Our Mission

The Dr. Yum Project is a non-profit organization on a mission to help families and communities overcome barriers to eating well.

Defining Barriers

We all experience a variety of barriers when trying to eat well. At the Dr. Yum Project, we offer solutions for overcoming the most pressing and prevalent barriers, including:

  • Misconceptions that healthy food must be expensive, will not taste good, and is too time-consuming
  • Lack of basic cooking skills
  • Lack of familiarity with fruits, vegetables, and other whole food
  • Lack of access to cooking tools/equipment
  • Decreased food access
  • Nutrition myths
  • Misconceptions about cultural foods
  • Racial disparities
  • Homelessness and housing insecurity
  • Food insecurity
  • Lack of training in cultural sensitivity for healthcare providers
  • Lack of nutrition education in most medical professionals training programs

Our Action

We accomplish our mission by:

  • Teaching people how to cook using more fruits, vegetables and other whole foods, both in-person and online
  • Partnering with organizations to help at-risk communities learn to cook and eat better
  • Developing curricula for schools, like our research-based program “Dr. Yum’s Preschool Food Adventure” to help children and their families learn to cook and eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Engaging with physicians and other healthcare providers locally and nationally at annual meetings like the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo annual meeting to serve as a resource for nutrition and food education for professionals to use in counseling their patients.

Our Impact

We believe our success comes from the hands-on experiences we have with families. Two of our founders are physicians who have worked to identify real-life barriers to eating well in their day to day interactions with patients and their families. Our team then examines those barriers and comes up with creative solutions to test in our local community and through our in-person classes at the Dr. Yum Project Kitchen. Lastly, when we find ideas that really work, we share them with a broader audience through our free website, online classes, and with our national medical partners. See how we are helping families both in and outside of our community.

Our Partners

We partner with regional and national nonprofit organizations, schools, and universities to provide cooking instruction to families and at-risk communities. Some of these partners include food pantries, farmers markets, health support groups, and social services agencies. We work with a wide variety of early childhood centers regionally and internationally to implement our research-based curriculum, Dr. Yum’s Preschool Food Adventure. We partner with healthcare providers both locally and nationally to serve as a resource for sharing nutrition and cooking information with patients.

What Others are Saying

We are helping all types of families and communities overcome barriers to eating well. We are proud of our record of success but don’t take our word for it. See what others are saying.

Our Story

In response to the growing rates of childhood obesity, pediatrician Nimali Fernando MD, MPH, fondly known as Dr. Yum, started the Dr. Yum website in 2011 to teach her patients and their families about the benefits of healthy eating. What started out as a recipe site and a few after school cooking classes grew to a bigger project focused on identifying and overcoming barriers to eating well within her community and beyond. In 2012, The Dr. Yum Project, a 501 (c)3 organization was born. In 2014, our teaching kitchen and garden were opened. This space serves as our hub for in-person teaching and our home base for outreach and virtual teaching.

Our Team

Our small but mighty team includes a volunteer board and an enthusiastic staff. We are all powered by our dedication to this important mission. Learn more about our team.