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Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods

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Following the success of Real Food, Nina Planck’s Real Food for Mother and Baby explains why real food is better for woman and child. Nina Planck, one of the great food activists, changed the way we view old-fashioned foods like butter with her groundbreaking Real Food. T hen she got pregnant. Never one to accept conventional wisdom blindly, Nina found the usual advic Following the success of Real Food, Nina Planck’s Real Food for Mother and Baby explains why real food is better for woman and child. Nina Planck, one of the great food activists, changed the way we view old-fashioned foods like butter with her groundbreaking Real Food. T hen she got pregnant. Never one to accept conventional wisdom blindly, Nina found the usual advice about pregnancy and baby food riddled with myths and misunderstandings. In Real Food for Mother and Baby, Nina explains why many modern ideas about pregnancy and infant nutrition are wrongheaded and why traditional foods are best. While Nina can be controversial—her op-ed in the New York Times on vegan diets for infants was one of the paper’s most e-mailed articles— she’s no contrarian. Readers applaud her candor; they also trust her research and welcome her advice. Nina’s basic premise hasn’t changed—whole foods are best—but some of the details are surprising. Pregnant women need meat and salt, not iron supplements. Nursing will be easier if you act like the mammal you are. Delaying the introduction of certain solid foods doesn’t prevent allergies. Cereals are not the best foods for tiny eaters; meat and egg yolks are better. From conception to two years, the body’s overwhelming needs are for quality fat and protein, not for carrots and low-fat dairy. Even as she casts a skeptical eye on the conventional wisdom, Nina is reassuring. She shows you how to keep your baby healthy on good, simple food. Real Food for Mother and Baby will be the new classic on eating for two.


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Following the success of Real Food, Nina Planck’s Real Food for Mother and Baby explains why real food is better for woman and child. Nina Planck, one of the great food activists, changed the way we view old-fashioned foods like butter with her groundbreaking Real Food. T hen she got pregnant. Never one to accept conventional wisdom blindly, Nina found the usual advic Following the success of Real Food, Nina Planck’s Real Food for Mother and Baby explains why real food is better for woman and child. Nina Planck, one of the great food activists, changed the way we view old-fashioned foods like butter with her groundbreaking Real Food. T hen she got pregnant. Never one to accept conventional wisdom blindly, Nina found the usual advice about pregnancy and baby food riddled with myths and misunderstandings. In Real Food for Mother and Baby, Nina explains why many modern ideas about pregnancy and infant nutrition are wrongheaded and why traditional foods are best. While Nina can be controversial—her op-ed in the New York Times on vegan diets for infants was one of the paper’s most e-mailed articles— she’s no contrarian. Readers applaud her candor; they also trust her research and welcome her advice. Nina’s basic premise hasn’t changed—whole foods are best—but some of the details are surprising. Pregnant women need meat and salt, not iron supplements. Nursing will be easier if you act like the mammal you are. Delaying the introduction of certain solid foods doesn’t prevent allergies. Cereals are not the best foods for tiny eaters; meat and egg yolks are better. From conception to two years, the body’s overwhelming needs are for quality fat and protein, not for carrots and low-fat dairy. Even as she casts a skeptical eye on the conventional wisdom, Nina is reassuring. She shows you how to keep your baby healthy on good, simple food. Real Food for Mother and Baby will be the new classic on eating for two.

30 review for Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fiona Endsley

    I really liked the nutritional info in this book, my favorite bit was the advice that if a food would not have been known before the industrialization of our food supply, it is not a real, whole, healthful food. It's a broken "food" with parts missing and/or other stuff added, it is not as nature intended, and therefor not what we are supposed to be eating, and it can't give us what we need(I am a steadfast believer that anytime we are not living as nature intended there will be a price to pay i I really liked the nutritional info in this book, my favorite bit was the advice that if a food would not have been known before the industrialization of our food supply, it is not a real, whole, healthful food. It's a broken "food" with parts missing and/or other stuff added, it is not as nature intended, and therefor not what we are supposed to be eating, and it can't give us what we need(I am a steadfast believer that anytime we are not living as nature intended there will be a price to pay in mental and physical health). Though the author does a good job of explaining the how and why of this thought, it is so comonsensical an idea I am slapping my forehead at the fact that this needs to be pointed out, but any outing to the grocers or a meal out at a restaurant proves that it is so. This book does disappoint however in the author's attitude that you don't need to know a lot about birth to have the lovely natural childbirth you want for yourself and your baby, as it will all take care of itself. If we lived in a culture where the standard reading for women planning to have babies was the great books by Sheila Kitzinger, Ina May Gaskin, Sarah J. Buckley, Michel Odent, ect. instead of the "What to expect when you're expecting" dribble/medical propaganda, where a woman giving birth for the first time could be expected to have witnessed a good birth or two, and to understand what goes into getting that outcome, where homebirth with loved ones and/or midwives is the socially supported standard, where O.B.s are there only for rare problems(they are surgeons after all), well, then maybe that would be the case, but it is not. The author herself seemed woefully uninformed about her choices, listing nurse-midwives as apparently the only ones, and did indeed end up with a unplanned cesarean section. Whether her long and difficult labor would have gone any differently had she had different assistants, or made different choices, I can not say, but as with nutrition, the more information you have on this subject the better equipped you are to care for yourself and your family.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jdbaron

