Sunday, July 17, 2011

Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck

First things first, because I think people may jump to conclusions or get falsely excited: No, I'm not pregnant. Nor am I actively trying to become pregnant. I read this book because I enjoyed Nina Planck's first book "Real Food", and this is the only other book she's written.

I found "Real Food for Mother and Baby" a very interesting read. There's a lot of cross-over of the principals from her first book, as one would expect, but she focus more on fertility, pregnancy, and baby's first foods.

Nina's principals are not overly technical. As she describes it: one part science, one part tradition, and a dash of common-sense. She shares her own experiences of the birth of her child not going as planned (she wanted a natural home birth, but ended up having a c-section), and her challenges, victories, and defeats as her baby grew from infant to toddler.

In the chapters about fertility, she talk about traditional foods fed to newly married woman and/or pregnant woman, and examines the nutrients within such foods that make them such good sources of vitality while preparing for and during pregnancy. It's quite interesting that even though these foods become tradition far before we humans know about vitamins or even macro-nutrients (protein, fat, and carbs), they had exactly what the women needed to prepare their bodies and properly grow their babies. These foods were nutrient-rich animal-based foods: seafood, organ meats, milk, eggs, etc.; and were never the less nutrient dense grains like wheat or barley.

The chapters on pregnancy and breastfeeding cover a lot of similar information, but good information nonetheless. In addition to overall healthy eating and eating real foods, Nina is very focused on the importance of fats both during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Especially fats from fish, DHA & EPA. She also looks at Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratios between various countries and diets. The results from the USA were amazing, in a bad way.

When it comes to baby's first foods, which should come after baby has been exclusively breast-fed for 6 months, Nina is an advocate of feeding baby the same things you eat, with slight exception. Instead of weaning babies onto cereal, she advocates weaning babies straight onto meat, vegetables, and fruit. She doesn't believe in introducing grain until later, which is contradictory to all the "baby cereals" you see in the store, and when grain is introduced it should ideally be sprouted grain. I agree with her, humans don't even have a need grain, we cannot even digest it unless it's ground or cooked, and it's not a nutrient-dense food.

Overall, I found this book informative even if it did have a lot of cross-over from her first book. I'll definitely hang on to it in case I ever do have children of my own.

1 comment:

  1. I've just bought "Real Food" and Im looking forward to reading it because I have heard so many good things about it. Im not pregnant or trying to get pregnant either, but her next book looks interesting as well!