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Food Ninjas: How to Raise Kids to be Lean, Mean, Eating Machines Kindle Edition
|Length: 88 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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However, I felt the book could have been better researched, or at least better presented, for the parents of children with larger girth. I've always fed my kids according to the Ellyn Satter division of responsibility: I sit them down to the table for 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, I put the meal on the table and they choose what and how much (or if!) they will eat. Normal, home cooked meals.. I don't force their hand by only serving broccoli and plain brown rice and then say oh well, you must not be hungry if you're not eating!
In our case, my oldest (I have 4 boys) who is 8 has always been on the large side, but started chunking up when he was 4 and hasn't looked back yet. The doctor has been breathing down my neck for the last couple of years to reduce calories and increase exercise. I'll never do the former, and hard to do the latter with a kid that has a bottomless pit of energy! I was very curious to see what Matt would say about big kids, but it seems like he was really only focused on little kids whose parents are trying to force them to eat their veggies. Speaking blithely about how slim and svelte this eating method will make your child is disingenuous at best. I finished the book and concluded that Matt doesn't have a lot of experience with a wide variety of children. Kids like his girlfriend's daughter are great. I know skinny people whose body never hangs onto excess poundage. My firstborn, however, has a healthy appetite and is very energetic, but according to the charts is overweight. He's not just big-boned, he definitely has a good amount of extra weight he is carrying right now. I suspect, with family history and a cousin that is 1 week older and nearly his twin for height & weight, that he is bulking up for a growth spurt down the line. In today's fat-phobic society, it is hard to grit my teeth and ignore people's helpful suggestions and be patient for approximately another 10 years while his body sorts everything out.
I'd have given this book 4 stars if Matt had addressed overweight kids. That was my intention for reading it, and it felt off-balanced by not covering this aspect. Supposedly childhood obesity is becoming an epidemic, so I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a Food Ninja book about feeding children to cover this side of the coin in more depth.
I also have a hard time seeing further guilt heaped on moms about what they ate while they were pregnant, and whether or not they breastfed. For the record, I never took even a tylenol during pregnancy and childbirth with my firstborn. I certainly didn't restrict food while pregnant or breastfeeding, and my kids have all been healthy. Not sure what the size of the younger 3 will be as they get older, but as mentioned my firstborn is no ninja as far as being lean, so does this mean I went wrong somewhere with my food? Logic like this can drive you crazy. It's also very risky to tell women to disregard water intake in pregnancy/breastfeeding. I followed the guidelines of about 8 cups a day with my first, and had a straightforward pregnancy, delivered him full-term. My second baby, I threw the water intake to the wind. It could be coincidence with the water, but I had a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions in that pregnancy (which can be a sign of not drinking enough water), and my bag of waters sprung a leak at 32 weeks gestation, baby was born at 34 weeks-- 6 weeks premature. With my 3rd pregnancy, twins, I drank 8-10 glasses a day. Carried the twins to full-term and had two 7-lb babies. I definitely think there are times to follow medical guidelines with water intake, and pregnancy and breastfeeding are two of them. When you're not sustaining another human's life with your own body, go ahead and drink only to thirst.
Thanks for the book, Matt, I hope you add a section about overweight kids.
The book also introduces the concept of metabolic rate and why it’s so important, so I think it’s a worthwhile read just for that! It’s a quick read and funny to boot. I think it would help a lot of parents calm down about what their kid is/isn’t eating. Feeding your child shouldn’t be stressful.