    This book was given to us as a gift from a friend. We share similar food values: we're locavores, subscribe to a CSA, primarily choose organic foods, very rarely purchase processed foods (cereals and crackers!) and make everything from scratch, so the philosophies ascribed to by the author should have been right up our alley. However, this author has absolutely no qualifications in terms of nutrition, and her choices are frequently against the writings and recommendations of those with appropria This book was given to us as a gift from a friend. We share similar food values: we're locavores, subscribe to a CSA, primarily choose organic foods, very rarely purchase processed foods (cereals and crackers!) and make everything from scratch, so the philosophies ascribed to by the author should have been right up our alley. However, this author has absolutely no qualifications in terms of nutrition, and her choices are frequently against the writings and recommendations of those with appropriate education and qualification. I wouldn't object to this if she were to explain frequently that her ideas qualify as "fringe" and are considered to be dangerous by most pediatricians, nutritionists, etc., but she makes no such caveats. Case in point: on one page in a section about feeding baby solid foods, she includes the following tidbits: Whole milk is great after 6 months! EVERY pediatric journal, website, or physician most definitely disagrees with this. 95% say that one should wait until 1 year, others are a bit more lenient, but NEVER six months. In one section, lightly cooked egg yolk is recommend if you start baby on foods before 6 months, and in another that whole eggs are good first foods! Again, most recommend that eggs be well cooked, and only yolks until the baby is a year old. Several times, she suggests salting foods for baby! Salt is relatively high on the no-no list for first baby foods. Elsewhere, a little honey is recommended in a section of first foods. HONEY! This is universal: all doctors strongly advise that honey be avoided for the first year of a child's life. Period. End of discussion. She provides no evidence to support her philosophies - she truly seems to take the "well, it didn't hurt my kid so it must be good" attitude. Are there mothers out there who put their children to sleep on their tummies and suggest that it isn't such a bad thing to do because their child was ok? Yes - but did they WRITE A BOOK ABOUT IT AND PURPORT THEMSELVES TO BE AN EXPERT?!?! Please, please look elsewhere for a book on nutrition for you and your baby. I truly believe that this charlatan should be ashamed of herself for suggesting she has any expertise on the matter. Since when does running a farmer's market qualify you to give medically sound, tested advice?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I believe that ultimately, fertility is up to God, but we are also given the tools to help build a healthy baby by feeding our bodies the best way possible in preparation for hosting a human life. Nina is basically the poster mom for raw milk and has quite an in-your-face writing style, so be prepared. But the book has lots of great practical advice, including clear reasoning behind her nutrition advice and explanations of why each nutrient is critically important. I read this before I got pregn I believe that ultimately, fertility is up to God, but we are also given the tools to help build a healthy baby by feeding our bodies the best way possible in preparation for hosting a human life. Nina is basically the poster mom for raw milk and has quite an in-your-face writing style, so be prepared. But the book has lots of great practical advice, including clear reasoning behind her nutrition advice and explanations of why each nutrient is critically important. I read this before I got pregnant, and I'm currently doing great in my second trimester drinking raw milk and eating real foods like grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, nuts, and fresh cheeses. And no, contrary to the advice of many traditional dietitians, I do not have high cholesterol.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    After hearing Nina Planck give a talk a couple weeks back, and finding her to be sensible and passionate about food, I picked up this book. It's her second; her first, 'Real Food,' probably lays more of the groundwork. Regardless, I didn't feel adrift. I like Planck's argument for cutting through so much of the hysteria about what we feed our children when. I don't know that I'm going to do everything she says, but she's certainly influenced me, and I'm glad for it. After hearing Nina Planck give a talk a couple weeks back, and finding her to be sensible and passionate about food, I picked up this book. It's her second; her first, 'Real Food,' probably lays more of the groundwork. Regardless, I didn't feel adrift. I like Planck's argument for cutting through so much of the hysteria about what we feed our children when. I don't know that I'm going to do everything she says, but she's certainly influenced me, and I'm glad for it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    First, I recommend this book to anyone who 1. is thinking of having kids but hasn't done any