January 27, 2017

FSCN recently interviewed alumna Xiaochun (Snow) Wang, who after graduation returned to her hometown of Beijing to work in the healthcare industry. She has since gone on to publish a cookbook for parents, with recipes to prepare when their children are sick. 

Name: Xiaochun (Snow) Wang
Degree earned at the U: MS in nutrition, defended 2012
Thesis title: A Bowl of Rice and a Cup of Tea: Intercultural Perspectives on Health Effects
Advisers: Craig Hassel and Joanne Slavin
Current Employer: New Century Healthcare, Beijing, China. Locations: New century international children's hospital; and New century women's and children's hospital
Hometown: Beijing, China

cookbook cover in chinese with image of xiaochunTalk about your time at the U and how it influenced your career
The academic life at UMN taught me how to learn and how to think critically. I found that the way of learning, finding references, the skills of cooperating with people, and also the skills of project management are more important than knowledge itself.  

How did you become interested in nutrition?
I found nutrition interesting when I was an undergraduate studying herbal pharmacy before coming to UMN. After realizing so many people’s chronic diseases are due to unhealthy lifestyles, I found nutrition, exercise and healthy food choices are really crucial to ones health. I like Hippocrates’s saying of “let food be the medicine”, and I believe good nutrition status gives people good health.

How have you applied what you learned at the U to your career?
What I’ve seen at work is never the same as what I learned from books, it's a bit more complicated. But the counseling skills and problem solving skills I learned at UMN are very helpful to apply to daily work.  

What is the name of your cookbook and what is its focus?
On November 22nd 2016, my first nutrition book was launched via an online reading activity. The title of this book is "Pediatric Nutrition cookbook for disease recovery and optimal health" which aims to teach parents how to cook for their kids when they are sick. It also answers some common asked questions about food and nutrition. This book focuses on recipes. The creation of recipes combines modern western nutrition and traditional Chinese culture and Chinese Medicine together.

What drove you to write a cookbook?
At work, I realized that, the time, knowledge and information people get from clinical settings is limited and difficult for them to apply, not to mention to make any lifestyle changes. I decided to write a book so parents would be stick to these hands-on recipes.

How much of an impact has it had on you to be able to return to your hometown and help people towards better nutrition?
I am glad to a make a positive impact on the community, teaching them how to eat, how to exercise and loving life and being positive. It is like a dream come true for me to be able to share my passion in nutrition and help Chinese children, the next generation, to live healthier. I am glad it is well acknowledged by lots of doctors and parents, also amazed to see when parents followed some recipes, which really made a difference on their kids health.