Originally from Northern California, Mia Rigden's passion for food led her to New York City in her early 20's to pursue a career in the culinary world. Nearly a decade of restaurant work later -- from the kitchen to communications -- she found herself struggling to feel her best amidst a seemingly endless schedule of dinners and late nights out.
In 2014, the classically-chef returned to her love of nutrition and built her business on the principle that good food should be good for you.
Through her immersive work as a board certified nutritionist, she aims to help people understand their bodies, demystify wellness trends, and learn to love nutrient-dense foods so they can improve their health (and avoid stressing about their food choices)!
Within her practice, Mia offers bespoke nutrition programs and solutions tailored to meet the uniquely individual needs of each client. One-on-one coaching, science-backed online courses, recipes, and nutrition tips all aim to help people find realistic and enjoyable ways to improve their health and quality of life.
We caught up with her to discuss loving food, healthy mindsets, and fool-proof snacks.
My grandmother studied nutrition at Carnegie Melon in the 1930s. She has always kept everyone in the family up to date on the latest nutrition trends, and I guess that's what planted the seed for me. I love food, but all the dining out that my hospitality job required left me feeling pretty crappy, so I started to really focus on my nutrition and was amazed by how much better I felt, not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Today, my nutrition practice is centered around a deep love and appreciation of food. I’ve learned that I can love what I eat and feel amazing, and I am so happy to share that knowledge with people.
I like to make deconstructed meals at my house so my son can eat what he wants from his plate. We have a rule in my house: you don’t have to like it, but big kids try things. If my son refuses something, I keep offering. Not in a pushy way, but you might be surprised that after five yucks you get a yum.
Find a sauce that your kid loves (even if it’s ketchup!) and offer them new foods with that sauce. It’s important not to force foods, but rather gently offer. I also think having family meals is helpful. My son definitely eats better and tries more food when we are all eating together.
Toddlers actually don’t need that much protein, but it’s important to balance their blood sugar levels for their mood, behavior, sleep, and energy levels. I always like to make sure there is some protein, fiber and/or fat in snacks or meals to keep my son balanced.
The best thing a parent can do for a child is model healthy eating behaviors. They may not look like they’re paying attention, but they are!
Pasta pesto with chicken and steamed broccoli!
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