research yet or 2. people who don't have strong opinions about food or parenting (so, non-parents). When my little sisters or cousins decide to have a baby, I will send this to them. Planck expresses, in 230 pages or less, her philosophy on food, pregnancy, childbirth, baby-feeding and baby care. And I am-- mostly-- in lockstep with her. Planck sketches in broad strokes why I eat grass-fed beef and drink First, I recommend this book to anyone who 1. is thinking of having kids but hasn't done any research yet or 2. people who don't have strong opinions about food or parenting (so, non-parents). When my little sisters or cousins decide to have a baby, I will send this to them. Planck expresses, in 230 pages or less, her philosophy on food, pregnancy, childbirth, baby-feeding and baby care. And I am-- mostly-- in lockstep with her. Planck sketches in broad strokes why I eat grass-fed beef and drink whole milk, why I had my babies without drugs with midwives, why they sleep with me and nurse forever and delay some vaccines and eat table food rather than baby good... and you'd think that with all that philosophical harmony, reading this book would have been fun. It wasn't. Not nearly as fun as her other book-- her REAL book, "Real Food." Why? 1. The sloppy writing/editing. This book read like an editor's red-headed stepchild. Like Micheal Pollan's "Food Rules." As if there is an impatient publishing company calling and you've gotta crank SOMETHING out and, meh, here ya go. 2. She makes some dangerous suggestions: give your kid whole grapes and gobs of peanut butter and raw milk! He'll be fine! And of course, she's right. Most kids, most of the time, will be fine. Ditto all those diseases we've got vaccines for. MOST kids won't choke on grapes or die of diptheria or get TB from raw milk. But some will. Why sign your kid up for the tragic-death lottery just because it's annoying to have to cut food up into small pieces or because shots are owie? and 3. At writing, Planck's kid is ONLY TWO. That's right. This is a parenting book about the experiences of one mother with ONE two year old. And the stuff she describes, how you should be calm about your kid's weight gain and food choices, but how she screamed and cried when her kid wouldn't eat-- just seemed like classic first-time-mom stuff. And books about first-time-moms are fine-- it's good for pre-moms to get a peek inside the intense neurotic experience that is parenting. But having one little kid shouldn't make her an expert on childhood nutrition. I felt mean reading it and snorting-- just wait till she has her next kid-- that'll deflate her advise to pregnant moms to go out to eat and take long naps and go jogging. And when her next kid won't eat any of the same foods her first kid did, in spite of her expertise... So to sum up. Good introduction to the science of real food, good background for pregnancy nutrition (i.e. the benefits of eating fish outweigh the risks of mercury poisoning, ditto raw milk), and useful (for first-time-parents) general info about baby care. My notes: p38: the dirty dozen (make sure you buy organic for these:) peach, apple, bell pepper, celery, nectarine, strawberry, chery, letuce, grape, pear, spinach, potato. The cleanest twelve (organic not so vital): onion, avocado, froz. sweet corn, pineapple, mango, froz. peas, asparagus, kiwi, banana, cabbage, broccoli, eggplant. p213: This debate (vegan vs. meat) comes down to one thing: reproduction. An otherwise healthy adult may follow a vegan diet and do fine for a while, perhaps even for his whole life. But in traditional societies, the vegan diet is unheard of. It's just not good enough for babies and children. "When women avoid all animcal foods, their babies are born small, they grow very slowly, and they are developmentally retarded," says Lindsay Allen, director of the US human nutrition research center. " It's unethical for parents to bring up their children as strict vegans."... Malnutrition is cumulative. Key nutrients lacking on a vegan diet, such as dha and vitam b12, are depleted with each pregnancy and each generation. That's why you don't find generations of vegans in traditional groups." p153: take cod liver oil for baby brain growth! 47-- four feritility rules: 1. be an omnivore 2. eat fat: butter, eggs, liver, crab 3. Eat seafood (and sea salt) for iodine and omega 3 fat dha 4. 'don't eat carbage' 53: fertility food for women: folate---liver, leaves, lentils, nuts, chicken (sub. brewer's yeast) iodine---fish, roe, kelp, sea salt (kelp tablets), iron---red meat, liver (brewer's yeast, floradix) vitamin a--- butter, eggs (cod liver oil) vitamin b12--- meat, poultry, fish, clams, milk, eggs (vitamin b12) vitamin D--- milk, pork, seafood (cod liver oil) vitamin E--- olive oil, nuts (Dr. Ron's vitamin E). Vitamin K2--- Goose liver, cheese, natto, butter, eggs (dr. ron's butter oil) Zinc--- oysters, beef, shrimp (Brewer's yeast) 62: aid fertility and prevent birth defects Folate: leafy greens, liver, lentils, nuts chicken B6: raw milk, lightly cooked liver and tuna, banana (heat sensitive) B12: meat, fish, dairy, eggs. (Doesn't exist in plants) Choline: Egg yolks, beef, wheat germ, whole grains, liver, fish Betaine: wheat germ, whole grains, spinach, beets

