Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Growing Healthy Homes - Review

Growing up my Dad drove a truck for a food distributor. He delivered to fast food restaurants such as Wendy's and Dairy Queen. When a box of food was damaged and the restaurant wouldn't take it Dad often brought it home to us, since what was inside was still good. This meant we ate lots of chicken nuggets, french fries, hamburgers and all the other stuff that fast food restaurants sale. My parents owned a deep fryer and most of what we ate was fried. My parents really didn't know that all the foods we ate were horrible for us. We didn't know about trans fat, artificial flavors, colors and the like. We ate frozen french fries fried in vegetable oil almost every meal. We even had fries with spaghetti and lasagna.

Fast forward 25 years and my Dad has passed away of heart problems at only 62 years old. My Mom deals is only 58 and suffers with short-term memory loss and lots of other minor health problems. And I am desperately trying to raise my children so they know how to eat the right foods and the right portion sizes. It is all new to me. It was only about two years ago that I started learning about all the problems associated with foods. There is so much information out there I didn't know where to start. I knew my middle son was having some learning difficulties and felt certain something needed to be done, and we did not want to medicate as the doctors suggested. We already watched his sugar intake as well as dyes in foods, but I knew there was more to it than that. A little over a year ago we finally figured out he has a gluten intolerance. Since we have cut out all gluten as well as many other foods laden with dyes and sugars of all types we have seen a huge difference. But I knew there was still more information out there and I was slowly but surely wading through the vast amount of websites and books on the subject of eating healthy. And then I was given the opportunity to review a wonderful resource published by Growing Healthy Homes.


The book is called Nutrition 101: Choose Life

This is a 429 page book chock full of information about how our bodies work and what foods and other products we use daily can do to our bodies. It is a complete science curriculum and so much more! We received a pdf version of the book to review. After reading through much of it on my computer I knew I had to print it out to have it more easily accessible. So, I printed out 429 beautiful, fact-filled pages.

There a 6 different units in the book covering all your major body systems and organs. Each unit is broken down into 4 different chapters. It is enough information that it is going to take us atleast a full year, if not two to read through it all. With each chapter you are given a huge amount of information as well as discussion questions for elementary kids as well as secondary students. You are also given various activities and a recipe to go with each chapter. My kids have loved making and trying the new foods. We made guacamole as a good brain food. You can go here and see my post on guacamole! We also made "Potato Salad with Flaxseed Oil - Hold the Mayo" to show us a good nervous system food. Here you see them cutting up all the different ingredients and then their reactions to the final product. Molly LOVED it and ate two helpings, Paul thought it was "ok", and Zach didn't really care for it. Regardless of their reaction we learned that there are certain foods that are good for certain body systems.

There is so much information in this book. In addition to the units there are appendices full of useful information. Each unit also gives foods that are good and bad for that particular body system. We have taken those lists and created lists for our refrigerator to remind us to eat healthy. At most meals we will look at our lists and compare them to what we are eating. Sometimes the kids will even ask to add a certain food to our meal because we are missing a food that fits into a particular category.

At first the kids complained about Mommy's latest antics to get them to eat healthier. They didn't quite understand why we weren't eating fast food and ordering pizza quite as often. Although we haven't cut it out totally it has been limited. But as we have studied more about the body and what it needs to be healthy and what being healthy means they have started asking more questions and making wiser decisions on what they eat. Now, they still ask for candy and cookies when we go to the grocery store and they still get snacks occasionally from the concession stand at their baseball games, after all they are kids. But they also know they need fruits and veggies at every meal and they know what organic means and how that is better for you. They know what foods we need to eat to keep our brain healthy so we can learn, and they understand why I don't let them eat pancakes with syrup before we start school each day. We made a trip to a new local farmers market last week (I wish I had thought to take the camera) and they were able to talk to several local farmers and gain even more insight in to healthy living. I can not say enough wonderful things about this book/curriculum. It is great for the entire family, no matter what the age. I have skipped parts of the information about the various body systems because it is just too far over their heads. But the information has helped me make more informed decision about what I am feeding my family, and helping me to Grow a Healthy Home! The book can be ordered either on CD or a print version. The CD version is $79.95, hardcover book is $99.95 or you can get both for $129.95. I know it is pricey but I am telling you, it is worth it. Go here to get your copy! Just look at Zachary's grin as he happily eats strawberries and celery for a snack!

If you would like to read about what other crew members thought about this product go here.

Also, you can see a sample of the book here.

To sum things up this book has been such a blessing to me and my family. It has saved me so much time searching on the internet to learn about what foods as well as household cleaning products and personal care products are good and bad for our bodies. I have learned so much and I am so excited to continue using this book for myself and my kiddos to make us all healthier and happier! God sure knows what we need and when we need it.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion of the product. There was no other compensation given for the review.

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