When my first son was born, we failed to make breastfeeding work. When he started eating solid foods at the age of about 6 months, I began to make his baby food for him. I loved buying the highest quality of foods and turning it into his meals for him. It helped me to overcome the guilt I imposed on myself over failing at breastfeeding.
All of that guilt and hard work was halted when he developed a food phobia around the age of 2! We still have “Food Fights” on a daily basis and have for the past 7 years.
I also have another child who has gained some weight rather rapidly. It is important to me that this not become a lifelong issue, as it has been for me. I want to make sure I am making the best choices for him without creating a child with an eating disorder.
For those two reasons, I jumped at the chance to review this book even though it is not part of the typical Debt Princess/Personal Finance niche. This was important to me personally.
was written by two doctors, one who you may have seen on network shows like CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America and more. Dr. Laura Jana and Dr. Jennifer Shu also wrote an award-winning book, Heading Home with Your Newborn.
Food Fights is a comprehensive book that looks at feeding your newborn, your toddler and your older children. It covers topics such as breastfeeding, weaning from a bottle, serving juice and much more. These topics were not of direct use to me right now but I can see a new mother really benefiting from the knowledge held within the book. It’s like having all of your experienced girlfriends at your fingertips, ready to answer all the questions you have about weaning from a sippy cup, serving up vegetables and poop.
Speaking of juice, here is an excerpt from the book:
a juicy update
The answer to whether or not young children should be allowed to drink juice on a regular basis has been a bit of a sticky one for years. After all, the fight against childhood obesity has most definitely included a focus on limiting sugary liquids. And juice—whether it is delivered in a box or carton, sippy cup or straw—most definitely contains sugar. In fact, when we set out to write the first edition of Food Fights, the latest research at the time had us all but convinced that fruit juice was almost as much to blame for childhood obesity (not to mention tooth decay) as soda pop. Sugar was sugar, after all, and it was hard to look past the fact that a 12-ounce serving of 100% grape juice had been shown to have 11/2 times the calories as grape soda. Additionally, a few small initial studies suggested a worrisome connection between obesity in young children and their fruit juice consumption. But unlike soda pop and its utter lack of redeeming nutritional qualities, 100% fruit juice has since proven itself significantly more worthy of further nutritional consideration. Several subsequent large national studies have revealed some interesting findings about kids, juice, nutrition, and obesity, not the least of which has been the lack of an association between drinking 100% fruit juice and an increased likelihood of children being or becoming overweight. These new findings have led us to reassess our take on juice, and to reformulate our own juice-related advice for parents accordingly.
A Convenient Juice Box
If and when you plan on incorporating juice into your child’s diet responsibly,we suggest the following approach:
- Make sure it’s pure fruit juice. Fruit drinks that aren’t 100% juice typically contain added sugars and/or sweeteners that can up both the cavity and calorie counts.
- Hold off on introducing your child to juice for at least his first year and refrain from serving it in a bottle.
- Avoid letting your child sip on juice (or any other sugar-containing liquid, for that matter) for prolonged periods. Whether by bottle, sippy cup, or cup, bathing one’s teeth in sugary liquids can cause serious tooth decay.
- Consider diluting it with water.
- Encourage your child to eat fresh, whole fruits whenever available.
- Whenever possible, serve juice that contains pulp for added fiber.
- Make sure juice doesn’t entirely drown out your child’s interest in drinking milk and water.
- Buy only pasteurized products (shelf-stable juices, frozen concentrates, or specially marked refrigerated juices) to avoid potential diarrhea-causing infections.
- While the American Academy of Pediatrics does suggest 100% fruit juice as an acceptable part of a healthy diet, be aware that it’s wise to offer it in age-appropriate moderation (none under 6 months of age and no more than 4 to 6 ounces a day for older infants and children).
- Keep an eye out for warning signs of excessive juice intake, such as tooth decay and “toddler’s diarrhea.” Not only do young kids tend to suck on sugary liquids for prolonged periods when allowed, thus putting their newly acquired teeth at considerable risk., but kids between the ages of 2 and 3 tend to have the highest juice consumption— in some instances enough to cause persistent diarrhea.
The areas of the book that I found to be the most helpful were the chapters titled “war and peace,” “eating out without reservation,” and the resources “Tuning Into Technology” and “Recipes for Success.”
I’m using the recipe for spaghetti sauce tomorrow night for dinner and can’t wait to sneak some yummy veggies into my son’s dinner without him knowing.
I definitely recommend this book if you are about to have a child, have kids you are having difficulty eating or you just want to make sure you are giving your children the very best that you can give them.
And if you want a copy, you are in luck! I am giving away one copy of the Food Fights to a winner selected at random by Rafflecopter. Enter for your chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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