Our Impact at a Glance

150 Events Each Year Nutrition Education in our teaching kitchen, in our community and virtually with more than 150 classes and nutrition outreach events with our partners each year.

3,500 Children Per Year Dr. Yum’s Preschool Food Adventure, our research-backed preschool curriculum shows teachers and parents how to teach young eaters about healthy food, reaching 3,500 children and their families in 11 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

21,000 Households Every Year Our website, DoctorYum.org has hundreds of free recipes, a meal planner and the Meal-O-Matic customizable recipe tool impacts thousands of families each year

Our Impact: Dr. Yum's Preschool Food Adventure

Karen was a teacher at the King George YMCA preschool, where many of her kids were hesitant to try new foods and tended to eat a lot of processed kid-friendly snacks. In 2013 Dr. Yum approached her school with Dr. Yum’s Preschool Food Adventure, a curriculum she hoped would change the way children learned to eat at school and how families cooked and ate at home.  Virginia has the highest rates of obesity among low-income preschoolers in the nation. When parents aren’t given a clear road map of how to teach their children to eat nutritious foods, they often rely on the processed, convenient, kid-friendly choices that can contribute to obesity and other diet-related illness. Karen remembers first seeing the lessons in the curriculum, one of which featured a tangy broccoli salad. Knowing the usual preferences of the kids in her class, both she and the parents of her students worried that her preschoolers would not be open to trying the recipes. 

She came to training and learned techniques from the Dr. Yum team on how to engage students in food exploration and how to encourage parents. In her first lesson, Karen recalls how every student tried the broccoli salad and many were asking to eat more. She says, “I really started to realize how impactful the curriculum was when several kids started packing the salad as a snack. Many were asking their parents to make the recipe at home. Over six years, some of our families have had more than one child go through the curriculum and I have seen them grow more interested in healthy cooking as a family. It's not just changing how the kids eat at school, it's changing how the whole family cooks and eats together."

Dr. Yum's Food Adventure: Home Edition

“Since doing Dr. Yum, Marlee is more willing to try different foods now. She has found some new ones she really enjoys. I’m very glad her school introduced this program to her and our family!”

Our Impact: Nutritional Education

Dr. Yum's partnership with FAHASS

When a person faces a diagnosis of a chronic medical illness, eating a nutritious diet becomes more important than ever. However, many people don’t have basic cooking skills and in fact, less than half of all men actually do any cooking at home. A new reality of a chronic illness may leave little time for learning a skill like preparing healthy foods. FAHASS is a nonprofit that provides support for clients with HIV. They wanted their clients to learn how to optimize their health by eating healthy food and asked the Dr. Yum Project to provide basic cooking and nutrition information to interested clients in a series of classes.

In one of our first sessions, we met Doug who works at a pizza shop and was eating a whole pizza a day. DYP team members Sarah and Wendyshowed him basic cooking skills and gave him a grocery tour with information on reading labels and making smart food choices. Within a few weeks the impact on his lifestyle was exciting! After learning some basic cooking, he expanded his diet and got down to eating just a couple of pizza slices a week. He went from drinking sports drinks to drinking plain water. Doug says, “I've expanded the number of different foods I eat. I never knew about arugula and now that I know about it, I can't get enough! I eat more fruits and vegetables now, instead of cookies and other sweets and I'm a more conscientious shopper too. I look at labels now. I never did that before. My blood pressure and bad cholesterol have gone down and I just feel better! It's changed everything." Doug continues to come to class hoping to learn more recipes and expand his cooking. horizons and overall health.

Our Impact: teaming up to fight food insecurity

The WIC produce pack program aims to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for low-to-medium income families with pregnant, breastfeeding or non-breastfeeding postpartum mothers or children under 5. It is a partnership between the health department and local nonprofits Virginia Community Food Connections and the Dr. Yum Project.

Our Impact: Recipe Website

Gabriel is a six year-old whose mother Mona is a friend of DYP team member Wendy Cannon. Gabriel's mother struggled to get him to eat a variety of foods, as he was a very anxious eater. He was selective about the few foods he ate and he didn't like to let any of his foods touch. Having a child who is a hesitant or anxious eater can be stressful for a family. And yet, feeding disorders are becoming all too common in children, with some experts estimating that almost a third of children may qualify as having a feeding disorder. Being a compassionate child, Gabriel decided to start his own fundraiser for an orphanage in Honduras and offered to do 500 jobs to earn $500! Wendy knew about his struggles with food and thought of a unique way to support his fundraiser! Because he lives in another state, the job she hired him to do was to make dinner for his own family using Dr. Yum’s Meal-o-Matic. He chose our Power Pasta Maker and much to everyone's surprise gave it a "Super Yum!"