  6. 4 out of 5

    Em

    This book is divided into several sections for moms/moms-to-be. After an intro which gives some general background on the Real Food concept - basically to eat food as natural and close to the source as possible - Planck moves quickly into discussion fertility implications and benefits of a Real Food diet. Biggest takehomes beyond the obvious "eat lots of fruits and veggies" - avoid skim milk and soy. The next section is devoted to the 40 weeks of pregnancy and emphasizes the different nutrients th This book is divided into several sections for moms/moms-to-be. After an intro which gives some general background on the Real Food concept - basically to eat food as natural and close to the source as possible - Planck moves quickly into discussion fertility implications and benefits of a Real Food diet. Biggest takehomes beyond the obvious "eat lots of fruits and veggies" - avoid skim milk and soy. The next section is devoted to the 40 weeks of pregnancy and emphasizes the different nutrients that are essential and more or less vital in each trimester. Some of this advice diverges from the standard line of thinking - i.e., if you're at risk for preclampsia/high blood pressure, eat more meat, not less and don't worry about salt. The final section discusses breastfeeding and first foods. The latter is particularly interesting, as she essentially dismisses the need for anything defined as "baby food" and says just give your baby easy to gum portions of whatever is on your table. Overall, this is a pretty down to earth volume that challenges some assumptions about "right" foods and which preaches a particular viewpoint without getting too new-agey about it. All in all, it was non-didactic enough that I could glean some good info without feeling judged or like throwing the thing across the room for the most part (which is more than I can say for some other diet and pregnancy books). My one major caveat would be that any major changes or diversions from a doctor/midwife's advice should be discussed with them prior to taking the suggestions of a non-medical professional. A more minor complaint is that she makes this sort of eating sound really easy - which it might be if your husband owns a natural food related business and your parents own a farm and you live in a major city and make your living by writing at home about food choices. There were definitely moments where I thought, well, bully for you and your sources of raw milk and time to never give your child a bottle of anything. But for the most part, I did really like that she gave options and did acknowledge that not everyone has the resources that she does.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lianne

    I won this through a Goodreads giveaway. I had a hard time rating this book, and I think the reason comes down to this: I agree with much of Planck's substance, but disagree with her style. I agree that "real" food (not industrialized) is best for everyone, including pregnant women and babies; that vitamins, calcium, protein, and fat are needed for a healthy pregnancy and baby; and that breastfeeding is best in most cases. Planck is clear and straightforward in laying out these points. The downfal I won this through a Goodreads giveaway. I had a hard time rating this book, and I think the reason comes down to this: I agree with much of Planck's substance, but disagree with her style. I agree that "real" food (not industrialized) is best for everyone, including pregnant women and babies; that vitamins, calcium, protein, and fat are needed for a healthy pregnancy and baby; and that breastfeeding is best in most cases. Planck is clear and straightforward in laying out these points. The downfall, for me, was the writing style -- her tone, while clear, seemed haughty and know-it-all, as if a pregnant woman or mother chose to feed herself or her baby something other than what Planck recommended, they would surely be wrong. I also found her use of citations inconsistent: some sections would be cited (sometimes heavily), while others would have no support. I understand her desire to provide understandable, common-sense knowledge to pregnant women and new mothers, but some of the book just felt sloppy to me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Let me start by saying that I am not pregnant. Did you know that you can receive free, pre-release books through Goodreads.com? Just be careful which books you request because you may end up with ones like this. That being said, I did find some of the information in this book to be useful. Nina Planck writes about the importance of eating what she dubs "real food" as opposed to the new age of industrial, processed goodies. However, what I can definitely do without is her "I'm the best mother beca Let me start by saying that I am not pregnant. Did you know that you can receive free, pre-release books through Goodreads.com? Just be careful which books you request because you may end up with ones like this. That being said, I did find some of the information in this book to be useful. Nina Planck writes about the importance of eating what she dubs "real food" as opposed to the new age of industrial, processed goodies. However, what I can definitely do without is her "I'm the best mother because I feed my son..." attitude. It seems that EVERY mother has advice to share, Planck just has the means to do so through a book deal. She cites many dependable sources, so I'll give her credit for that. However, much of what she writes about it her opinion. It's a good reference, but not the best book to read if you're looking to educate yourself on improving your diet. And I'd be a little wary of recommending this book to pregnant friends.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    As promised, I picked this back up after Holden starting eating solid foods, and by the end, I had to drop it a star in my rating. Planck gets super self-righteous about what to feed your baby, although she does admit to feeding her baby chocolate and sugar at times. Otherwise, she just feeds her kid whatever real food she's eating--regardless of how allergenic they are supposed to be, etc--so I felt a little more confident expanding Holden's menu after reading. The attitude is annoying, though. As promised, I picked this back up after Holden starting eating solid foods, and by the end, I had to drop it a star in my rating. Planck gets super self-righteous about what to feed your baby, although she does admit to feeding her baby chocolate and sugar at times. Otherwise, she just feeds her kid whatever real food she's eating--regardless of how allergenic they are supposed to be, etc--so I felt a little more confident expanding Holden's menu after reading. The attitude is annoying, though... _____________________________________________________________________________________________ I love anyone who tells me to eat real butter rather than margarine (i.e., "REAL food"), and who thinks it's great that I eat meat :) I'll pick this back up after the baby is born to read the "Baby's First Food" section.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    A lot of this book made sense to me. Eat real foods. However, I was turned off by how nonchalant the author was when addresses drinking during pregnancy. It is only 9 months! It is not that big of a deal to simply stop drinking for nine months. Sure research is inconclusive on the impact of small amounts of alcohol on the infant but why risk it. We know alcohol can have devastating long term impacts on brain development. I won't be the parent who makes life harder for my child because mom wante A lot of this book made sense to me. Eat real foods. However, I was turned off by how nonchalant the author was when addresses drinking during pregnancy. It is only 9 months! It is not that big of a deal to simply stop drinking for nine months. Sure research is inconclusive on the impact of small amounts of alcohol on the infant but why risk it. We know alcohol can have devastating long term impacts on brain development. I won't be the parent who makes life harder for my child because mom wanted a glass of wine.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ngaire

