Sunday, July 12, 2009 Posted by Dina N
A few weeks ago, I hosted a giveaway for The NDD Book by William Sears, MD, as part of the Gift of Health package. I received my review copy from Hachette Book Group, and started reading The NDD Book right away. I was familiar with Dr. Sears because of visiting his site, AskDrSears.com, many times - both before and after I had my kids.
William Sears, MD and his wife Martha Sears, RN, have practiced pediatrics for over thirty years, and have eight children of their own. Several of these children grew up to join the medical profession, as well. In The NDD Book, Dr. Sears shares his vast professional and personal experience, as well as the latest scientific research on how what our children eat affects their health, behavior, and development. NDD stands for Nutritional Deficit Disorder - a term Dr. Sears came up with to describe just how important proper nutirion is for children and how serious the negative effects of bad eating habits can be.
The NDD Book consists of three parts. In Part I, Dr. Sears explains what exactly Nutrition Deficit Disorder is, how unhealthy food causes NDD, and what steps parents need to take to counteract it. In Part II, the author talks about the seven simple steps parents can take to prevent NDD. He lists good foods and bad foods, and goes beyond that by providing advice on how to communicate good nutrition principles to kids of all ages. It is not enough to simply know what junk food is - as educated parents and consumers, we need to learn how to read labels and recognize what Dr. Sears calls "the sick sixteen" - fake foods and chemicals that have no place in your family's kitchen. On many occasions, I have observed the effects of junk food on myself - how bad food choices make me lethargic and tired, and seem to weigh me down. If an adult can feel like that, imagine how a child whose body is much smaller and more sensitive to additives and chemicals.
Eliminating junk food from kids' diet can have dramatic effect on their learning, behavior, and general wellbeing. Dr. Sears gives many examples of how a child can change thanks to nutritional improvements. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on reshaping young tastes where Dr. Sears gives many ideas of how to best present healthy foods to our children. His 20 ways to introduce new foods to picky eaters are just priceless for parents whose little ones tend to refuse unfamiliar fare before they have even taken a bite.
The chapter on raising supermarket savvy shoppers has tips on how to build lifelong habits of selecting healthy products for best nutrition. I loved the supersnack list and the advice on packing the healthiest school lunch box in later chapters, as well.
The last section of The NDD Book contains child-friendly recipes and menus and is packed with healthy meal ideas I plan to use regularly.
I think any parent, grandparent, or childcare provider who is interested in providing children with the best nutrition and in raising healthy eaters will benefit from reading this book. I recently recommended Smart Mama's Green Guide as a great resource to help limit your family's exposure to toxic chemicals. The knowledge that Smart Mama's Green Guide provides for your home environment, The NDD Book does for your family's food. Buy this book, read it, and follow its advice - your children will thank you.