Friday, November 23, 2012

Appetite for Life - Stacey Antine Summary: From fluorescent yogurt to 100-calorie snack packs, most "kid friendly" food has little nutritional benefit. We've convinced ourselves that in order to get kids to eat it, food needs to be packaged into something fake, colored, and far from its natural source. No wonder kids protest when we ask them to eat their vegetables. They don't come in a box!

Enter Stacey Antine, founder of HealthBarn USA, an organization at the front lines of introducing kids and their families to healthy eating habits and real food. While some parents "sneak" nutritious foods into meals, Antine knows from experience that the key to raising adventurous, wise eaters is to connect kids to the food they eat. Kids are more likely to try new foods and make healthy choices if they understand where ingredients come from, know why certain foods are good for their bodies and minds, and have an active role in preparation, from gathering ingredients to cooking. (Summary and image from publisher's website)

My Review:  There was a lot in this book that I needed and wanted to read.  The first section of this book is a pep talk and parenting lesson on how to involve your kids in the food prep process and what good foods do to help kids' growing bodies.  It also had good lists of snack suggestions with more health value than the fruit snacks my three year old obsesses about all day.

I picked this book up from the non-fiction browsing section of the library during one of my rare but passionate attempts to eat healthier and after dog-earing some pages (okay, actually I tore a receipt to bits to use as book marks because it was a library book!) I headed to the store for ingredients.  The first recipe I tried was the chocolate zucchini cupcakes.  The first recipe in the book.  I baked some up and gathered my taste-testers, my two daughters and a friend.  The book suggests making your kids "food judges" who get to give food a thumbs up, down, or sideways.  This has been a great way for my girls to express their opinions on the food without the blanket "yuck" we are all familiar with.  However, the judging for the zucchini cupcakes revealed the across the board consensus of "thumbs sideways"...which, for the lead recipe in a cookbook promising to get kids to eat vegetables, is not very promising.  And yes, I judged the rest of the book by that one and only recipe I tried.  I had two others I was ready to do but when I compared the ingredient lists with the cupcakes I felt pretty confident that it would be more "thumbs sideways" which translated means - not gross enough to throw out but not good enough to eat. 

My caveat is that they just tasted too healthy.  So, potentially, a family less addicted to white flour and sugar, sugar, sugar might be more interested in these recipes. 

Rating: 3 stars

Sum it up:  Good nutrition info and great advice on parental food attitude (and the very successful thumbs up rating system) but an early judging of the recipes gets a thumbs sideways.

1 comment:

Stacey Antine, MS, RD said...

Thanks for the honest review and I love that you put the thumbs rating in place! Don't give up, try the granola recipe and the Rainbow Swirly Smoothie -- they are always good starter recipes for families making the switch from white flour and a lot of sugar! Glad you found the nutrition guidance helpful. Stacey, author Appetite for Life book.


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