    Mostly really good information and advice for people who want to try and have a Paleo/Traditional Foods-type pregnancy. Loved that Planck recommended not making baby food. She also has some great advice about good, easy baby foods, such as the traditional Italian favorite, grated Parmesan cheese and olive oil. I didn't agree with everything she said - I really don't think there's anything wrong with ultrasounds and think she might have benefited from one but that's just me. Mostly really good information and advice for people who want to try and have a Paleo/Traditional Foods-type pregnancy. Loved that Planck recommended not making baby food. She also has some great advice about good, easy baby foods, such as the traditional Italian favorite, grated Parmesan cheese and olive oil. I didn't agree with everything she said - I really don't think there's anything wrong with ultrasounds and think she might have benefited from one but that's just me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Svendsen

    This book was packed with interesting and useful information. While I'm not certain I will completely adopt all of her advice for early foods for my child, it gave me a springboard for further research and discussion with our pediatrician. I liked her honest approach to natural healthy eating, and her openness about things she disagreed with. Even at the times I disagreed with her, I respected her honesty and openness about her methods of research. I personally think there is just as much someth This book was packed with interesting and useful information. While I'm not certain I will completely adopt all of her advice for early foods for my child, it gave me a springboard for further research and discussion with our pediatrician. I liked her honest approach to natural healthy eating, and her openness about things she disagreed with. Even at the times I disagreed with her, I respected her honesty and openness about her methods of research. I personally think there is just as much something to be said for the wisdom of the elders as there is in the wisdom of modern science.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bethany B.

    It is worth suffering the struggle over the budget and impending fascination with farmers markets to enjoy this holistic appreciation of creation and the gift of motherhood and pregnancy. Nina Planck revels in well-researched facts about food and nutrition while giving anecdotal experience and following the story of her first 2 years with her son. What really sets the book apart is her delight in pregnancy and the early days while not discounting the difficulty and unknowns. I found it beautifull It is worth suffering the struggle over the budget and impending fascination with farmers markets to enjoy this holistic appreciation of creation and the gift of motherhood and pregnancy. Nina Planck revels in well-researched facts about food and nutrition while giving anecdotal experience and following the story of her first 2 years with her son. What really sets the book apart is her delight in pregnancy and the early days while not discounting the difficulty and unknowns. I found it beautifully refreshing when it is so easy to pick up complainy mom vibes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    I go back and forth. There's lots of very solid advice in here, and there's also stuff that doesn't vibe with me (we drink organic grass-fed whole milk that's batch pasteurized, yes, but not raw; we vaccinate, etc.). I take what works and leave the rest. But what works? Is good nutrition advice. I swear (from experience) that desiccated grass-fed beef liver capsules are the best nutritional ally a pregnant, birthing, and nursing person can have. I always appreciate Planck's level-headedness when I go back and forth. There's lots of very solid advice in here, and there's also stuff that doesn't vibe with me (we drink organic grass-fed whole milk that's batch pasteurized, yes, but not raw; we vaccinate, etc.). I take what works and leave the rest. But what works? Is good nutrition advice. I swear (from experience) that desiccated grass-fed beef liver capsules are the best nutritional ally a pregnant, birthing, and nursing person can have. I always appreciate Planck's level-headedness when it comes to things like moderation, white flour, etc. A good resource!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Heartfelt, kind, and forgiving This book made me cry. Repeatedly. The author has such a way with words and her stories moved me deeply. She gives scientifically grounded advice on food, but doesn't overwhelm the reader with recipes or rules. She breaks things down into simple, but never condescending, basics that are easy for even a new mom's hormone saturated brain to remember. She's honest, forgiving, and sounds like a wonderful, loving mother. Highly recommended. Heartfelt, kind, and forgiving This book made me cry. Repeatedly. The author has such a way with words and her stories moved me deeply. She gives scientifically grounded advice on food, but doesn't overwhelm the reader with recipes or rules. She breaks things down into simple, but never condescending, basics that are easy for even a new mom's hormone saturated brain to remember. She's honest, forgiving, and sounds like a wonderful, loving mother. Highly recommended.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shauna

    Great for new moms

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Only read chapters about baby's first foods. Only read chapters about baby's first foods.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    Helpful info with a useful structure but a grating tone at times.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie Locke

    A must read if you're a mom or becoming a mother! A must read if you're a mom or becoming a mother!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn

