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The Baby Food Bible: A Complete Guide to Feeding Your Child, from Infancy onby Eileen Behan
Synopses & Reviews
This Is Not Your Mother's Kitchen
Your food choices are more complex now than at any other time in history. When your great-grandmother went shopping, she had only nine hundred food items to choose from at the local market. Your supermarket, on the other hand, is likely to carry forty-five thousand items. Some additions have been positive, including a greater variety of fruits and vegetables and certainly more whole grains and even organic food. But it is the addition of what I call inferior foods that is alarming. Over the past decade the snack food market has increased by 25 percent, with more than $60 million in sales. The baby food aisle alone contains mini granola bars, ready-to- eat meals, and snack treats. High-fructose corn syrup, an ingredient in almost all of those snack items, was created in 1960; according to an article in the American Journal of Nutrition, its use has increased by 1,000 percent per capita--and, I fear, permanently altered young people's desire for sweet-tasting food.
Parents often don't believe me when I say food is cheaper today, but it is. According to the Nutrition Action Healthletter, Americans spent, in the 1950s, 21 percent of their disposable income on food, while in the year 2000 only 11 percent of our disposable income was spent on food. Cheaper food means that in order to make money, the American food industry must get us and our children to overeat. The American food industry daily produces 3,900 calories' worth of food for every man, woman, and child in the country, an amount that is almost double what the average adult actually needs and way above what a young child requires.
How we eat has changed, too. The number of meals that families eat together has declined, snacking has replaced real meals, and the microwave has become a part of almost every home. The impact of these changes has been a dramatic increase in childhood obesity, an accompanying rise in disease, and a potentially reduced life span.
You and your child are at risk of poor food choices and the resulting health risks because of advertising, the wide availability of food, and our innate biology. For example, in 2004 Kraft Foods spent $26 million just on advertising the children's deli meat product called Lunchables--a truly inferior food because of its excessive sodium content and lack of vitamins and fiber. Coca-Cola spends $1 billion each year advertising its products. These products (and others like them) are in your child's future. The combination of ubiquitous advertising, wide availability, and low price makes food flavored with salt, sugar, and fat almost impossible for a child (and her parents) to self-limit. In addition to all the societal factors, human beings are simply wired to eat them. Our ancestors learned a very long time ago that foods with fat had more calories and would keep them alive, foods with a sweet taste were not likely to be poisonous, and salt--a nutrient essential to health but so hard to find in nature--was to be consumed whenever available. All human beings --including you and your child--are physiologically designed to covet these tastes.
The food world in which you are raising your child is different because of all these products, but also because the American family eats away from home more often. On any given night only 58 percent of us are eatin
The author of the best-selling Eat Well, Lose Weight shows parents how they can do their part in preventing the onset of childhood obesity by feeding children properly from the beginning, explaining how to create a balanced diet for infants, introduce table foods, and deal with food allergies, in a guide that includes helpful recipes and resources. Original. 15,000 first printing.
THE TIME TO ENCOURAGE HEALTHY EATING HABITS AND SMART FOOD CHOICES FOR YOUR CHILD IS NOW.
Unhealthy food is everywhere–colorfully packaged, cheap, and full of fat, calories, and sodium. It’s no wonder childhood obesity has become an epidemic in the last thirty years. As a result, by the time most people reach adulthood, they’re already wired to overeat.
Family nutrition expert Eileen Behan posits that good nutrition and good eating habits start on day one. The Baby Food Bible features a guide to more than 100 foods recommended for infants and toddlers based on the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, tells parents when to introduce these foods into a child's diet, and emphasizes the importance of setting healthy eating routines that center on family meals at the dining room table–the perfect time to build good habits. In a clear, accessible style, Behan describes how to:
• foster an appetite for a healthy variety of new foods (there’s more to life than string cheese)
• avoid everyday pitfalls, such as relying on too much fruit juice or labeling your child a picky eater
• establish a meal and snack schedule (children will feel more secure and eat better)
• decipher the many labels and ingredient lists at the grocery store
• prevent and treat common food-related issues, including allergies, colic, choking, and iron deficiency
• encourage the foods that will discourage chronic disease, from high blood pressure to heart disease
The Baby Food Bible also features an alphabetized index–from apples to zucchini–that explains how to buy, store, prepare, and serve more than 100 foods, with delicious recipes for every meal, wholesome snack ideas, and advice for eating out. There’s no better way to ensure your child will grow up to have a happy and healthy life!
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