1 Stars Out Of 5
Nutrition DOES matter
October 26, 2011
As a mother of two, I get that we need to pick our battles, go with our gut, and not stress over the decisions or allowances we or anyone else feel might be parental shortcomings. I completely agree with that whole premise of the book.
HOWEVER...as a nutritionist and children's health advocate, I am shocked by the author's complete lack of knowledge or care toward nutrition, and her outright promotion of unhealthy foods. It's one thing to not stress over the occasional junk snack, but she displays outright scorn for healthier, whole-food, or organic lifestyle choices opting for unhealthy processed meals and snacks simply because they're cheaper and that's what her "kids will eat." (Of course they eat it, that's what they've become accustomed to eating).
The cover alone is cause for concern. From a myriad of examples illustrating compromise, she chose to tout toxic stuff like Oreos as innocent and harmless...they "never killed anyone." To the contrary, evidence abounds that trans fats, processed sugar and refined flour, the sole ingredients of Oreos (and the host of other junk snacks and processed packaged meals she advocates in her book), is, in fact, contributing to the majority of fatal diseases in our country; cancer, heart disease and diabetes to name a few. There is no safe amount of hydrogenated (trans) fats. They stay in the body a long time, mutating cells. There is also much evidence that trans fats, sugar and processed wheat/gluten (the basis of her endorsed diet), cause behavioral problems, which ironically, the book seems to be attempting to assist parents in handling. To advertise on the cover that this kind of toxic non-food doesn't really impact a child's health, creates misconception and may actually perpetuate the consumption of it.
Quote: "Kids are born liking anything sweet. They're programmed that way." What a crock. People like sweet things if they've been conditioned to like sweet things. Another quote: "It's become trendy to blame our "toxic food environment" for our veggie-rejecting kids, as if there were a golden past when kids said, "Please, sir, may I have more kale?" Sorry to burst your bubble lady, but MY kids DO ask for more spinach/broccoli/leafy greens/veggies...all the time. And yes, there IS such a past, before agriculture produced processed grains, humans ate what humans are SUPPOSED to eat, what we evolved to be nourished and thrive on. (Does she believe that for millions of years kids thought, "Please, Mom, can I have some artificially processed fat sugar and flour that my body isn't equipped to handle and will eventually give me a bunch of morbid diseases our species hasn't yet known?"
It is exactly this kind of ignorance that sets kids up for the host of chronic adult diseases plaguing our country. Kids in other countries who aren't fed Oreos, cakes and donuts, DON'T prefer sweets or fried foods. We have friends from Yugoslavia whose kids can't stand the "sickeningly sweet" donuts, cakes, icing and crap that abound everywhere in the States. MY kids don't crave junk because they're not fed it regularly. Please don't use what you think kids will eat or like as an excuse to feed them poison. There are many valid points in her book about other types of minor parental misdemeanors that are best not to stress over, but for the love of Pete, don't promote a lifestyle of unhealthy foods, claiming it doesn't affect children. It does, far beyond she obviously ever researched.
Her argument for feeding kids garbage is, "How does a boy make it to age eighteen on jam sandwiches or to age ten without a single veggie? The latest research is: No one knows. They just do. (She) is willing to trust biology on this one." ...WHAT?? What about the multitude of cancers and heart disease that will show up in his thirties or forties, all linked to this type of diet? Or if he makes it to his fifties and sixties with all the clogged arteries, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, infertility, arthritis, hypothyroidism, insulin resistance and Alzeimers. Why is this non-expert writing anything in her books about what we should feed kids? In her own words, "She doesn't care. It never seemed to be worth exploring." Then don't write about it. It's detrimental to our health.