    Planck's idea for this book is solid, but her advice is sketchy. Real food is a must for mother and baby, but I don't think I'm comfortable feeding raw meat to babies. I'm glad it worked for her family, and everything else she mentioned I can at least write off as safe-enough, but she went too far at times. Planck's idea for this book is solid, but her advice is sketchy. Real food is a must for mother and baby, but I don't think I'm comfortable feeding raw meat to babies. I'm glad it worked for her family, and everything else she mentioned I can at least write off as safe-enough, but she went too far at times.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    If you read Nancy's book about food in general, Real Food, some of this book will seem repetitive. I want to read Nourishing Traditions next, which I've heard goes along well and gives a bit more application as it's a cookbook of recipes. I had Nancy Planck's first book (Real Food) a few months before reading this one. I've meant to look up the studies behind her theories but haven't yet. It's the type of book written as an opinion from a bias, kind of like how I'd view a documentary - so I feel If you read Nancy's book about food in general, Real Food, some of this book will seem repetitive. I want to read Nourishing Traditions next, which I've heard goes along well and gives a bit more application as it's a cookbook of recipes. I had Nancy Planck's first book (Real Food) a few months before reading this one. I've meant to look up the studies behind her theories but haven't yet. It's the type of book written as an opinion from a bias, kind of like how I'd view a documentary - so I feel like it is necessary to be aware of the different sides. Her views happen to align with what seems like common sense to me, and also what I like to eat, which makes them easy to believe. You will find some advice in this book that is counter to what you may see on pregnancy "do not eat" lists, mainly when it comes to seafood. Planck believes that the seafood guidelines do more harm than good, because they have lead people to believe it's fine or even better to avoid it entirely (and since being pregnant I have run across a few people who do or think I should). There is a lot of seafood that is low in mercury and is amazingly healthy for you and your baby. Especially in the third trimester, when "good fats" are so important to their developing brain and seafood is so rich in good fat, and lots of other great things you can't get anywhere else. If you want the gist of Nancy's food philosophy, it's to concentrate on eating as humans have historically, and avoid the modern introductions (soy), processing (vegetable oils/margarine, refined sugars and flours, etc), and the "industrialized" (meat, produce). She proudly doesn't limit good fats (such as coconut oil, olive oil, butter/dairy, animal fat), but at the same time eats a variety and volume of produce, probably a lot more than is on the average American plate, and smaller portions of carbs and meat. I don't remember her specifically laying this out (like a food pyramid), but I do remember her describing the garden that is usually in her fridge/how much salad they go through, and how it happened naturally, growing up on a vegetable farm. One hugely important thing I learned from both of her books, is that fat is important and necessary to absorbing the vitamins and minerals in a lot of vegetables. So, cooked carrots with butter are much better for you than if you tried being "healthy" and doing without the butter. That people think they are doing the right thing by eating "naked" salads and foregoing healthy fat for manufactured fats that are hydrogenated, makes me feel bad, so when it comes up I kind of get on a soapbox and am probably very annoying. :) She did get in to some non-food related topics in this book that I thought was in bad taste. Just some mommy-war material about parenting that had nothing to do with food. I've avoided reading books explicitly about "parenting" due to just being fed up with what a warzone it is, and so that she worked it in to a book I thought I was reading about a specific subject (food) was kind of annoying. Also, her views on sunscreen, although somewhat related in that it pertains to Vitamin D, are so crunchy it honestly took her credibility down a couple of notches with me. Also, the extent to which she went in her seriousness about this subject, it is apparent this is her "neurotic" thing as a mom. Food is her "thing", probably every mom has their "thing" but it's written from this perspective that is just so intense that it comes off kind of over the top and a bit fear-mongering if you were to disagree with her perspective in any way.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cristi Brown

