2023-24 Fellow: Natalie Finley

3rd Grade Self Contained Teacher in Chicago, IL – Parker Community Academy

2023-24 Fellow: Natalie Finley has been teaching for fifteen years. She first became interested in Pilot Light when one of her teacher friends mentioned how much fun they were having in their classroom with their students. Her friend shared stories of how much her students enjoyed connecting healthy eating with their regular lessons. These conversations peaked Natalie’s interest and made her want to learn more about the program. Natalie am eager to join the Pilot Light family and expand her Food Education knowledge.

Favorite Food Education Standard: FES #4: Food behaviors are influenced by external and internal factors. 

Our food behaviors are shaped by many factors, both external (such as advertising, culture, or peer pressure) and internal (such as emotions, habits, or beliefs). Breaking the cycle of unhealthy food habits requires understanding these factors and developing strategies to overcome them. I look forward to digging deeper and exploring how to connect this standard to our classroom learning. It is important to discuss with young learners and adults the common challenges to healthy eating and offer practical tips to overcome them.

A Favorite Food Memory or Recipe: 

Strawberry, Blueberry, and Banana smoothie. I love to have a smoothie either for breakfast or lunch!

The recipe is as follows: ½ cup frozen strawberries, ½ cup frozen blueberries, 1 small ripe banana, ¾ cup chilled unsweetened cashew milk, 1 tablespoon cashew butter 1 tablespoon flax seed. Combine strawberries, blueberries, banana, cashew milk, cashew butter and hemp seeds in a blender. Process until smooth, adding more cashew milk, if needed, for desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Why I Became a Fellow: 

I am excited to learn from my colleagues and learn more about how I can help others make positive and informed food choices.

2023-24 Natalie Finley
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