Mona describes how Gabriel's anxiousness about food began to disappear as he tried all of the Meal-O-Matic meals using our website, including the Souper Soup Maker. They are now regularly using the Yum Score magnet from doctoryum.org to taste test foods. With all this practice he's now happily eating mixed together foods like zucchini rollups with sausage, cheese, and fire-roasted tomatoes. Mona says, “He is using the dog knives you recommend to cook regularly and has become a skilled helper in the kitchen. The other night he ate udon noodles. He didn't even blink. If I say it's from Dr. Yum, he just starts eating. It's like a miracle. Seriously thanks Wendy and The Dr. Yum Project for the challenge. Who knew it would be so impactful, not just for Gabriel but for our whole family."

Rappahannock Goodwill Industries

I am absolutely thrilled to have found your organization. I am working to expand our opportunities for individuals with disabilities to engage in food training opportunities. I would love to connect with you to learn more about how volunteers play a role in your organization.

Rappahannock Goodwill Industries has been operating a state licensed program that helps individuals with disabilities volunteer with local community organizations since 2016. We promote an internship style approach where individuals dedicate roughly 1-2 years on regular volunteering with vocational intensive learning. We have volunteers who become consistent contributors to organizations such as Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity and Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. We have a growing interest from current and incoming enrollees to expand our food training partnerships.

We benefited from the Community Café that operated for a short time in 2019 with support by MICAH. We also had a team that made regular lunches at Thurman Brisben Center and serving the meal to residents. I believe we previously saw some of your events when volunteers supported St. George’s TABLE initiative. But we are looking for more than cooking experience but also opportunities to learn about kitchen tools, healthy eating and meal planning.

I have individuals who not only are looking to strengthen their home cooking skills, but also want to pursue careers in the food industry. We were thrilled to discover your website and cooking classes. Both tools we are orientating our volunteers on to how to use and promoting participation in your virtual cooking classes. During COVID-19 we support many of our volunteers on virtual opportunities. Your Dr. Yum online series is a true blessing!

Thank you, Jessica N. Weber Manager- Day Support Services Rappahannock Goodwill Industries, Inc.

Dr. Yum's Food Adventure: Home Edition

"My kids absolutely loved this program. It was much more fun for them to hear someone else (rather than their boring mom) explain why it's important to eat different foods. My four-year-old daughter loved getting to hear about the science behind how her food grows and the "superpowers" it gives her. My three-year-old son liked talking about the different shapes and colors of the food we were making. It was a nice bonding experience for us as a family, and the kids really did try some new foods. No, it's not going to always persuade kids to eat everything and love it. I don't love all foods either, but they were willing to try foods I never in a million years would have seen them try. They snacked on chickpeas like they eat them every day, and I actually had to tell them off from eating all the spinach I had set out! As soon as I realized MY kids were eating SPINACH, I was shocked! The lessons are short, and the recipes are easy. We were able to do the program around our hectic lives. The customer service was outstanding! It really made the whole experience positive to be able to work together to make some yummy food."

Dr. Yum's Food Adventure: Home Edition Kaye Family

"Our family realized the true magic of the Dr. Yum Project [when] Maggie was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Thanks to the monthly lessons, she understood (at four years old!) that different foods contain different nutrients needed for a healthy body. When we explained that she was deficient in certain nutrients, she was more willing to try new foods. She knows that her new diet means that she needs to be more willing to try new things and the Dr. Yum Project has helped reinforce this."

Dr. Yum's Food Adventure: Home Edition Mya

My 4-year old learns a lot about food at preschool, but this program is so unique! For her it's about using all the senses to explore new foods in so many ways besides "just trying a bite". For me as a mom, it's learning the medical science around her developmental stages, reasons kids may be averse to trying new foods, and how to manage that patiently by a team of health professionals. Most of the tips I've learned in this program I haven't heard anywhere else and they are SO helpful to the whole family. Thank you Dr. Yum Project! Highly recommend!