    Such a great book on nutrition from our food! One of the most helpful books I've read during my pregnancy! Such a great book on nutrition from our food! One of the most helpful books I've read during my pregnancy!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    I read this book at 33 weeks pregnant, so I skipped a lot of the fertility and 1st and second trimester parts because I found myself going "oops" far too many times. Now is not the time to be freaking out over what I did or did not eat during the past 33 weeks! A good sanity check is my happy, healthy two-year old daughter who seems just fine despite all of the crap I ate when I was pregnant with her. As I said in my review of Real Food, I took this one with a grain of salt. I love the concept o I read this book at 33 weeks pregnant, so I skipped a lot of the fertility and 1st and second trimester parts because I found myself going "oops" far too many times. Now is not the time to be freaking out over what I did or did not eat during the past 33 weeks! A good sanity check is my happy, healthy two-year old daughter who seems just fine despite all of the crap I ate when I was pregnant with her. As I said in my review of Real Food, I took this one with a grain of salt. I love the concept of trying to keep what you put into your body "real" and Planck really reinforced for me the importance of a good diet - particularly while nursing. One thing that I love about her books is that she stresses how good fat is for you. That is something I have struggled with and always thought if I was adding butter/oil/cheese/etc. that I was just making the dish more appealing but not helping my body absorb the nutrients from those foods THROUGH the addition of the fat. Grab the butter... I found myself wandering a bit and skipping forward when I read about Planck's "birthing tub" and admittedly did a few eyerolls, only to find myself tearing up when I read that she ended up having a c-section. While I was all-hospital, all-epidural with my daughter, I really did not think I would end up witha c-section and was also devastated when that happened. I think it was very admirable of Planck to share her story and if SHE can overcome her disappointment in having a c-section given her extremely opposite "plan", certainly so could I! Anyway - great book. Has me all geared up for lots of hydrating and healthy eating when baby #2 arrives. This really did make a difference for me with baby #1...it's just easier said than done when your brain says "fully caffienated grande mocha and a chocolate crossiant" and your body says "gallon of lemon water and some granola mixed with yogurt"!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Nina Planck is an advocate for what she calls 'real food.' These are the staples of our ancestors, prepared in traditional ways. Fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, cheese, and milk minimally processed if processed at all. Planck provides compelling arguments for eating this way based on nutritional comparisons. While some of the ideas she presents for general eating and eating during pregnancy fall quite far from mainstream thinking, she does provide science to back up her claims. The stories she s Nina Planck is an advocate for what she calls 'real food.' These are the staples of our ancestors, prepared in traditional ways. Fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, cheese, and milk minimally processed if processed at all. Planck provides compelling arguments for eating this way based on nutritional comparisons. While some of the ideas she presents for general eating and eating during pregnancy fall quite far from mainstream thinking, she does provide science to back up her claims. The stories she shares of her own pregnancy and how it shaped her diet are interesting. Although there were some aspects of her experiences that I would not have shared during my own pregnancy (such as having glasses of wine), I was able to take away some good information from this section of the book. Planck lost me, however, when it came to the section on baby's first foods. Essentially she fed her son chunks of various table foods almost from the beginning of his solid food experience. While I do not doubt the nutritional value of the foods she was feeding him, my concern is that some of the foods she mentioned would present a potential choking hazard. I simply cannot imagine letting my eight month old daughter chew on a pork chop! Planck also threw out all conventional wisdom regarding babies and allergies, giving her son many foods before his first birthday that most doctors do not recommend. I enjoyed reading this book and I do feel that I learned something from it. I think each person reading this book will have to find their own comfort level with the information presented and take what they can use while leaving the rest behind.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    First things first: this author is a total whack-job. She's crazy. Raw milk and wine while pregnant? No. Telling us epidurals are more likely to cause drug-addicted teens? Please. Real food cures morning sickness? I would like to see what she says after dealing with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. With that said, there is a lot of good information in here. I read this at the end of my pregnancy, and it was a kick in the pants to finish this thing strong instead of subsisting on donuts. I did skim the pa First things first: this author is a total whack-job. She's crazy. Raw milk and wine while pregnant? No. Telling us epidurals are more likely to cause drug-addicted teens? Please. Real food cures morning sickness? I would like to see what she says after dealing with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. With that said, there is a lot of good information in here. I read this at the end of my pregnancy, and it was a kick in the pants to finish this thing strong instead of subsisting on donuts. I did skim the parts about the fertility diet and what to eat in the first and second trimesters just to see how miserably I failed, and let me tell you, I failed miserably. According to her, my baby will probably be unhealthy with a low IQ due to the blatant lack of fish oil in my diet. But at the same time, I was on soy formula as a baby (according to Nina, you basically feed your child soy formula only if you hate them), and I grew up to be smart and healthy. There's good information to glean if you can get past the self-righteous bragging. You'll start to wonder if she's getting paid by the amount of times she condones raw milk. However, I love the basic premise of getting back to real food and eating nothing processed. I am completely on board that train. I love that she wasn't afraid to challenge the pediatrician and that she promotes getting minerals like iron from real food instead of supplements. I can say from my own experience, eating iron-rich foods is much more beneficial than taking fake supplements. All in all, use your common sense with her and take everything she says with a grain of salt. A grain of unrefined sea salt, that is.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    This book has changed my eating habits. Really and truly it has. I read labels like never before, I'm conscious of the combinations of food I eat, and I don't think I've ever felt better about what's going in my mouth. Planck's easy-to-read guide allows you to both understand what you're reading and apply it when you go to the farmer's market. The only downside is that I feel she relies to heavily on secondary sources. (I was a history major so bear with me here.) Planck's advice, while probably This book has changed my eating habits. Really and truly it has. I read labels like never before, I'm conscious of the combinations of food I eat, and I don't think I've ever felt better about what's going in my mouth. Planck's easy-to-read guide allows you to both understand what you're reading and apply it when you go to the farmer's market. The only downside is that I feel she relies to heavily on secondary sources. (I was a history major so bear with me here.) Planck's advice, while probably well-founded, doesn't carry as much weight as it could if she were to go back to the original source of the information. For example, she talks about soy products and their lack of healthful benefit. At one point she almost goes so far as to say that soy is bad for you. That may be true, but her source is another author's book on why soy is bad...it's not the study behind the other author's book. What's to have prevented this other author from making up a bunch of hogwash about soy? Nothing. Now I assume that Planck did her research and found the other author based his info on a study, but her argument would have been more sound if she'd just footnoted the primary source. There are several instances of this kind of thing, but it does not detract from her points generally.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Wuertz

