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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

book: The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood

(image from Google)

The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood - Ten Ways to Get Your Family on the Right Nutritional Track by William Sears, M.D., Martha Sears, R.N., James Sears, M.D., and Robert Sears, M.D.

This was an awesome book! I definitely recommend you pick this one up, even if just at the library. It was easy to read, short, and FILLED with interesting information about good nutrition and healthy eating and feeding of our children.

Some great info...

On page 52 the authors wrote, "A portion that is bigger than your child's fist is too much!" Interesting. I had no idea his stomach was that little. It's a good reminder.

The authors wrote to avoid the "terrible threes" in food, which are:
-high fructose corn syrup
-hydrogenated oils or trans fats
-any color additives with a number symbol attached to it (e.g. blue#1, yellow#5, red#40)
They said, "If you make this one change - avoiding foods that contain any of these three ingredients - you will have gone 90 percent of the way toward de-junking your child's diet."

Did you know that most foods are likely to be accepted by your fussy toddler between the ages of 2 and 3? The authors recommend offering and re-offering the same veggies that your child has thrown off the tray, because the more the child sees and tries the food the more likely she will eat them.

My favorite part of the book was starting on page 122 the list of "Superfoods for kids: The Top Twelve." The authors describe why each of these foods is important for healthy development. The 12 superfoods include:

On page 186, the authors give some negative words and foods to avoid:
hydrolyzed vegetable protein
BHT and other preservatives
any other color-number combo
*NOTE- When I was pregnant I was told to stay away from the color-foods also. You'd be surprised how many foods have coloring in them! Doritos do, any candy does. It's interesting.

The authors encouraged on page 263 that people should buy these "dirty dozen" as organic to avoid pesticides and chemicals:

On page 296 and 297 the authors include a great checklist box of tips for "How to Grow the Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood - A Review."
A few tips include:
-limit sweetened beverages
-survey your kitchen for the "bad words"
-serve whole grains instead of processed ones
-raise a grazer
-buy organic
-raise veggie lovers

One great tip the authors mentioned was "closing the kitchen" in between meal times. What this means is mom or dad is not going to make anything special until lunch, snack or dinner, therefore if kids are hungry they can go to the lowest drawer in the fridge and pull out some veggies or fruits to eat in between other meal times. I love this idea!

Overall, a great book! Full of great information. These are just some highlights. A good resource to buy. In the back of the book there are all kinds of kid-healthy recipes. Here is one that I want to try (sounds yucky at first but I think I could make it better with some apple thrown in there, too).

Meatloaf Muffins by the Sears authors

2 lbs ground turkey or chicken
2 eggs
1 cup whole-grain bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, diced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red onion, diced
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups grated low fat Monterey Jack cheese

Special additions- 1/4 cup honey or to taste - gives a sweet taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until completely combined. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased muffin tin and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the meatloaf is firm to the touch. Remove from the tin and serve. Serves 6 to 8.


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