Mealtime is a strong treatment component at Turning Winds. Sitting around a table and having a great conversation is a timeless ritual that deepens relationships and imparts a sense of renewal. This daily routine quickly and effortlessly becomes a disciplined and anticipated familiar event. Members of staff eat meals with the kids and engage in a more casual and relaxed way as part of the group.
Our teens not only learn about the importance of nutrition and exercise as keys to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but they also live it. It is our philosophy that as Turning Winds students become physically healthy they are able to invest more of themselves emotionally, therefore engaging fully in the therapeutic process. Health and wellness are important tools we use to help facilitate change at our therapeutic school with the teens we work with.
A nutritionist oversees all of the chef-prepared meals that are designed to improve physical and mental health. Kids occasionally help out in the kitchen and learn culinary techniques that support self-care and self-reliance. Fruits and vegetables are left out as snacks. The program works on adjusting perceptions around food and establishing healthy eating habits.
In cases where struggles with food intake have been diagnosed, we have medical and clinical staff to help customize meal plans. Specialized dietary requests can be accommodated as well, including vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free meals.
Head chef Veronica Langton is an experienced and excellent international cook who is in charge of ordering, preparing, and creating delicious meals for the students and her colleagues. Langton puts her whole heart into every meal she prepares but she does much more than cooking.
She tries to connect with new students as soon as possible. “Sometimes it’s not that easy,” she says. “They’re often kind of upset when they arrive. So, after a while, I go around and say, ‘hey, what is your favorite food?’ After they tell me, I can fix something that makes them feel better. Soon they say, ‘Veronica, what’s for lunch? What’s for dinner?’ I like to make them fun food, for them to feel connected and they like it.”