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Dietitian Spotlight: Marina Chaparro

1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a bilingual pediatric and diabetes nutrition expert. Originally from the border town of El Paso, Texas and Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico- but now based in sunny Miami, Florida. I’m the founder of Nutrichicos, a bilingual nutrition practice specializing in child and family nutrition. Our motto is “Being a parent is hard, feeding your children doesn’t have to be.” There are so many conflicting nutrition messages, especially to new parents. My goal is to inspire mothers and give them the tools they need to make healthy eating a daily ritual.

I have many hats and love exploring new adventures: I’m a contributor to On Track magazine and frequently write in my blog, Nutrichicos. I’m also a media spokesperson, frequently featured in outlets such as Parent’s magazine, Huffington Post, Medscape, Oprah, Miami Herald, Univision and more. As a pediatric dietitian, I work 2 days/week at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, at the Pediatric Endocrinology team where I specialize in type 1 diabetes, diabetes technology advances and nutrition counseling.

I’m also an entrepreneur and a mom. I must say, being a mom is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs I have. In my ten years working as a Pediatric Dietitian and counseling families with children, I genuinely believe healthy habits start at home. As a mom and a pediatric dietitian, I hope to bring trusted advice that is real and relatable.

2. What’s your favorite part about being a dietitian?

Working with children is by far the best part of what I do. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 16, so I have both a personal and professional connection with diabetes. It’s wonderful to work with kids and families who have type 1 diabetes because it’s an instant connection. I think children don’t always get the credit they deserve. They are far smarter than they appear. Working at a children’s hospital really puts life’s priorities into perspective.  I don’t sweat the small things.  I love seeing the impact I can have on the lives of children and families. Whether it’s  getting children to try broccoli for the first time, educating a family how to shop at the supermarket or teaching a kid how to give an insulin injection, I love it all. I feel like I’m making the world a better place, one kid at a time.

3. Describe what your typical week looks like?

Never a typical week in my case, which is also the beauty of being an entrepreneur and girl boss. I go to the children’s hospitals two days a week. The other days I see clients at Nutrichicos usually in the afternoons. Mornings are always a challenge as I’m not a morning person….working on it!

But on the days I don’t see patients, I work on articles, videos and growing my business. Being a spokesperson, I also work with journalists and media channels providing commentary or appearing in shows to offer expert advice. Having a private practice allows me to have creative freedom, which I love, but it also entails a lot of hard work.

4. How do you find balance between work & personal?

It’s always a challenge I must say. I have a rule of not working on weekends, but that’s not always possible as I sometimes do workshops, or I travel for conference and speaking engagements. I’m currently working on a new rule of not being on my cell phone while I’m with my daughter. It’s about quality and not quantity. I don’t want to be distracted by social media while I’m with her. I usually wait until she goes to bed to catch up on work and stay current.

5. What are 3 foods you can’t live without?

Coffee, bread, chocolate, and wine…wait only three? Not possible! I could totally live in France or Italy and be like fish in the water.

Marina, thank you so much for sharing a little bit if yourself with the Food Heaven community! You can check Marina out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @ Nutrichicos and her website here.

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