Embracing a Healthy Family: The Wholesome Child: A Complete Nutrition Guide and Cookbook by Mandy Sacher Review

The Wholesome Child: A Complete Nutrition Guide and Cookbook by Mandy Sacher Review

The Wholesome Child: A Complete Nutrition Guide and Cookbook by Mandy Sacher is a hard cover nutritional guide with more than 140 family-friendly recipes. It is a comprehensive book that includes a forward from a doctor and input from experts to include nutritionists, a pediatrician and lactation consultant, a clinical and developmental psychologist, a speech and pediatric feeding therapist and a clinical neuropsychologist as well as a dietitian.

The book is indexed by different topics from a forward, an introduction, guide to using the book, conversion tables, addressing fussy eaters, shopping, cooking and kitchen essentials to properly prepare for the wholesome way to eat and various steps in converting to healthier eating. It finishes up with menu plans, a bibliography and resources and an index. Initially, my first thought on the book was it had a nice engaging colorful cover with two children drinking from a playful canning jar and a colorful straw. When my seven year granddaughter saw it, her first reaction was, “oh! What’s this?” To me, this is already a win because she’s interested and she really enjoys helping in the kitchen and likes to peruse recipes. Since this book is geared towards children, it’s already a win  as it captured her attention. 

The book is designed for ages one through six although it is noted that any age child would benefit and possibly be inspired by the recipes. Traditionally, younger children and the most difficult of eaters and in many families, such as mine, it continues to older ages as I have very resistant eaters at the ages of 11 and 14. The author notes that the best way to incorporate change is in incremental stages which is very true if you have kids already or even if you have ever tried to diet with a radically different way of eating than you are used to. Small changes can move mountains and this is the same with changing our taste buds and what we find is good after time.

I have many many books from good old fashioned books that I can touch to ones that are electronic on my Kindle. I have many genres and I do have a lot of nutritional books and from all the ones that I have read, this one is extremely helpful and it truly is comprehensive. For those not experienced with such a diet, I would advice taking some time to get to know the book. When you are armed with knowledge, it is easier to adopt a change such as this. Reading the book will provide the confidence needed to move forward in a positive manner helping to ensure success. You can invite your child(ren) to help make the recipes as well to encourage pride in their work making the success of them eating and liking the food better or at least that is how my children and grandchildren are.

One thing I noted, early in the book, is the fact that the author supports turning to the diet to get the required minerals and supplements before turning to supplements. I have been saying this from the start with my husband who is a supplement addict. Whatever nature provides, one cannot go wrong. I try to stick with that first and man-made second. The section on Essential Vitamins and Minerals is really good. The chart is easy to read, it’s broken down by the essential ones we are all used to reading or hearing about and includes dosing/amount required, what function it performs for our bodies and how to obtain them within our diets naturally.

One of my favorite sections is on fussy eaters. She addresses many areas to include training early taste buds and how if you get them used to eating natural foods early instead of refined (addictive) refined sugars and other non-natural ingredients, they will be easier to continue on the path of wholesome foods. I’ve been on and off on the ketogenic diet and I know from my own experiences that once refined foods are eliminated from the diet, real food tastes better, I feel better and I have much more energy. The first ingredient on a label should not be sugar or three other types of sugar products. The author provides strategies and knowledge in addressing fussy eaters versus possible underlying causes preventing them from eating certain foods. My daughter was born with a lactose intolerance and cried and cried for the first couple of months of life. The pediatrician at that time only advised changing brands and it was upon my own desperation for relief that I tried the lactose free formula and a magic switch was turned on. Until this day, I feel guilt over what she must had endured in pain and discomfort.. My other daughter, 11, has dairy issues as well and have had a host of digestion discomfort. This book addresses issues such as food allergies, sensory issues and more providing the parent a chance to possibly understand that it may not just be a fussy eater issue. .

Another favorite section was baking with different flours. Given my own diet, I’ve been baking with almond and coconut flours. This section taught me some key facts about each flour to not only benefit my own diet but to understand the recipes and why certain flours are used and how they are used. There is even a section on preparing to go gluten-free which is becoming a bigger health interest of late in the States.

The recipes are accompanied with beautiful photographs of the final product. They are inviting and tempting. Each section will guide the parent/caregiver into making the transition in an easy to follow non drastic manner. The section on reducing sugar is a big one for me. Sugar is in too many products as I noted before, the main ingredient in a product should not be sugar and other sugar type products. To think that in one can of soda, you or your child will be consuming 10 teaspoons of sugar!

The recipes are also sectioned with the focus being on the particular step. Such as in the chapter of reducing sugar, there will be recipes for muffins, rolls, frosting, cupcakes, cake pops and more. The chapter on Vegetables have amazing looking recipes for items such as Beetroot Bliss Balls or Sweet Potato Pancakes. Supercharged Bolognaise or Sweet Potato Pizza are all fun ways to add more vegetables to the menu without making them boring. I will not say that cooking and baking with more wholesome ingredients is easy as it’s not. It does take time and it is more expensive than grabbing the frozen entry from the frozen section in the grocery store but when you are considering your health and your child(rens), it’s worth it. In a short time, the routine becomes easier and faster and you might even find some of your own interesting twists!

Overall, this is an excellent book introducing the audience to many facets involved in wholesome eating. From the various topics I noted above to other topics such as swapping to whole grains, It provides a firm foundation in understanding the why’s of switching the way we eat. The tips and strategies are top notch and doable. This will not only benefit children but the whole family in my opinion. I could address every section of the book but it would turn my review into a book! This is a must have for anyone wanting to change their children’s diets into a more wholesome healthier way of eating.

Stay tuned as we try some of the recipes and share them!

About the Author:

Mindy Sacher’s brother, Dr. Paul Sacher, provided the forward in the book. He has been a specialist pediatric dietitian and nutritionist for twenty-one years. His work has seen the effects of poor diets on children not only relative to weight but also in health. Mandy, a nutritionist herself, really became mobilized upon the birth of her son. Knowing what food labels really meant, she decided she was going to ensure her son had wholesome foods and not refined sugar and preservatives along with a host of other unhealthy ingredients. She started making her own baby food and moved forward with other endeavors that reinforced the public’s interest in Australia for healthier food choices for children. The idea behind the book came about in the realization that there were not any comprehensive addressing nutrition and strategies to change children into healthier eaters.

For more information, to include monthly newsletters, a free menu planner and more, click here on The Wholesome Child link and to purchase, click here.

This book was provided complimentary and I agreed to a no obligation review.

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