If there were one nutrition book I would recommend every family have in their household it would have to be Nutrition for Life
. Originally published in 2005, the book has since been updated and re-released in 2007, and is still relevant today. This book covers nutritional needs from infancy to old age and everything in between, which makes it the perfect at-home reference for families.
The problem I have with most nutrition books is that they are either:
- too simple,
- too complex
- too specific
- full of junk information.
The authors of Nutrition for Life
have found the perfect blend of readability and useful information. One of the best things about this book is the wide range of topics it covers. This book is your one-stop-shop for everything you need or want to know about your family’s nutrition, and could replace all other nutrition books in your library. Even as a dietitian, I find myself referring to it often.
The authors cover everything including the basics of a healthy lifestyle, what different nutrients are and why we need them, and how to use food as preventative and therapeutic medicine for a number of conditions. They also provide extensive information on popular topics such as supplements, how diet can affect disease, food preparation and cooking, controlling your weight, and nutritional needs at every stage of the lifespan.
One of the best features of the book is the “Diet Directory” section which unbiasedly assesses popular diets and answers important questions such as “is the diet easy to maintain?”, “is eating out possible?”, and “is the plan family-friendly?”. Nutrition for Life also includes a nutrient reference guide complete with the Calorie, fat, carbohydrate, protein and fibre content for many foods.
Last but not least, you can trust the sources. Nutrition for Life is written by Lisa Hark, a dietitian with her Ph.D. who has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CNN and a ton of other networks. Darwin Deen is a medical doctor who has been studying nutrition for over 30 years.
This book covers so much information that you’re not likely to read it cover to cover (although you could), but rather refer to it whenever a nutrition question pops into your head. Sure, you could get all your nutritional information from the internet but sometimes it’s nice to have all your answers in one place, from a source you know and trust. If you frequently find yourself searching for answers to your nutrition questions online, you may save time and money with this book.You can purchase it at:
With all of the information floating around out there about health, nutrition, fitness and a healthy pregnancy, it can become difficult to determine (or remember) what is best for you and your little one while you are expecting.
Fortunately, Deirdre Dolan and Alexandra Zissu, two ladies who have been there before, have compiled a thorough resource for moms to be. Going a step beyond traditional “eat this during this trimester” advice Dolan and Zissu detail everything that can affect your unborn child’s health, from why organic matters to the coffee you drink to what you store your leftovers in. Even your hair dye and fingernail polish are topics of conversation. If it matters to the health of your fetus, they’re talking about it.
One of the most helpful and unique things about this book is the essays and personal accounts provided throughout it, that link advice to practical application, and make soon-to-be moms and dads feel like they have an ally in those who have faced what they are going through before.
Of course, if you’re the type of person who finds themselves worrying to a point that is more hurtful than helpful, this book might not be for you. It would be pretty much impossible to stick to every guideline that this book provides, so if you can’t read without worrying, either stick to the chapters that you can implement or find a less comprehensive guide.
Dolan and Zissu provide multiple delicious, gourmet recipes, including this one for pickled okra, that Caribbean folklore rumors helps a slow-moving baby come on:Pickled OkraFrom Peter Hoffman, chef of Savoy Restaurant in New York City
- 1 pound small okra pods (cut off any darkened stems but leave whole)
- 3 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon dill seeds
You can purchase the book at:
- Pack three 1-pint canning jars with the okra vertical and alternating stems and tips.
- Put a halved garlic clove in each jar as well.
- In a nonreactive metal pot, bring the liquids to a boil. Add the salt and spices.
- Allow to steep for 20 minutes.
- Fill the jars with the liquid to within 1 inch of the rims.
- Wipe the rims and put on the lids.
- Put the glass jars on a rack in a deep kettle and cover with hot water by 2 inches.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and boil for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the bath and leave to cool.
- Let the pickles mellow for 2 weeks minimum before tasting. Best at 1 month.
Author W. Allan Walker, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School, has compiled this book, making it the official Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating for Kids. As you might imagine, this expertise creates a book that is full of information and tips that even the parent who is well-versed in child nutrition might not know.
Walker begins his book by explaining why our children’s nutrition is so important, especially in the wake of the obesity and chronic disease epidemics that are plaguing the Western world. Focusing on children aged two through eight, Walker adopts a nutritional strategy based on the USDA food guide pyramid, leaning heavily on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
He advocates using this pyramid as an alternative to what are currently the top three food groups for children: milk, bread and sweets.
Walker instructs parents on appropriate physical activity time for their children and gives detailed instructions about how to choose better sources of carbohydrates, fats and proteins than children are currently eating and explaining why each of these groups (in the right quantities) is so important.
Answering a long-debated question in the medical profession, Walker delves into the world of vitamins, minerals and supplements, instructing parents that vitamins in pill form should be taken only as a form of insurance. Healthy, whole foods should always be the first source of healthy vitamins and minerals in a child’s diet.
All-in-all, Walker creates a book for parents who are simply looking for a happy medium in feeding their children well. He doesn’t go as far as to advocate organic food or “greener” options for parents, which might be easier to take for parents who are trying to slowly make changes toward a healthier life.
One of the biggest advantages to this book is that Walker provides a recipe and meal-planning resource for parents to make sure all of their children’s nutritional bases are covered each and every day. Here are a few of the easy swaps Walker suggests:
Instead of frozen….Try…French FriesBaked potato “fries”:
Slice potatoes or sweet potatoes, place on pan sprayed with oil, sprinkle with olive oil and bake.PizzaMini pizza
: Use half of a medium whole-grain pita, bagel or English muffin, add tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, and bake.TV Dinners:
Ready-made broiled chicken with fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables. Or, when you have the time, make a double portion of a dish and freeze for later use.
