Nimali Fernando, MD, MPH
Nimali is a pediatrician practicing in Fredericksburg, VA and founder of the website doctoryum.org and The Doctor Yum Project. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh school of Medicine and School of Public Health with an M.D. and Masters in Public Health. She completed residency and chief residency in Pediatrics at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center Houston and served there for two years as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the department of Pediatrics. In 2005 she and her husband, also a physician, moved their family back east to Fredericksburg, Virginia. In 2014 she opened Yum Pediatrics, a full service general pediatrics practice with a focus on wellness and prevention through a healthy diet. Yum Pediatrics shares a large teaching kitchen and teaching garden with The Doctor Yum Project. She is also co-author of the new book, “Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater, a Parent’s Handbook” and just started a new website with her co-author, ParentingInTheKitchen.com, a go-to resource for raising healthy, happy eaters. A portion of the royalties of her new book and website will be donated to the Doctor Yum Project’s programs.
Heidi is at her core, passionate about connecting busy families with great resources available to make their lives easier, healthier and all around more fulfilling. In her current position as the Director of Operations and Marketing for Fredericksburg Parent and Family Magazine, Heidi has spearheaded many programs helping local families feel more connected with the community, including Play with your Plate, a partnership with Doctor Yum where in area restaurants rehabilitate their kids menus to offer healthier dining options. Prior to her time with FredParent, Heidi was the founding Executive Director for Blue Star Families, a non-profit organization created to support, empower and connect military families. Her background also includes eight years in roles as a Shopping Center Marketing Director in California, Maryland, Virginia and Hawaii, and 13 years as a small business owner with Barefoot Moments Custom Photography. In her personal life, Heidi and her husband Dave stay busy with their active sons aged 13 and 9 with the typical school, sports and extra-curricular activities and enjoy making time to run, hike, surf, ski and travel as much as life allows.
Santhi Nair, MD
Santhi was born in India. Her family moved to the United States when she was 5 years old. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from The George Washington University. She earned her Medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine (Dominica, West Indies). She completed her Pediatric Residency and Chief Residency at Crozer Chester Medical Center in Pennsylvania. She went on to work as an Attending Physician in General Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 2006 she and her husband moved to Fredericksburg, VA to be close to their families. Currently she is practicing pediatrics at The Community Health Center of the Rappahannock Region in Fredericksburg, VA. She is Board Certified with the American Board of Pediatric and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Nair is very passionate about fighting the epidemic of Obesity. She is and wants to be involved in promoting a Heart Healthy Lifestyle for her patients and her community. Her husband Sudeep Menachery is a physician at the Hematology Oncology Associates of Fredericksburg. Together they have two daughters, Riya and Rehka. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, gardening, reading, travelling and experiencing different cultures.
Taylor was born and raised in Fredericksburg, VA. He is well known for his bodacious beard of course but also for his role in the community. He actively raises money for charities that help children in the Fredericksburg and surrounding areas as well as nationwide! His clients include the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the Children’s National Medical Center and Rappahannock Area YMCAs. He is also an active member of the beard community, traveling across the country to competitions and events, rallying support for charities, and speaking along the way. His work can be found on his website http://www.beardimusmaximus.
Daryle Darden, MD
Daryle is a local physician and devoted spouse of Dr. Yum. He is also known to his children as “Dr. Yuck” for being caught red handed with junk food on a few occasions. In his defense, he tries to lead by example and devote a lot of his diet to veggies, green smoothies, and drinking clean refreshing H2O. He works at a local Fredericksburg medical imaging practice (Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg). When not goofing around with the kids, he assists the Dr. Yum Project with accounting, website work, and general IT related issues.
Cooking Program Instructor and Preschool Curriculum Liaison
Cooking Program Instructor
Formerly known as Thomas the “Tiny Taster”, Noah has grown up along with The Doctor Yum Project, tasting and critiquing some of Doctor Yum’s earliest recipes. Noah also volunteered at some of the very first cooking camps, where is became comfortable cooking and teaching kids in the kitchen. Now he is in college working towards being in the medical field himself. Noah enjoys being in the in teaching kitchen and instructing a new generation of Tiny Tasters, showing them that healthy food can be fun, too. He is a great spokesperson for the Doctor Yum Project, and may be spotted around town making green smoothies, passing out recipes and helping to create a culture of wellness.
Laura’s Facebook Page
Ashleigh Buyers is a multimedia designer and University of Mary Washington graduate. She started working with the great team at Dr. Yum Project in 2011 when she was still in college. Ashleigh has continued to work with them on a number of inspirational projects such as the Dr. Yum Project preschool curriculum, Dr. Yum’s “Raising a Healthy Happy Eater” book and most recently the recipe website.
When she is not working her magic through the Adobe Creative Suite, she can be found driving, walking and biking all over northern Virginia taking in all the sights, sounds and tastes it has to offer. She is especially fond of a certain frozen custard shop in Fredericksburg. Strawberry milkshake, please!
Cooking Program Instructor
Melanie, a wife to one and mother to 6, is passionate about healthy living and loves to create new recipes and test them on her family. Her kids have an age range that spans 15 years and their tastes vary wildly so she frequently needs to be creative! The older kids love their veggies (one even follows a vegetarian diet) but the younger kids are still practicing and growing their love for veggies. They are amazed when, after proclaiming that they love a dish, she tells them it’s full of vegetables! So Melanie has learned over the years what works and what doesn’t in guiding a child on their journey towards healthy eating.