Nimali Fernando, “Dr. Yum”

Known by some in my community as "Doctor Yum," I am a pediatrician and founder of The Doctor Yum Project, a nonprofit organization in Spotsylvania. We try to help families understand the connection between good food and good health with cooking instruction and nutrition education. I love teaching families how to raise kids who have great eating habits, which is why I co-authored, Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater, published in 2015. I also love to teach families that early and regular reading with children from infancy can lead to later success in school and a love of reading for life.

My sons have enjoyed the summer reading program at the Salem Church Library for years. To help introduce healthy eating to area children, for the third summer in a row, the Doctor Yum Project has provided farmers' market tokens as prizes for summer readers.

Here are some of Dr. Fernando's favorite books:

Comedian Trevor Noah weaves together stories of an unbelievable childhood in South Africa. I recommend the audiobook, as he narrates it beautifully with an incredible gift of language and dialects.  Also available in print.

This is a haunting story of friendship and mortality. One of the first really sad books I read and reread as a child. Also available as an eBook and on audio.

One of my favorite stories of friendship which I read so many times as a child. Also available on audio.

Quite simply one of the best books I ever read. Abraham Verghese’s book is a fascinating story of an Indian family in Africa and weaves in elements of medicine that are raw and captivating. Also available on audio CD, as an eBook, in large print, and as a book club kit.

Michael Pollan is one of my favorite writers on food and this is his wisdom distilled to the essence of how we should practice eating.

I have been a fan of Dr. Greger’s daily nutrition videos about the latest scientific studies on nutrition. This book is a comprehensive look at of all the research he has compiled and will give the reader an incredible appreciation of the healing power of food.

Lovely, page-turning story set in a haunting background of Afghanistan. Also available on audio CD, as an eBook, and in large print.

It’s my book, so not sure if I should include it in this list. I only put it here because I have seen how much it has helped families with parenting around feeding and given them a clear roadmap on how to raise kids with great eating habits. We're glad she included this very helpful guide to making better nutrition more fun for everyone. Also available as an eBook.

I read this SO many times to my boys from the time they were babies. I love all the funny foods the caterpillar eats, I can probably still recite all of them even still! Also available as a board book.

Pick this up when you have a little time. You will not be able to put down this gorgeous account of the process of death through the eyes of a young neurosurgeon. Also available as an eBook and to download on audio.

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