    A lot of it is the same stuff you will read in her first book, but with more specifics on what to actually be eating. Actually, I think there were several paragraphs completely lifted from the first book. It was really interesting reading her story of homebirth turned c-section, at least for me. Definitely gives a new and different perspective. She definitely throws a lot of attachment parenting stuff in there, but as much as I agree with her on most points I'm not sure it really has a place in a A lot of it is the same stuff you will read in her first book, but with more specifics on what to actually be eating. Actually, I think there were several paragraphs completely lifted from the first book. It was really interesting reading her story of homebirth turned c-section, at least for me. Definitely gives a new and different perspective. She definitely throws a lot of attachment parenting stuff in there, but as much as I agree with her on most points I'm not sure it really has a place in a book about nutrition. I think the part I was most interested and looking forward to reading was the section on first foods. I did find it interesting what she had to say about the digestive enzymes in babies and that they are prepared to break down protein and fat (meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.) versus the modern first foods of processed grain cereals. However, I'm just not sure I can buy into her theories on introducting foods as it relates to food allergies. Everything else I've read seems to contradict this and I'm understandably freaked out about food allergies after experiencing them with our daughter. So anyway, I rated it 4 rather than five stars because of the food allergy stuff and because I thought I would be getting more info than what was actually found in this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mindy

    This book has changed my eating habits. Really and truly it has. I read labels like never before, I'm conscious of the combinations of food I eat, and I don't think I've ever felt better about what's going in my mouth. Planck's easy-to-read guide allows you to both understand what you're reading and apply it when you go to the farmer's market. The only downside is that I feel she relies to heavily on secondary sources. (I was a history major so bear with me here.) Planck's advice, while probably This book has changed my eating habits. Really and truly it has. I read labels like never before, I'm conscious of the combinations of food I eat, and I don't think I've ever felt better about what's going in my mouth. Planck's easy-to-read guide allows you to both understand what you're reading and apply it when you go to the farmer's market. The only downside is that I feel she relies to heavily on secondary sources. (I was a history major so bear with me here.) Planck's advice, while probably well-founded, doesn't carry as much weight as it could if she were to go back to the original source of the information. For example, she talks about soy products and their lack of healthful benefit. At one point she almost goes so far as to say that soy is bad for you. That may be true, but her source is another author's book on why soy is bad...it's not the study behind the other author's book. What's to have prevented this other author from making up a bunch of hogwash about soy? Nothing. Now I assume that Planck did her research and found the other author based his info on a study, but her argument would have been more sound if she'd just footnoted the primary source. There are several instances of this kind of thing, but it does not detract from her points generally.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    When Nina Planck writes objectively, this is a good book with practical information. But too much of the time she injects her bossy opinion and makes you feel like a terrible person if you stray from her prescription. Dear lord is she self-righteous! She speaks in extremes: if you don't hold your baby all the time, he'll be depressed. Better sleep with him in the room or he'll have developmental problems! God forbid you don't breastfeed--and never mind the women who can't--your kid is screwed! H When Nina Planck writes objectively, this is a good book with practical information. But too much of the time she injects her bossy opinion and makes you feel like a terrible person if you stray from her prescription. Dear lord is she self-righteous! She speaks in extremes: if you don't hold your baby all the time, he'll be depressed. Better sleep with him in the room or he'll have developmental problems! God forbid you don't breastfeed--and never mind the women who can't--your kid is screwed! Her solutions for women who can't breastfeed are also a bit much: source breastmilk from some national bank, and never mind the cost. Or hire a wet nurse. Because there are so many out there. Obviously, Planck herself had no problems with breastfeeding, which is incomprehensible to me because it was, and still is, one of the hardest things I've ever done and even my OBGYN agreed. I was most annoyed at her "woe is me" attitude over her C section. I took this book with a grain of salt. I do wish Nina Planck had written her book for the modern working woman, not someone who lives in a small rural village, grows her own food, milks her own cow, churns her own butter, and has a community of wet nurses nearby.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Libraryscat

    First let me remind my readers that I am a 55 year old woman, long past fertility with four children who are old enough to worry about that delicate and complex joining of cells themselves. Why would I then ask for an advanced reading copy of Real Food for Mother and Baby? Precisely because I anticipate more grandchildren and do not want to be that old fogey grandmother who remembers how it used to be and constantly reminds the young hipsters that I certainly know better than they do what is goo First let me remind my readers that I am a 55 year old woman, long past fertility with four children who are old enough to worry about that delicate and complex joining of cells themselves. Why would I then ask for an advanced reading copy of Real Food for Mother and Baby? Precisely because I anticipate more grandchildren and do not want to be that old fogey grandmother who remembers how it used to be and constantly reminds the young hipsters that I certainly know better than they do what is good for their new child. If only I could get back to my great-grandmother s advice to my grandmother then I might have something of value to add along with my views of never being able to spoil a newborn baby. Instead I happily and quickly read Nina Planck s wonderful book and I am very grateful to Bloomsbury for providing me with the Advanced Reading Copy. I know that I will continue to consult this book for my own health and nutrition and have something of substance to talk with my children about when their children are born.[return]To read the rest of my review, click Here

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