What the Doctor Says About Child Nutrition and Real Food

Maya_head.jpg"Real food is any food that supports you in all the amazing things you achieve today and dream of achieving tomorrow. It's food that brings you joy and satisfaction while always keeping your longterm health in mind. Real food is food that is worthy of you…because it was made with love." -Dr. Maya Adam
Maya Adam is a medical doctor who has taught at Stanford since 2009. Before attending medical school, Dr. Adam was a professional ballet dancer for ten years at the State Theater of Saxony in Germany. She is also the mother of three young children. 

Dr. Adam's courses on child health and nutrition are offered through the Program in Human Biology. Her online courses have generated a community of more than 60,000 international students. At the School of Medicine, she produces online content for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded project, "Re-imagining Medical Education." In 2013, she created the online Stanford course, Child Nutrition and Cooking. She also gave a great presentation on "Why we fight with our food."

Dr. Adam's massive open online course aims to prevent childhood obesity by inspiring a return to simple home cooking. In 2013, Adam also founded Just Cook for Kids, a nonprofit organization that creates and shares educational videos on healthy eating and cooking for families.

"Real foods, prepared with love and eaten with family or friends, can foster a lifelong preference for nutritious, delicious foods."

Cooking for Kids involves children in the cooking process, they learn to love the foods that will support good health and enjoyment throughout their lifetimes.
“Kids understand more when you involve them, whenever possible, in the shopping, cooking and eating of real, fresh foods. In this way, we can empower them to take charge of making the right eating choices from a young age”.
Dr. Adam recently watched "Sweet Revenge: Turning the tables on processed food" and reflected on the impact of the public television program that has now been seen by over one-million people on 400 television stations:
Let's say I'm a member of the general public and Dr. Lustig – who actually reminds me of my principal in high school! – has convinced me that too much sugar is killing us. (I saw all the heads shaking in disbelief in the video.) But now I'm aware (and feeling a little depressed and sort of anxious because I've heard things I cannot unhear) and just taking away all of the foods that contain sugar seems like it would be really, really hard… so what do I do? Well, the more motivated audience members will make significant calculated reductions in the foods they buy and consume that have sugar in them. This will involve a lot of label reading and willpower… but many people in that audience will think, "This is just too damn hard. And I have other problems in my life that just seem more urgent right now!?" 
This is where I think the next step comes in. What if the IRN focused its phase 2 energy in setting a trend – starting a fashion – the fashion of the simple, throw-it-together-and-enjoy-it home cook. This new fashion involves knowing how to spend your food dollars well, even if there aren't many of them, being uncompromising about the quality of the foods you choose to put into your body (is this food worthy of me?). And doing it all with a sense of ease – like a French woman riding her bike down the street while she puts on her lipstick… do you know what I mean? I think the next step (change) has to be so entrancingly appealing that we WANT to try it on for size."
Well, Dr. Maya Adam, we are listening! Your educational work is an inspiration, in part for the very reason you highlight in your reflection on Sweet Revenge - you make this look easy! 

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