Monday, November 24, 2008

Book Report: How to Get Kids to Eat Great and Love It!

How to Get Kids to Eat Great and Love it, by Christine Wood, MD, was recommended to me by a couple different people.

In general, I feel like Laina is a good eater and will usually try whatever we put on her plate. Lately, that has been changing a bit. She does still eat a pretty wide variety of foods, especially grains - she loves them all, in any form. She also loves dairy products, fruit, and some veggies (peas, please!). The problem I'm running into is that she is less likely to eat veggies that she is not familiar with (and sometimes even those she is). So, thought I'd check this book out. The local library did not have it, so I had to put in a request for them to acquire it from a different county's library. It came and I read through it fairly quickly. Part of that haste was knowing that I wouldn't be able to renew it since it's an interlibrary loan and it HAS to be back on the due date.

Some of it was good, some of it was ok, and some of it was outdated. It was published in 2002, but already there are newer studies challenging some of her claims (like new studies on food allergies and how it may not be necessary or even beneficial to delay introducing certain "highly allergenic" foods). Dr Wood places a lot of emphasis on the Food Guide Pyramid, which I don't necessarily agree with. (It's ok as long as you realize that the grains and breads forming the base of the pyramid need to be whole grain. And, good fats should not be limited to the "use sparingly" category.)

Over all it was educational, had some good info, and I think will help me. One thing that makes a lot of sense and that I definitely will remember is that as a parent, it's our job to provide healthy meals, and it's the kid's job to eat it. She said children are very good at regulating their hunger, and if they don't eat as much as we feel like they should, that's ok. On some level I already knew this, but it's helpful to hear it from a doctor.

The book is divided into three sections. Section A contains information on what in our environment is detrimental to our and our children's health and how antioxidants in the diet (and through proper supplementation) are so important in fighting off environmental toxins. It's the basic background to why we need to be thoughtful about what we put into our children's bodies.

Section B takes the reader through each stage in childhood from infants to adolescents and gives tips on how best to approach feeding and nutrition in each stage.

I found Section C the most interesting. Titled "The War Against Diseases - Now & Long into Adulthood" it talks about how different nutrients play a key role in preventing and even improving different conditions such as allergies, asthma, exzema, ear infections, sinus problems, and attention deficit disorder.

Over all I do recommend checking it out. It's a good resource and there is definitely more that I did agree with than those few parts I didn't. Setting up the proper foundation for healthy eating and living is so important and has the potential to protect our kids from degenerative disease and obesity. The book reminded me of something I read somewhere else (I think from "Healthy for Life", which will have it's own review in due time) - in America, we live in the land of plenty, are overeating, yet starving nutritionally. It is making me more and more want to move out to the country, milk my own goats and farm my own food like my parents did when I was young (see pic below, me and my mom in the late 70s). For now, I'm going to be extra conscientious of what I buy (try to buy organic as much as possible), where I buy it (farmer's markets), and how I prepare it. Then, to make up for what we still lack from our foods, we are taking high quality nutritional supplements (which will be another review I'm sure).


Mike and Rachel said...

I just heard a sad statistic. 20 years ago kids drank 2 times as much milk as soda and now it is the opposite. Yuck!

It sounds like a good read.

susan allport said...

Thought you might be interested in this short omega-3 video:

Jenna said...

Susan - Thanks for the great video link. It briefly mentioned infant formula with added omega-3 fatty acids. I wanted to point out that it's also important for breastfeeding mothers to consume lots of omega-3 as well, so that it will be passed on through the breast milk.