Meet Joana Fraser, mama of two boys, pediatrician, and co-founder of Littlemore Organics.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Miami, Florida but moved around a few times as a kid as my Dad was a pilot. We lived in Florida and then Utah. Devastatingly, my Dad passed away when I was eleven, and my Mom, sister, and I moved to Scotland, where my Mom was born and raised.
What did you do before Littlemore?
I went to medical school in Scotland and completed a residency there. During, and after, medical school, I also completed the necessary requirements to be qualified as a physician in the USA. So, after my residency in the United Kingdom, I moved back to the USA and completed a three-year pediatrics residency.
Following that, I worked as a pediatrician in the Emergency Room at Boston Children's Hospital. Then, I chose to do a Fellowship in Pediatric Sports Medicine and have been (and continue to) work as a Pediatric Sports Medicine Attending at Boston Children's Hospital. I am also a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School.
How did you meet your significant other?
We met as two young twenty-somethings in a bar!
Did you always know you wanted kids?
My husband and I got married when I was 25, and he was 26. For a long time, kids were the last thing on our minds, and we always joke we were one of the first of our friend group to get married and one of the last to have kids. We traveled the world, lived in several places, and generally just enjoyed being young and carefree. There came the point where we both realized we couldn't imagine the rest of our lives without kids in it, and so we decided to have a family.
What's your philosophy on food and feeding your kids?
In my own personal eating and with my kids, I try to avoid thinking of any particular food as good or bad. I believe food shouldn't be used as a reward, a bribe, or punishment. I genuinely believe that everything in moderation is vital.
In our house, we eat dessert every night! I also firmly believe that kids and adults should all eat the same foods as much as possible. Yes, foods might need to be modified a little for babies, cut differently, or cooked a little longer, but there should be no such thing as “kids' food”.
What are your biggest business challenges?
The biggest challenge is that we don't know what we don't know. So, as much as we try and anticipate problems or issues and plan for them, we still get blindsided on occasion (ok, maybe a lot!). Similarly, so much of any business venture is knowing the right people. As first-time entrepreneurs in a new space, these connections and just learning how things work can be tricky to navigate.
What are your biggest parenting challenges?
With each stage of parenting, there are so many things to figure out, and there is no guidebook. Plus, what works for one kid doesn't work for another. The daily challenge of parenthood is to ensure I am doing the best thing for each of my children, to help them develop into the beautiful humans I know they are.
Sometimes this means being more hands-off and letting them figure it out on their own, which for me, and I imagine for many parents, is both one of the most challenging and most rewarding experiences of being a parent.
What do you do for YOU?
I love to read! I set aside at least twenty minutes each night before bed to read and become absorbed in a fiction book. I also need to regularly move my body. Some days this is just a walk, and if I have time, I'll go for a run, bike, or do yoga. I definitely get that endorphin high after exercise and notice a difference in myself and my mental health when I go without it for a while.
What's your favorite movie to watch over and over again?
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
I am a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), and I hope to put it more into practice one day. For now, it's just yoga in twenty-minute snippets at home.
What's your go-to dish when you have to make dinner?
Pasta with whatever veggies I have in the fridge and Rao's marinara sauce, or veggie chili.
When have you felt the proudest?
After delivering each of my children, and continuing every day as I watch them grow.
What's your favorite season of the year?
Summer, hands down!
What is your favorite thing to do outside?
A kid-free climb to the top of a mountain.
Who’s your favorite follow on Instagram?
The Instagram accounts I love are @1000hoursoutside, @solidstarts, and @jeanwang, a Boston Mama who posts about many things, and the products she recommends are ACTUALLY good and very useful!
What is your favorite item you've bought this year?
You can't beat a good pair of jeans. I love Madewell Jetsetter jeans. Outside of that, the best thing we spent money this year on was two weeks on Cape Cod, where we ate lots of lobster rolls, played in a big yard, and went on many family bike rides.
Experiences are better than stuff any day!