Working with children has always been my goal, and I've been able to combine my two passions within Food Explorers: working with kids and cooking. As a Registered Dietitian, my goal has always been to introduce children to delicious, tasty and healthy food.
I graduated from UCONN in 2015 and started working at the WIC program. I then transitioned to a Retail Dietitian with ShopRite before leaving to start Food Explorers
Food Explorers wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the support of every single library, school, Girl Scout Troop, Parks & Rec department and most importantly, the parents and children that make up the Food Explorers family.
Program Development Coordinator
Lara’s favorite place to be is in the kitchen! She loves teaching children how to cook and helping them build confidence with their cooking skills. It is her mission to help people appreciate all the delicious ways foods can be prepared. Lara believes all foods have a place on your plate. Her favorite foods are waffles, sushi, and strawberry rhubarb pie.
During her time as a preschool teacher in Hartford, Connecticut she enjoyed growing vegetable gardens, exploring foods, and making recipes with her class. Her love for learning about food with her class inspired her to further her education in nutrition. Lara has a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Wellness from the University of Saint Joseph and an associate's degree in Early Childhood Education.
My name is Rachael Whitney, and I was born and raised in Connecticut. I earned my bachelors, masters and completed my dietetic internship all at the University of Saint Joseph. I am a new Registered Dietitian but have always loved finding and trying out new recipes in my kitchen at home. I am looking forward to passing on my love of cooking and baking with all the children that pass through my classes. Some of my favorite things to make are zucchini bread, apple pie and pizza. When I am not working, I enjoy reading, gardening and crafting.
Hi, my name is Rachael Chamberlain and I am a pediatric occupational therapist. I have been working with babies through adolescents for almost 10 years. My passion is teaching kids life skills and promoting independence! My approaches to therapy include utilizing play, sensory strategies, and working in nature based settings. I have worked on a farm with a variety of animals for many years providing therapy. One of our most popular activity was baking treats for dogs and harvesting/chopping produce for goats, horses, and chickens. At a young age, I developed a love for experimenting in the kitchen and creating fun concoctions. Some of my favorite things to make are cinnamon rolls, cakes, and cookies! I hope to instill that interacting with, preparing, sharing, and tasting food can be fun!
My name is Alison Murphy and I am excited to join the Food Explorers team to teach kids about the power of food to help them feel their best, both physically and mentally. When I’m not studying or driving my kids to sports, I love to play paddle tennis, ski with my family, walk my dog in the woods and try new recipes. Some of my favorite foods are homemade pizza, jalapeño hummus, arugula salads, and oatmeal cookies. I graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in English and received an M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts. I am currently working on an M.S. in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport.
I was born in New Haven, CT and grew up in Meriden, CT. I have always been fascinated with food, and my love for cooking began at an early age thanks to my family, which instilled strong Mexican and Italian traditions. My love for food and helping people is what made me choose a career path in Nutrition and Dietetics. I attended Johnson & Wales University for a BS in Culinary Nutrition and the University of New Haven for a MS in Human Nutrition. Throughout the years I have worked in many various nutrition and culinary environments including working as a personal chef and as a chef at a local restaurant, selling and demoing infused olive oils and herbal teas all over New England, and also completing a year of service with AmeriCorps FoodCorps. When I am not working or studying, I enjoy studying languages, traveling abroad, cooking for my family and Fiancé, sewing, and working on home DIY Projects. My favorite things to cook are my grandmother’s Eggplant Rollatini, Chicken Enchiladas, and Albanian Byrek.
Hi! My name is Sydnie Keller and I am a student at University of Connecticut studying Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, with a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences. In the future, I hope to become a Registered Dietitian. I am studying family sciences because I love learning about childhood development and being with kids! On the other hand, I am hoping to become a registered dietitian because I enjoy incorporating nutrition in my everyday life, and I am inspired to help others find a love for health. I live a lifestyle filled with balance, fitness, and all things food! I love to exercise, cook, and create my own healthy recipes. Some of my favorite foods include sushi, pasta, fresh fruits, and frozen yogurt!
My name is Jackie Martin. I am super excited to join the Food Explorer Team! I am currently an Assistant Youth Service Coordinator/Outdoor Adventure Facilitator with Newington Youth Services and own a Pampered Chef business. My degree is in Recreation Leadership/Outdoor Adventure Education. I have over 20+ years of experience working with youth of all ages and in many different environment; including the outdoors, in the kitchen, in the garden and on the challenge course (fire building, fort building, outdoor cooking, rock climbing, high ropes, low ropes, rock climbing and kayaking). I enjoy spending time with my beautiful daughter, cooking, gardening and kayaking