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Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods Paperback – March 31, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Far from deprivation, the nutritional plans here for fertility, pregnancy, nursing and young kids propose a wide variety of whole grains, seasonal vegetables and fruits, and raw milk and organic animal fats necessary for healthy pregnancies and fetal and childhood development instead of skim milk, “carbage”(junk carbohydrates) and trans-fats... It tastes better and it’s good for you. Plank gives more comprehensive pre-pregnancy and pregnancy diets than those in What to Expect, and her lively, genuine and personal approach makes it easy to absorb a lot essential information.” ―Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Nina Planck, author of Real Food: What to Eat and Why and The Farmer's Market Cookbook, is an expert on local and traditional food. I n London, England, she created the first farmers' market, and in New York City she ran the legendary Greenmarkets. She lives in New York City with Rob Kaufelt and their son, Julian. They all eat real food.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1 Original edition (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596913940
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596913943
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nina Planck is a farmers' daughter, food writer, farmers' market entrepreneur, local foodist, and advocate for traditional foods. She will liberate you to eat red meat, butter, raw milk, and lard. After reading Nina's books, you will eat the foods of your ancestors with pleasure and with impunity. Men and women planning to be parents will find her prenatal advice bracing and life-changing. Nina is the author of The Farmers' Market Cookbook; Real Food: What to Eat and Why; and Real Food for Mother and Baby. Her books are published in English and five other languages. The Real Food Cookbook is next.

Born at home in in Buffalo, New York in 1971, Nina was raised on an ecological family farm in Wheatland, Virginia. She grew up milking the cow, feeding the chickens, growing vegetables, and eating simple, real food. At age 9, she sold produce at roadside stands until the first proper farmers' market opened nearby in 1980, neatly turning a money-losing farm into a profitable one. In 1999, Nina opened the first modern farmers' markets in London, England and today her company runs two dozen popular year-round markets. Chef Loyd Grossman called her market in Marylebone one of the world's best. In New York City, Nina was Director of the famous Greenmarkets. In Washington, D.C., she founded (and later sold) the Mount Pleasant Farmers' Market.

Nina lives in New York City and Stockton, New Jersey with her husband Rob Kaufelt, the proprietor of Murray's Cheese, and their three children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When we last heard from Nina Planck, she was a leader in the crusade for Real Food. Her precepts are, by now, familiar:

--- Eat foods with a long history in the human diet (peaches, spinach, lard).
--- Eat them in a whole state, or close to it, or produced in a traditional manner.
--- Eat foods that spoil. But eat them before they do.
--- Don't eat anything that's engineered to be something it's not --- low in something or high in something else. That includes orange juice with DHA --- the vital fatty acid found chiefly in fish --- made from algae. God or Nature (as you prefer) made us fish-eaters. You don't find fish in orange juice.

From the perspective of this household, she's one of the smarties, and her book belongs on the alongside the writing of Michael Pollan. Food writing like this comes less from academic study than from life experience, and Planck has of that --- she grew up on an organic farm and headed New York's Greenmarket. So it's hardly surprising that, when she got pregnant, she would soon be writing about a sensible diet for expectant mothers, what to eat after the baby's born, and what to find the little heir or heiress.

It helps to have read her first book. But worry not. In Real Food for Mother and Baby, Planck summarizes her previous writing. And on the strength of her story, she's doing something right: Five months after her son was born, she was wearing her "prepregnancy jeans".

But let's start with getting pregnant, which is easy to do if you're 19 and unmarried, harder to do if you're in your 30s and working hard. Your diet, she says, "can even affect your baby's genes in the womb." So you want to be in shape to be preggers. Planck pushes for an omnivore's diet and emphasizes the importance of fish oil.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An engaging, anecdotal writing style and foodie-friendly approach make this book a worthwhile purchase, as long as you are able to take the author's advice with a huge grain of sea salt.
Planck is a bundle of contradictions. In the beginning she comes off as advocating a relaxed, non-neurotic, non-consumerist and intuitive attitude to nutrition and prenatal preparation, which is quite refreshing. The book includes a sweet description of attending a Kinks tribute show after finding out she was pregnant, and the author doesn't buy any baby gear until the end of her pregnancy, saying there's plenty of time for all that. She's also permissive about the odd glass of wine and advocates lots of butter and cream to aid absorption of nutrients, which is fun. The eating plan is simple & achievable, focusing mostly on vitamin-rich foods in first trimester, protein & calcium in 2nd trimester, and fish or fish oil in third trimester. When it comes time to wean, I also like the approach of giving your baby a wide range of foods with olive oil and lots of flavour, not bothering with bland purees and pre-packaged stuff. The argument against cereals as a first food is convincing.

As you progress further through the book though, Planck unfortunately loses her easygoing approach and becomes more didactic - sometimes veering toward the lunatic fringe, which leaves a bad taste in the mouth. At times the author seems disturbingly neurotic about aspects of nutrition (for example, her distrust of doctors and supplementation). Meanwhile her blasé attitude towards the possible bacteria in raw beef and raw milk seems too much based on anecdotal evidence.
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Format: Paperback
I really looked forward to reading this book and was a little disappointed after finishing it. To be sure, there was a solid amount of new information in this book related to pregnancy and fertility foods. I found the information on the fetus' development,and consequently what their nutritional needs were at each stage, fascinating. It makes complete sense to eat more healthy fat later in pregnancy when baby's brain is growing most rapidly and needs all that fat. Dietary recommendations for trying to get pregnant would likely be helpful and different information than many have read as well.

On the other hand, there was naturally quite a bit of overlap between this book and Planck's first book, "Real Food". I think if you were to pick this book up without having read "Real Food" it would make a lot of sense and flow just fine. For a reader such as myself who pored over "Real Food" previously, a lot of this book was redundant and less than earth shattering. Essentially, Planck's advice boils down to much the same in both books: eat traditional, real foods that have been around for centuries and feed them to your baby. Both books could probably be summed up right there, although of course there's great information in each to help the reader understand why foods we're currently afraid of in this country (butter, whole milk, fish) are really very good for you.

I found Planck's personal struggles with her son's first pediatrician interesting. I enjoyed reading the information she included related to attachment parenting though I didn't necessarily think a food book was the best place to extol on its virtues.

All in all, I think this book will be helpful to first-time moms and women wanting to get pregnant who have never before read "Real Food". Just don't expect too much if you are already immersed in a traditional, whole foods mindset.
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