Mini-Reviews – Nutrition (various books)

Child of Mine: Feeding With Love and Good Sense
by Ellyn Satter
Bull Pub Co, Boulder CO
ISBN: 0923521518
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comments by Booker

Child of Mine focuses on meal-time atmosphere, mistakes parents make in forcing kids to eat, eat foods in regimented ways (must eat vegetables before bread, etc), and long-term ill-effects of messing with the child’s normal food-intake regulations.

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In a nutshell, her emphasis is on a division of responsibility. It is your job to put healthy, appropriate foods in front of your child at regular, predictable intervals. It is your child’s job to choose what to eat and how much to eat. She says our culture has gotten so far away from trusting our kids to know what they are hungry for and when they are full. That’s not to say you fix whatever the child wants, or let them eat junk food exclusively. It’s basically a solid-foods extension of breastfeeding on demand, rather than trying to get a baby to eat a set amount of food at a set time. You just offer regular meals and snacks, and trust your child to eat enough and balance out over the course of several days. She also addresses the issue of people only giving kids “kid food” like macaroni, chicken nuggets, hot dogs etc., instead of teaching them to gradually eat a variety of foods. Very readable and easy to understand, and good references to back it up!

 Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family
by Ellyn Satter
Kelcy Press, Boulder CO
ISBN: 0967118905
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comments by Booker

Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family covers some of the same ideas as Child of Mine, but focuses more on food myths, the current cultural obsession with looking at foods as either something to avoid, or as “medicine” that you eat only for a specific health benefit. She takes a much looser approach, encouraging you to make meals enjoyable and tasty, eat a wide variety, and go ahead and include some fats to add flavor and appeal. She also looks into the problems with trying to strictly follow government guidelines, such as the food guide pyramid or RDA’s, and how they’ve contributed to some cultural misconceptions. She includes some recipes, samples of rotation menus, and nutrition information. This is as much about adult diets as children, while Child of Mine is specifically about children.

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