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The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood: Ten Ways to Get Your Family on the Right Nutritional Track (Sears Parenting Library) Paperback – September 6, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Sears, MD, has practiced pediatrics for more than four decades and is an associate clinical professor at the University of California?Irvine School of Medicine.

Sears is a board-certified pediatrician at the Sears Family Pediatric Practice in San Clements, Calif.

Martha Sears, RN, is a registered nurse and parenting and health consultant.

Robert Sears is a board certified pediatrician in private practice with his father, William Sears. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University and completed his pediatric training at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. He is the co-author of The Baby Book (revised edition), The Premature Baby Book, and The Baby Sleep Book.
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Product Details

  • Series: Sears Parenting Library
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (September 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316060127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316060127
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kelly VINE VOICE on December 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
I gave this book 2 stars because it is NOT a new book - if you already own Dr. Sears' "The Family Nutrition Book" this book is nothing but a condensed version of that book - there is *nothing* new in here. They just took verbatim parts of that book and re-arranged them to put in this book.

If you already own their other book, this book is completely useless to you. I already have [and love] "The Family Nutrition Book" and I feel like I totally wasted my money on this book.

If you have no books on nutrition, this is a good one, but "The Family Nutrition book" is better because it is more complete and thorough.

I've been irritated for the last half decade at the Sears family just "re-organizing" material from their existing books and selling it to unwary customers as something "new" [a la "The Attachment Parenting Book"]. This book is exactly the same thing.

For those of us who are "die hard fans" and buy all their books, this starts to feel like being taken advantage of after a while.

So, if you want a good, basic nutrition book and don't already have one, this book will fit the bill just fine. If you already own the other book, you will feel cheated to spend your money on this "new" one.
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Format: Paperback
Are your kids junk food kids?

Dr. William Sears, a well known pediatrician, has written a book with his wife and two sons (themselves doctors) about getting your kids to eat healthier. He admits that raising healthy kids is getting harder and harder to do. These days, there are fast food restaurants everywhere, school lunches frequently have junk food as a part of the meal, and there is an overabundance of trans-fats and high risk sweeteners in the snacks and foods targeted at children. More and more kids are being diagnosed with illnesses like A.D.D., diabetes, cholesterol imbalances, and being overweight at an early age. These are situations that can be linked directly to the foods that children are eating.

The book is broken down into chapters that first identify good foods and then explain how and why these choices can boost a person's immunity. Another chapter focuses on how to make changes that will result in your children craving healthy foods, not junk, and one that shouldn't be missed talks about how to go shopping with young children and still come home with healthy foods instead of attractively-packaged junk. There are also answers to many nutritional questions that parents may have and a section with kid friendly recipes.

This book is written in a tone that sounds helpful without being preachy. It helps parents learn how to plan meals and snacks that will instill healthy eating habits that will carry over into adulthood. Dr. Sears is able to share with his readers the knowledge and experience that his family has gained throughout the years, and his sons are proof that his methods work. He uses examples of real families throughout the book along with some very helpful advice for both parents and children.
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Format: Paperback
The Good

The book has a lot of really good info as far as good carbs vs. bad carbs, good fats vs. bad fats, and so on. Also has good ideas on how to slip healthier foods into your family's diets without them fighting.

The Bad

The author's obsession with wild salmon (seriously, is he being paid by the Alaskan fishing industry?) and organic foods can make you feel like if you're not buying all organic, and serving wild salmon every night, you're guilty of child abuse. His assumption that everyone can afford organics if we'd just give up our "$4 coffee drinks" is wrong, although since his pediatric practice is in a fairly well-to-do area of California, I can see why he might not have a realistic perspective on the food budget of the average family. Book can get a bit repetitive - you don't just learn about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, you learn about them over and over in each chapter. You'll find yourself skimming through repetitive parts, and the parts that get heavy into science.

The Verdict

Worth getting from the library for some good snack ideas and comparisons on the merits of various foods. Not a book that's realistic for the average family to live by, and don't let Dr. Sears make you feel like a bad parent for not following his dictates.
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Format: Paperback
Here are the most important pros and cons to this book:

PRO:
- Many lists teach about "good" and "bad" foods for certain minerals, vitamins, brain growth, cancer prevention etc.
- Special discussion of the primary superfoods and the primary bad foods to look out for.
- Good discussion of what happens in the body as a result of food choices.
- Very informative and eye-opening section on food labels.
- Authorative writing style that effectively persuades the reader that making good food choices is both important and achieveable.
- Chapters on how to get your whole family to eat healthily and stay lean.
- Yummy recipes. The smoothy in particular tastes great and really gives you the energy boost it promises, even though the ingredients list seems long and somewhat unusual.

CON:
- In many instances, highly judmental. Families who stick to this diet are called "pure kids" and "pure parents". (I just don't like the implications that not following the Sears way makes you "impure").
- In typical Sears fashion, the world is black and white. As mentioned above, there are the Pure Kids (PK) and then there is the other group, the Junk Food Kids (JFK). In my experience, most people fall somewhere in the middle. And I don't know anybody who feeds their kids ONLY junk.
- A lot of the information in this book can be found in the Sears' previous book (Family Nutrition Book), which is more thorough, if a little outdated.
- Some of the research seems questionable and there is no reference guide.

VERDICT:
I used to eat a fairly balanced diet, but have made a good number of ajustments as a result of reading this book. As my baby (8 months) progresses in his mastery of solids, this book's suggestions will have a major impact on what I'll introduce to him. However, I don't follow the book to the letter.
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