The NDD Book, Part 2

A continuation from yesterday’s review of Dr. Sears’ book about nutrition for children, The NDD Book

In his book, Dr. Sears really emphasizes certain foods that he calls “grow foods”. He talks a lot about teaching your children about these grow foods, showing them how to pick them out in the grocery store, and involving them in the entire meal process. This way, the kids will get excited about trying the healthy foods that they have helped buy and prepare.

The foods Dr. Sears recommends staying away from as much as possible:

• Anything with artificial colorings (blue #1, green #2, etc.) or artificial flavor enhancers (MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, etc.) on the labels

• Artificial preservatives (sulfites, nitrites, nitrates, benzoic acid, etc.)

• Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose, saccharin (these are ESPECIALLY bad for kids, and adults too!)

• “Bakery Bads” (cupcakes, Hostess products, packaged muffins, etc.)

• Candy, except 70% dark chocolate treats

• Cereals with fewer than 3 grams protein, 3 grams fiber, and
more than 6 grams sugar per serving

• Cottonseed oil, which is found in shortening, margarine (use real butter!!), potato chips, corn chips, and frozen desserts

• Any type of gelatin or gelatin dessert

• High fructose corn syrup

• Hydrogenated oils

• Marshmallows

• “Shortcut Foods” (anything with “lite”, “fit”, “quick”, etc.)

• Sweetened beverages

• White bread

The foods Dr. Sears encourages parents to feed their children include:

• Avocados

• Beef and turkey (lean, organic)

• Any type of fruits or vegetables

• Eggs

• Nuts and nut butter (learn how to make your own here)

• Oils (fish, flaxseed, olive)

• Wild salmon and other fish

• Spices

• Whole grains

• Organic yogurt

While this second list may seem limiting at first, it really is pretty easy to create snacks and meals that kids will enjoy from the “grow foods” list. Dr. Sears provides some great recipes at the end of his book that he has not only tested out on his grandchildren, but on the kids he sees as patients. I was extremely impressed last week when I saw how well my cousin’s 1 ½ year old son ate when we were all on vacation together. His mom makes all his baby food at home, and he eats the same things adults eat, just in smaller portions. Throughout the week I saw him eat all types of fish, fresh fruit, vegetables, hamburger, cheese, milk, yogurt, and pancakes. He never once fussed or was picky about his selection. He was a dream baby! But I really do attribute it to his parents feeding him all types of “grow foods” and developing his palette at a young age.

The last point Dr. Sears makes: it’s never too late to switch your family over to a diet of healthy, fresh foods and eliminate the snacks and meals that are harming your kids health and affecting their learning, mood and behavior. It may take a bit more time to make the switch if your kids are older and more resistant, but it can be done. He tells you how in the book.

Overall, I loved The NDD Book and I plan on recommending it to my future clients who have children. I think the points Dr. Sears makes, and the research he has done, are very important. However, part of me wonders if he places too much of an emphasis on involving kids in the food and eating processes at home. I definitely think it’s important to involve them to some degree, but at what point does it become too much a part of their little kid worlds? I think there is some merit to just not making a big fuss about it one way or another, and putting the healthy foods on their plates. To all the moms out there, what do you think? I guess when I have kids I will have to experiment with this and decide what is appropriate!

1 comment:

  1. Ann,

    I think the level of involvement of the kids depends so much on their ages. Once they are old enough to see their peers with "attractive" food (like candy, soda, etc.), then I think more discussion about grow foods and food selection is appropriate. Or if a parent is starting healthy eating when their kids are older. But, if you can start your kids young, then it is a huge part of the battle.

    While our household is by no means perfect, we try to focus on grow foods. This lets me relax a little about what other, well-intentioned people (ie grandparents), might want to feed my kids when they are not in my house.

    Thanks again for the review of this book - and for talking about kids nutrition.

    - Alison