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02 November, 2006

Book Review: The Healthiest Kids in the Neighborhood : Ten Ways to Get Your Family on the Right Nutritional Track

Read and Reviewed for Frontstreet Reviews

Are your kids junk food kids?

Dr. William Sears, a well known pediatrician, has written a book with his wife and two sons (themselves doctors) about getting your kids to eat healthier. He admits that raising healthy kids is getting harder and harder to do. These days, there are fast food restaurants everywhere, school lunches frequently have junk food as a part of the meal, and there is an overabundance of trans-fats and high risk sweeteners in the snacks and foods targeted at children. More and more kids are being diagnosed with illnesses like A.D.D., diabetes, cholesterol imbalances, and being overweight at an early age. These are situations that can be linked directly to the foods that children are eating.

The book is broken down into chapters that first identify good foods and then explain how and why these choices can boost a person's immunity. Another chapter focuses on how to make changes that will result in your children craving healthy foods, not junk, and one that shouldn't be missed talks about how to go shopping with young children and still come home with healthy foods instead of attractively-packaged junk. There are also answers to many nutritional questions that parents may have and a section with kid friendly recipes.

This book is written in a tone that sounds helpful without being preachy. It helps parents learn how to plan meals and snacks that will instill healthy eating habits that will carry over into adulthood. Dr. Sears is able to share with his readers the knowledge and experience that his family has gained throughout the years, and his sons are proof that his methods work. He uses examples of real families throughout the book along with some very helpful advice for both parents and children.

I found the book to be a great reference guide to how different foods help or hinder our health. I especially loved the chapters that broke down the “grow foods” or super foods for kids. They show us why the super foods are super for our children (and us as well) and give us ways to include these foods in our daily eating to maximize their importance to growth and general heath. Most of what was explained should be common sense to the caring parent, however it was great to see Dr. Sears’ advice on what to look for when reading labels, and which vitamins are good to give your children in supplement form to enhance what they should be getting through food. The charts breaking down how much of a mineral you need each day (example iron, and calcium) and the best food sources for those minerals were extremely helpful. This is a book that will be helpful for those parents determined to raise their children as healthily as they can. Whether it is from their child’s first solid food stage, or as an older child that is slowly having his food choices changed from "junk food" to "pure food".

ISBN: 0316060127
ISBN-13: 9780316060127
Publication Date: September 2006
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Binding: Paperback

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