There’s been a recent spate of new books about the feeding of children that are so good I actually feel a little sad when I read them: I feel certain they would have saved me from many a feeding pitfall if they’d only been around when my kids were little. In that select category I’d put Karen Le Billion’s French Kids Eat Everything, Natalie Digate Muth’s Eat Your Vegetables and Other Mistakes Parents Make: Redefining How to Raise Healthy Eaters, and now today’s reviewed book, Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters from High Chair to High School, written by Jill Castle and Maryann Jacobsen.
Castle is a registered dietitian who blogs at Just the Right Byte and Jacobsen, also an RD, blogs at Raise Healthy Eaters. In Fearless Feeding these two experts (and parents) join forces, starting with the premise that feeding kids in today’s world is more challenging than ever and the source of much parental anxiety. Their mission, then, is to “calm and empower parents, provid[ing] step-by-step feeding guidance at every child development stage and teach parents the skills they need to get healthy meals on the table fast.”
That’s a tall order, but Castle and Jacobsen deliver in spades. In fact, Fearless Feeding might be the most comprehensive child nutrition and feeding book I’ve ever come across, with mountains of useful information presented in an organized, easy-to-use, chart-filled format. Readers will find everything from: age-specific feeding advice; guidance on talking about nutrition with children in an age-appropriate way; sections on the really tough problems like eating disorders, allergies, and picky eating; a chapter devoted to meal planning and shopping; charts showing sources of key nutrients, appropriate portion sizes and when produce is in season and how to prepare it; lists of healthy snack and lunch ideas; and much more.
What I liked most about the book is that it doesn’t shy away from addressing the real-life challenges that can trip up the best-intentioned parent, whether it’s the growing influence of peers as a child moves into elementary school, the “I don’t need your advice” attitude of the high schooler, or the scheduling conflicts that can make healthy, communal eating seem impossible. The book also includes an important chapter in which parents are asked to examine their own eating behaviors and attitudes, which are sometimes at the heart of the difficulties they experience in feeding their own kids.
Not to sound like a late night infomercial, but if you could own only one book about the feeding of children, I can’t think of a more useful resource than Fearless Feeding. And one lucky Lunch Tray reader will win a free copy just by leaving a comment below by 6pm CST, Friday, August 16th. You can tell me why you’d like to win or you can just say hi. I’ll use a random number generator after the comment period closes to select one lucky winner and if you comment twice (e.g., to respond to another reader’s comment), I’ll use the number of your first comment to enter you in the drawing. I’ll email you directly if you win and announce the winner on TLT’s Facebook page, too. (This giveaway is open only to U.S. residents.)
[Blogger disclosure: As with most of my book reviews, I received a free copy of this book for my perusal but I never accept any other form of compensation for the book reviews you see on The Lunch Tray.]
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