Hi there! Welcome to Carrots & Cookies!
I'm so glad you're here! I'm Kristi, the dietitian, busy mom of 3, recipe-developer, and photographer behind this blog, Carrots & Cookies.
I've transitioned from large teaching hospitals to the online food world because I want to make life easier for you. Thank you for joining me on this journey!
I love to cook and I'm passionate about providing you with recipes and tips that will help you take the 'complicated' out of feeding your family. I am the first to admit that I'm not tech savvy, so this is a whole new world for me!
I am a Registered Dietitian and mom of three kids, ages 7-15. Yep, I've got the age span covered!
There's nothing I love more than sharing recipes that are easy, tasty, and nutrient dense, while providing practical tips that will help you learn what it means to feed your family well without going crazy!
I get it because I've been there! Life is busy, whether working long hours, having a commute, juggling sports schedules... you name it.
And to top it off, we had a house fire a little over a year ago. Thankfully we were all okay but having to be displaced and lose pretty much everything in the blink of an eye has been life changing.
For so many reasons, I've simplified my recipes as much as possible. If a step isn't necessary, I've eliminated it. And if a spice is optional, I tell you in my post.
As parents, we often end up over-complicating things and either max ourselves out or simply give up. That's why simple and delicious is what my recipes are all about!
My passion is to help you help your kids find freedom in food while minimizing stress around meal and snack time.
Unless it is medically necessary, I do not believe everyone should restrict anything, like dairy or gluten. I also do not believe that you should let weight or 'food rules' define health. I do believe we should enjoy food and explore different flavors, listen to our bodies and take good care of them!
Simply put, I'm a West Coast girl (Arizona / California) who married into Pennsylvania.
Growing up, my dad especially was intentional about introducing us to a variety of flavors and cuisines. He enjoyed cooking, especially late-night snacks;)
It was in Jr High that my attention turned to improving my heath. I clearly remember doing a nutrient analysis of my daily intake in 'Home Ec' class. And let's just say, the results weren't in my favor, lol.
Interestingly, one of my first jobs was at a produce market. We didn't have scanners, so we had to memorize all of the codes you see on those little stickers. The plus side to working there was that I was introduced to all kinds of produce at a pivotal age.
In college I started off as a biology major. I took a nutrition class as an elective that was taught by an adjunct professor who was a registered dietitian. It was then that I realized that I could actually take my passion for nutrition and turn it into a career.
I've been working in large teaching hospitals seeing critically ill patients (both kids and adults) for nearly 19 years. When I transitioned to part-time work after my oldest child was born, my eyes were opened to the need and desire so many people have to learn what it means to feed themselves and their families well.
I mean, who doesn't get confused by all of the marketing, label claims, and fad diet information that circulates non-stop?! Not to mention, new products being introduced every day. Yikes!
In the beginning of 2020, I started to be more open about what I do for a living. While I have always loved my job, I rarely spoke of it because I didn't want anyone to think I'd judge them ... and I really didn't want the subject to dominate conversation.
In response to a constant 'nudge' to have a positive impact on what I call the 'everyday family', I started talking about it more. And within a few months, I was encouraged to start a food blog... by a few unrelated people in a short amount of time. And so, I did!
So, while I continued to work part-time in the hospital, I was also creating and posting recipes for you to enjoy. It is way more involved and time consuming than I ever imagined, so just this summer, I decided to say 'goodbye' to my commute so that I could put more time into it.
It's so fun - I still can't believe it! Thank you for joining me on this journey!
Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition & Dietetics - James Madison University - Harrisonburg, VA
Dietetic Internship - Geisinger Medical Center - Danville, PA
2002 - Present - Registered Dietitian
2004 - Present Board-Certified Nutrition Support Clinician
2000 - Present - Food blogger
When I'm not traveling to visit family, you can find me in Pennsylvania. I have been married to my husband, Sid, for 19 years and we have been blessed with three beautiful and busy children, ages 7, 13, and 15.
I enjoy cooking, traveling, and all kinds of fitness. Oh, and chocolate. How can I forget chocolate?!
I especially love vegetables and the challenge of preparing them so that they are enjoyed by all! And believe it or not, cooking is relaxing for me, so you will rarely catch me sitting down.
While I continue to do some work for the hospital remotely in addition to recipe development, I've also started to take on clients who have requested a virtual 1:1 nutrition counseling session with me. That's been fun, too!
I understand the challenge of balancing work, kids, sports schedules, church activities, and more all while trying to feed my kids well.
As I mentioned earlier, it's been a little over a year since our house fire. To say this has been a year of growth for all of us is an understatement. We are still not back in our home, but hopefully will be soon!
I am a Christian and I truly believe that "the joy of the Lord is my strength," Nehemiah 8:10.
More About my Dietitian Blogger Journey
My focus with this blog is to share recipes that will appeal to
tweens and teens.
When my oldest child was approaching the 'tweens', I was gifted the book, When
Your Child is 6-12, written by John M. Drescher. He describes these years
as being the "prime years for particular preparation for adolescence and
adulthood. Here is the great age of imitation when the child wants to be so
much like parents and others whom the child admires, when the child will go to
almost any extent to be like those who are the child's heroes."
That's YOU! What an opportunity!
He then adds, "...while all stages of child development are significant,
middle childhood is especially crucial in the development of the inner life,
which prepares the child for the rest of life."
So, this is why I want my recipes to not only appeal to the teens, but also
My recipes include step-by step instructions with photos, as well as
what I call a 'Dietitian Tips' section. My goal is to enable you to make all of
the recipes on my sight while empowering you to better understand what it means
to feed your family well without going crazy.
I believe you should encourage your kids to listen to their bodies, eat when
they are hungry, enjoy food, explore flavors and textures, eat fruits and
vegetables, and incorporate nuts, seeds, and olive oil, as able and as
Encourage your kids to try new foods and enjoy what they eat!
Initially I left out the nutrition information in my recipes because I do
not believe calorie content should be the focus of meals and I do believe many
people misinterpret the information and obsess about certain nutrients in an
However, it had been bothering me that my recipes were not providing
information that some families really needed, like the carbohydrate content for
kids with diabetes and protein content for youth athletes. So, now I am
happy to say that the nutrition information is now available for those who
would like to view it!
Set the example! You know your body better than anyone - own what you know
and guide your kids on how to do the same!
I do believe it is essential to get adequate sleep, move your body, and eat well.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journey!
Where to Find Me
I would love to hear from you! If you have any questions or just want to say 'hi', send me an email: [email protected]