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The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood    by William Sears & et al order for
Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood
by William Sears
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

Unless you've been living inside a box of sugary cereal for the last few years, it's no secret that too many American children and adults eat too much junk. It's been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, television shows, talks, documentaries, and books. This is the first generation of children who will not have a longer life expectancy than their parents. Type II diabetes, ADD, depression, arthritis, colitis, heart disease ... the list of ailments children suffer goes on and on. How do parents stop the stemming tide of junk food and the constant barrage of clever advertising that pushes their children towards Twinkies and away from broccoli? William Sears, M. D., Martha Sears, R. N., James Sears, M.D. and Robert Sears, M.D. (three doctors and a nurse) - offer answers in their book, The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood.

Unlike many other books in the same category, this one offers non-frenzied-health-nut approaches. The Searses identify foods and eating habits to combat many ailments. They focus on everything from shaping young toddlers' tastes early to satisfying junk food cravings of teenagers. Throughout the book, the Searses sprinkle lists of healthy foods, shopping suggestions, and tips. They emphasize ways to help your children graze throughout the day, culminating such advice with some tasty, quick, and easy recipes.

As a parent this book really resonated with me. It was written simply, provided practical advice, and offered easy ways for both kids and adults to become more aware of their diets. The Searses created a stop light system of green light foods to eat any time, yellow light foods to eat sometimes, and red light foods to avoid. This visual is great for everyone. Copying a few of the lists scattered within the book and taping them up on the refrigerator will help to grocery shop smarter, and to eat and feel better too. It's a lesson we all could use in these days where French fries are considered a vegetable and the average plate size has grown four inches in diameter and no longer fits in many dishwashers!

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