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Eat This, Not That for Kids

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

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

A menu detailing a week’s worth of kid-friendly weeknight meals will enlighten parents about which weeknight standbys should stay and which should go. For example, the book recommends a meal of meatloaf, roasted asparagus, baked sweet potato and Jell-O over one consisting of chicken casserole, baked potato, roasted asparagus and Italian ice. Also included are 10 kid-friendly recipes made healthier, including macaroni and cheese, pepperoni pizza, nachos, fettuccine Alfredo, and chicken strips with honey mustard.

The book also contains reference charts that detail which nutrients kids need each day, divided by age group and including calories, fat, saturated fat, sodium, carbs, fiber, and protein.

Eat This, Not That for Kids: What You Can Eat

Eat This, Not That for Kids includes these eight simple rules for healthy eating:

  1. Never skip breakfast.
  2. Snack mindfully on healthy snacks.
  3. Watch your portion sizes.
  4. Drink water and milk, and fewer sweetened beverages.
  5. Eat more whole, less-processed foods.
  6. Eat meals together as a family.
  7. Kick the sugar habit.
  8. Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.

The "Eat This, Not That" food pyramid excludes tortillas, pasta, pancakes, anything with partially hydrogenated oil, and heavily sweetened cereals. Yet the rest of the book includes foods with these ingredients, which is confusing. (It's also probably not realistic to exclude so many kid favorites.) For example, Campbell’s Spaghetti-Os, a pasta dish, is on the cover as the preferred choice over Kraft macaroni and cheese.

The book alerts parents about nutrients often missing in kids' diets, such as calcium, vitamin D, iron, vitamin E, and fiber, and gives tips on how to fill these nutritional gaps with foods and beverages kids enjoy.

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