a stronger recipe database for our programs. They conducted a nutrition analysis of current recipes and researched current policies and best practices related to the nutrition content of snacks/meals served to students. We are grateful for all their help and input to ensure that our students and team receive the best nutrition information!
Q & A with Tara Frank
Tara grew up in New York City. She loves to cook and always buys cookbooks to find something new to make to put a plant-based spin on it. After she completes the dietetic internship and passes the RD exam, Tara intends to attend culinary school to take her nutrition knowledge to a hands-on level.
- How did you become interested in the field of dietetics? Why do you want to be a dietitian?
I’ve always wanted to work with food in some capacity, but never knew how. When both my grandparents fell ill at the same time (my grandfather with CKD and my grandmother with Alzheimer’s), I saw a dangerous disconnect between medicine and nutrition. I knew that diet was critical in managing their respective illnesses and worked with their dietitians to help plan their menus. From that point, I knew that this is what I wanted to do, and began to go to school to learn more. Now I am finishing up my master’s and have been able to see that diverse world of dietetics. There are so many opportunities!
- What do you want to learn at The Sylvia Center?
I am excited to see what drives youth and teens to learn how to develop healthy culinary practices and to take part in that effort by evaluating and testing many of the delicious recipes that The Sylvia Center teaches in their programs.
- What does food mean to you?
Food stands for so much. It is culture, religion, emotion. It can help us achieve optimal health or cause chronic disease. We celebrate and mourn with food.
- What message do you want to tell young people about healthy eating?
Healthy eating can help minimize their risk of chronic illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, which is becoming more prevalent among children. Kids need to know that eating healthy doesn’t mean boring foods that they don’t like or want to eat. There is a variety of healthy, flavorful foods out there which can keep recipes interesting and delicious. Plus they will feel better, have more energy, and have a positive impact on the environment!
- What is your favorite recipe to make?
I make a plant-based bean chili which even meat eaters have asked for seconds. It is a culmination of many different chili recipes and is nutrient-dense, hearty, and delicious.