Julie Graves, MD, PhD
Dr. Graves is a mom to one grown daughter and a family medicine and public health physician with over 30 years of experience in lactation consulting, hospital and office family medicine, maternity care, and care for people with disabilities. She is the author of many textbook chapters and of articles in prestigious medical journals, including The Lancet, Birth, and The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine and has taught nurses, physicians, and midwives in medical and nursing schools. She has worked to improve the quality of medical care with the Medicare program and with a state medical licensing board.
What’s your favorite parenting tip? Raise the child(ren) you have. Sometimes the child(ren) you have is/are different than what you expected or asked for, but if you raise them as they are and not try to turn them into someone they aren’t, all will be happier and healthier.
What has surprised you most about parenting? How much I love the day-to-day work of childrearing,
How do you get your kids to eat healthy food? Do it myself: Set the example. Have fun cooking healthy, together. And, at the grocery store, shop around the perimeter, avoiding the processed foods found up and down the aisles. There are no chips, sodas, or other junk foods in our house. There are fruit, nuts, teas, and chocolate (yes, a little bit is ok!) and fun cookbooks for vegetarian, Asian, regional, and classic French cuisines. So cooking together is as much a part of the meal as eating. And, this is a trick answer- often when cooking together, when my daughter was younger, I asked her to make 1.5 times, or 3/4 times, the recipe. So she learned how to multiply fractions in the kitchen, with delicious results!
How do you work exercise into your family’s life? Hikes and swims together, and active vacations – scuba diving, surfing, sailing, skiing. We keep 5- and 10-pound weights, exercise bands, and yoga mats in the living room, so during TV times there are weights and stretches during commercials. We take yoga class together—in cute yoga clothes we shopped for as a treat. When out for errands or shopping, we park away from the store, so there are walks during errands, and we take stairs instead of elevators when possible. We find exercise in daily life, in addition to fun sports.
How do you recharge your batteries? Read—aloud to my daughter until she wanted to read things herself—and now often side by side. We take vacations that teach: art history tours, train trips across Europe, learning to surf and scuba dive. We share music, and we schedule time to catch movies we both love—especially action adventure movies!