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Eat This, Not That for Kids: How It Works continued...

"We tried to compare apples to apples, so not everything on the 'Eat This' side is meant to beat out everything on the 'Not That' side. So, for example, in the yogurt section, our comparisons are for like yogurts, so we chose the best and worst example of strawberry yogurts," explains co-author Goulding, a former chef and a Men’s Health health and nutrition editor.

In the section on sauces, for example, Classico roasted red pepper Alfredo sauce (120 calories and 10 g fat per 1/2 cup portion) is among the choices on the "Eat This" side; Ragu Light Parmesan Alfredo (280 calories, 20 g fat) is among those on the "Not That" side. Although one sauce is better than the other, neither of these two would likely be recommended by most nutrition professionals.

And it appears some foods were recommended over others simply because the portion size was smaller. For example, a 1-ounce bag of potato chips scores better than a 1.5 ounce bag.

These are some of the reasons why it's important not only to look at the comparisons but to read the text in each chapter.

Each chapter starts with strategies to help parents take charge of their children’s diets. For example, in the supermarket section, parents are encouraged to stick to the perimeter of the store, where less processed foods can be found. And there's a primer to help parents understand label lingo so they can select foods with more whole grains and less sugar.

Other features in this very visual book include an Eat This, Not That food guide pyramid, menu "decoders" to help you understand what's in your child's favorite dishes, and "report cards" for restaurants ranging from Applebee's to Wendy's.

There's also a list of the authors' picks for the 20 worst kid's foods, including:

  • Cosi's 911-calorie kids' pepperoni pizza
  • Baskin-Robbins' 990-calorie Heath shake
  • Denny's Big Dipper Frenchy Funstix, with 770 calories
  • Cap'n Crunch cereal, at 146 calories per cup
  • Oscar Meyer's Maxed Out Turkey and Cheddar Cracker Combo Lunchables, with 680 calories

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