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This doctor says food is, indeed, medicine

A metal sign stands in front of a red brick wall. The brightly colored sign directs people into the Dr. Yum Project kitchen.
Angie Miles
VPM News Focal Point
A growing number of physicians, including a Fredericksburg pediatrician known affectionately as “Dr. Yum”, are prescribing healthy foods to improve physical well-being

In America, an increasing number of physicians are treating food as medicine. One pediatrician has adjusted her pediatric practice to take children and their families into the kitchen. The Dr. Yum Project, which is the name of the non-profit, has impacted the health outcomes of thousands, including children in 29 states using the Dr. Yum preschool curriculum


ANGIE MILES: The Biden administration has called for Medicaid health benefits to be used for the purchase of groceries. A creative solution addressing food scarcity and poor nutrition, and acknowledging the medicinal power of food. In Fredericksburg, Dr. Nimali Fernando has been working on the same issue with children, promoting food as medicine in her pediatric practice.

NIMALI FERNANDO: A lot of the kids I was seeing were either overweight or obese, and I wanted to really sort of study, what are kids eating? How can I help? How can we prevent this? So that's what I set out to do, starting the Dr. Yum Project, and then also shifting my practice to a private practice where I could share a kitchen, share a garden, and really focus on nutrition as sort of the cornerstone of the practice.

ANGIE MILES: By teaching children and their families how food can alleviate many ailments like attention issues and weight challenges, and improve overall wellness, her practice and the connected nonprofit, known as the Dr. Yum Project, are working to change outcomes for whole communities.

HEIDI DeEUGENIO: The Meal o Matic is a really cool tool that you can use. You can look in your refrigerator or your pantry and see what's available, and then create a customized recipe out of all those things in your kitchen. It's a really great way to be able to get kids that don't think they like a lot of foods to be able to control what the meal is with foods that they do like.

ANGIE MILES: According to the founders, data demonstrates already that the effort to promote the curative power of food is paying dividends in healthier communities and improved diets.


Angie Miles, Host/Producer, anchors and hosts VPM News Focal Point and special broadcasts.
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