By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Nutritionist, chef and wellness educator Patricia Greenberg visited Palisades Charter Elementary School to teach a lesson about nutrition and cooking to kindergarteners.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the little ones to start learning about healthy eating and empowering them to prepare foods on their own,” Greenberg shared.

Greenberg, the author of four books, offers wellness consulting, specializing in providing accurate nutrition and health information to her clients; she tries to make a couple of visits to schools each year to encourage students to make good food choices.

“The whole purpose is to give them a hands-on experience,” Greenberg shared, “and to have fun, too.”

Greenberg taught the Pali Elementary students how to make two dishes: Fancy Fruit Cake and Vegetables on the Half Shell, which she described as “beautiful to look at and good for you.”

The two dishes she picked were because they are “very high in vitamin A and vitamin C.”

“Vegetables and fruit are very high in fiber, which gives you a healthy heart and digestive system, and the dessert has calcium for strong bones and teeth,” Greenberg explained in a handout that was given to students.

Greenberg, who runs The Fitness Gourmet, has garnered more than 30 years of experience in the industry. She has a bachelor’s of science degree in nutrition and food science, a culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is an ACE certified trainer.

“The biggest mistake parents make is differentiating kid food from parent food,” Greenberg said. She explained that many parents will reserve packaged food for kids but that it’s better if “eating and dining and learning about nutrition is a family affair.”

“If everyone is working together,” she continued, “it sets those habits in place for long term.” She encourages parents to serve the same thing to their children that they serve to themselves.

For the fitness aspect of her healthy lifestyle, Greenberg started running at the age of 35. She is still going strong at the age of 58, having now completed 20 marathons and 115 half marathons.

Greenberg also participates in tower climbing, which has led her to climb the Empire State Building, World Trade Center Freedom Tower, U.S. Bank Tower, Aon Center and John Hancock Center.

Greenberg is available to teach classes throughout the year. For more information, visit thefitnessgourmet.com.