Our family was introduced to “The Doctor Yum Project” through Wendy Cannon and Fredericksburg Cooperative Preschool. Our first visit to the kitchen was in May of 2015 for a 3’s class fieldtrip. We were hooked! While in the fours class, our oldest (Charlotte) loved the monthly Doctor Yum lessons and asked us to buy children’s knives so that she and her sister, Maggie, could help in the kitchen at home. Charlotte was invited to participate in a video series produced by the Doctor Yum Project. She chopped peppers with Chef Joy Crump and still talks about this experience three years later.
When Maggie, our now five-year-old, was in the 4s class at FPI she also looked forward to the monthly lessons. Maggie was always more willing to try new foods because her friends were doing it as well and because she helped to prepare it. Maggie and I also began attending kitchen hours and helping to test out new recipes.
Our family realized the true magic of the Doctor Yum Project earlier this year. In February, Maggie was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. This was an overwhelming change for us and it was made infinitely easier because of our experience with the Doctor Yum Project. Maggie’s favorite recipes (such as Pineapple Power Salad and ABC Dip) were naturally gluten free. 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 Doctor Yum Project has helped reinforce this.
Charlotte and Maggie both talk about “Doctor Yum” frequently and ask when we can visit the kitchen again. We are hopeful that in the future the project will offer an “allergy friendly” class. Sometimes Maggie feels sad and overwhelmed by her dietary restrictions and we would love for her to get to know other children with the same challenges. In the meantime, the Doctor Yum Project continues to influence our lives daily and we are very grateful that such an organization exists in our community.