I was recently invited to be a member of the Advisory Committee for The Doctor Yum Project. I’m truly impressed with this organization and what they’ve achieved in just a couple years! Yesterday was my first advisory meeting, and I found it very informative.
The purpose of The Doctor Yum Project is to combat childhood obesity through innovative programs that engage children of all ages and teach them the importance of heathy eating practices. Their vision is to:
1) Engage children, families and the greater community
2) Create a wellness-centered culture
3) Impact obesity and lifestyle-related illness
4) Promote a healthy lifestyle using social media and technology
The organization’s programs include week-long cooking academies over the summer, a new teaching garden, and cooking clubs which have all been successful. One program that I would like to highlight is their Preschool Nutrition Program, which incorporates an interactive curriculum designed to introduce preschoolers to the joy eating fruits and vegetables. I have been trying to implement similar nutrition practices in my own home. My boyfriend’s daughter is 5-years-old and has been extremely receptive to my healthy eating practices. Although she doesn’t like every healthy thing that I make, she is still willing to try it and seems impressed when something tastes good that isn’t made with sugar. That’s why I think the Preschool Nutrition Program is so important. At that age, they are open to learning new information and have the ability to stop bad eating practices before they even start.
There were eight schools that participated in this program last year. The organization received great feedback and is poised to grow the program, expanding to the YMCAs in Caroline and Spotsylvania. I spoke with Nimali Fernando, MD, MPH, the founder of The Doctor Yum Project, about implementing the preschool program into Stafford preschools. She was in favor of the idea and we will be working together to try and make that happen for the upcoming school year.
Please check out their website! There is plenty of information on their programs, as well as many recipes that are kid-friendly.
– Vanessa Griffin
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