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Tosca Reno, author of the National Bestselling book The Eat-Clean Diet
, takes her healthy nutrition advice one step further, advising parents of strategies to bring healthy nutrition to their children.
Reno advocates, for children and parents alike, not dieting, but embracing a healthy lifestyle where whole foods take center stage. In her words, clean eating “is all about making smarter food choices, eating more often and stimulating the most effective fat-burning mechanism you already possess, your metabolism.”
To do this, she recommends eating six small meals each day, every two to three hours, drinking lots of water, and focusing on a mix of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. Reno advocates saying goodbye to refined foods, preservatives, white flour and sugar, artificial sugars and calorie-dense foods with little nutritional value.
Reno is realistic about how difficult it can be to wean your kids off of the Happy Meals and sugary snacks they are used to and focuses her book on helping parents make these changes slowly and effectively. She even shows how to get kids on board with healthy eating, turning meal and meal-preparation time into family fun.
Instead of just telling you what to do and throwing you out there own your own, Reno offers a colorful, easy-to-read, step-by-step guide on how to make this transition, from changing the way you grocery shop to making over the staples in your pantry to eating out. She even gives advice on teaching your children to navigate the school cafeteria.
Perhaps, best of all, Reno includes a section of delicious, healthy, clean-eating recipes for many of children’s favorite foods. Overall, this book should be a staple for anyone who is trying to change their family’s lifestyle — or for the person who is already living a healthy lifestyle to mix it up a bit. Reno advocates living well and eating what you love, as long as you clean it up a bit first.
You can purchase the book at:
Here is one of my favorite recipes from Reno’s book:Healthy Mac and Cheese, Believe It!
Yield: 9 cups
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutesIngredients:
2 T olive oil
2 T whole wheat flour
¾ cup cooked, mashed sweet potato or regular potato
¾ cup low fat milk (heated until just warm)
1 cup yogurt cheese
2 T parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
¾ pound whole-grain noodlesPreparation:
- Cook macaroni noodles according to instructions on package. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add flour. Using a wire whisk, make a paste (called a roux). Don’t let the roux burn. Add the warm milk gradually, whisking all the while until you see the sauce begin to thicken. Add the mashed sweet or regular potato. Keep stirring.
- Now add the grated parmesan cheese, yogurt cheese, sea salt and pepper. Your sauce should look smooth. When that mixture is nicely heated through, add the drained, cooked noodles. Stir to coat the noodles. Serve piping hot.
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If you are looking for a super book about superfoods, this one definitely hits the mark. Author Lucy Burney begins her book by explaining to parents how their children’s immune systems work and how things such as allergies, autoimmune disorders and vaccinations affect this delicate balance.
Instead of just telling you what is going on, though, Burney goes several steps further by detailing which specific foods are great for building your children’s developing immune systems and providing age-appropriate recipes for children aged 0-18. (Note: The recipes are just as yummy for Mom and Dad!)
From kale to blackcurrant to millet, Burney teaches parents about the value of individual foods within each food group and — thankfully — shares with parents how they can utilize these ingredients by making meals that their kids will actually eat!
After giving Moms and Dads the ultimate primer in how to make sure their children’s immune systems are in fighting shape, Burney takes a look at seventeen health problems that can make your children sick and identifies foods to help combat them. Again, she holds your hand every step of the way, providing delicious recipes to make getting the foods actually into your child a little bit easier.
Chicken pox, for example, call for blackberry smoothies and chicken noodle soup (Trust me, this isn’t Campbell’s!), while sore throats are kept at bay with blackcurrant and strawberry ice pops and garlic and honey syrup.
All-in-all, Burney takes some of the guesswork out of parenting by telling you what to do and how to do it. It definitely shows that she’s a mother of three herself!
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With over seven million copies sold, Prescription for Nutritional Healing
is one of the most read texts on nutritional health. Written by a medical doctor and a certified nutritional consultant, this comprehensive guide to nutritional, herbal, and complementary therapies discusses natural healing programs for some 300 health conditions. Arranged in alphabetical order, it's a useful ready-reference tool, although it could have benefited from a good bibliography.
This is an excellent book in that it contains, in one place, an enormous amount of information about supplements and their use in treating various medical conditions. It also goes through all of the vitamins and minerals, amino acids, digestive enzymes, herbs, etc., explaining their function.
It has been expanded to reflect the latest research on drug-free remedies in the field of nutrition: as such it provides an excellent assessment and review of herbal tinctures and diets. From high blood pressure remedies to handling infections, this is packed with practical advice. Prescription for Nutritional Healing
is divided into 3 parts it is an easy reference.
- Part I discusses the basic principles of health and nutrition. This section lists and explains the various kinds of nutrients and food supplements.
- Part II, by far the biggest section of the book, provides the reader with an A-Z listing of many common disorders (such as backache or diabetes) and what you can do about them from a nutritional point of view.
- Part III is devoted to traditional therapies and conventional treatments that can be used along with a nutritional support. Here you'll find info on treatments such as chiropractic, massage therapy, color therapy, and so on.
I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the amount of info contained in this book and I can definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good nutritional reference book to put on their shelf when questions arise. Additionally, is also might give readers ideas of other types of therapies they could try for various medical problems.
You can buy Prescription for Nutritional Healing at Amazon.