Friday, September 25, 2009

Nutrition 101 - A Review

Product: Nutrition 101: Choose Life!
A Family Nutrition and Health Program

Company: Growing Healthy Homes, LLC

Price: CD-ROM $79.95 / Book $99.95 / Combo $129.95

Where to buy: Healthy Homes

Brief Overview:
This is a 448-page full-color book on the study of nutrition: how we eat, what we eat, how the body works and how these foods affect the body. This book intends to assist families in understanding the real relationship food has on our "fearfully and wonderfully made" bodies (Psalm 139:14).

In-Depth Look:
For years, I didn't think much about nutrition. I ate what I wanted when I wanted. Then along came my daughters, the "picky eaters". For the longest time, I humored them...figuring it was a phase that they would grow out of. Well, they didn't. So I began gradually trying to make changes in our food choices. Then last year, I was blessed with the pregnancy of our 3rd daughter. This time around, I ended up with gestational diabetes. This increased my chances of getting diabetes again in the future. This was a wake-up call. So I began thinking even more about our food choices. Well after so many years of being stuck in a rut, it was very difficult for me to make any substantial changes for any significant amount of time. But I still wanted to and was still trying. Well along comes my latest product to review for the TOS Crew - Nutrition 101.

I was eager to read through the program and see what it was all about and what we could learn from it. The program isn't about dieting or about a bunch of low-fat, cardboard-tasting recipes. It is an in-depth study of biology and nutrition, of how are body works and how the foods that we eat affect our body (for better of worse).

Of course, one of my first thoughts was "Sure this is all fine and good for the authors of this book. But it will never work for my family of finicky eaters." So I was encouraged to read the testimony of another home-school mom, Sera Johnson (president of operations for Growing Healthy Homes LLC). She is a self-labeled "Former Fast Food Queen". And she had the "Princess of Picky Eaters", who only ate three kinds of food at home and chicken nuggets from two particular fast food restaurants. She realized that the Lord wanted her to help her family establish long-term healthy eating habits. Sera gives six quick tips to get you started on the right track. I decided that if she could make these drastic changes, permanently, then there is hope for our family as well.

The book is divided into 6 units (1. The Brain and Nervous System, 2. The Digestive System, 3. The Respiratory, Olfactory, Auditory and Visual System, 4. The Skeletal and Muscular Systems, 5. The Cardiovascular and Immune Systems, 6. The Endocrine System and Emotions). Each chapter includes discussion questions for the whole family, activities (for younger and older children), additional resources for deeper learning, and Power Recipes. The Activity Guide in the back has an answer key for all the activities. At the end of the book is an extensive Appendix, including: A Vitamin Chart, Milk - The Big Debate, Asthma - Taking A Deep Breath, Cancer, and Sleep.

What I Like:
This book doesn't just tell you what to eat. It tells you why. For exampe, I know that I should drink a lot of water. But Nutrition 101 doesn't just tell me to drink a lot of water. It tells me that if I don't drink enough water, several of my body functions may be affected...such as my body's ability to regulate its temperature, process waste and protect my joints. Sounds a bit more important now, right?

What I Don't Like:
A good bit of the book is above my daughters' ability to understand. Some of it was even a struggle for me to follow. But that is to be expected from a book of this magnitude - this is a HUGE book with a LOT of information. It is easy enough, though, to pick and choose what is of interest to your family and what would be of benefit to your children.

How We Use It:
I read the information on my own, ahead of time. Then I discuss the items of my choosing with my daughters, at their level. The book has many wonderful activity suggestions. And we easily find printables online to tie in with the topic and to help reinforce the concepts.


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