Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TOS Review: Nutrition 101

ONE DAY ONLY:  Tomorrow, April 21, The Old Schoolhouse is hosting a webinar with Sera Johnson, one of the authors of Nutrition 101.  This webinar will take place at 4:00 p.m. EDT.

Okay, I'll admit it: When I learned that I was chosen to be one of the reviewers for Growing Healthy Homes' Nutrition 101, I was 60% excited and 40% curious.  Or maybe it was the other way around.  I'd heard good things from several people about this health and nutrition curriculum, and I was excited to see it for myself.  But I'm also a HUGE supporter of the Real Food/Weston A. Price movement, and after over a decade of studying nutrition, I have some very firm beliefs about it.  I was super-curious to see whether Nutrition 101 would fit those beliefs.

Growing Healthy Homes was started in 2007 "to educate and train families regarding God's plan to optimum health as outlined in the Bible."  The product I received, Nutrition 101: Choose Life!, is a three-in-one family nutrition and health program for all ages that presents the major body systems, how they function, their common health issues, the benefits of good food and the consequences of bad food.

The book is divided into 6 units:

  • The Brain and Nervous System
  • Digestion and Elimination
  • Respiration and Olfactory
  • Muscular and Skeletal Systems
  • Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
  • Endocrine System and Emotions.

  • This book is well-researched, very in-depth and a fantastic study of the way the human body works and how the food we eat can help or hurt us.  Each unit is divided into small, easy-to-digest (pun totally intended) sections with Bible references, excellent illustrations, discussion questions and activities.  There are also art projects, science projects, and yummy, "hands-on" recipes.  As a whole, it's a fantastic tool for anyone who wants to give their children a Biblical, healthy understanding of nutrition.  Not only that, but the book is flexible enough that you could use it with pre-schoolers, or assign it for high school credit.  Truly a great resource for any homeschool!

    *I* (and I stress this, because I have to say that I'm probably the pickiest person I know when it comes to what really is nutritious and what isn't) did not agree with some of the authors' beliefs.  Specifically, I disagree with their take on nutritious fats, and how much fat is necessary.  They say a little, mostly the "good" oils like coconut and olive oil.  I say we - and especially our children - need a LOT of fat (upwards of 50% of our daily calories) and that much, if not most, of it should come from saturated fats, especially animal fats (though I agree on the coconut oil, depending on the type and source).  I was also sad to see no mention at all of soaking or sprouting grains, the health benefits of raw dairy (and conversely the health hazards of pasteurized dairy), and a heavy emphasis on the veggies.  And, I was actually annoyed at their choice to push "raw, blue agave nectar" as their sweetener of choice.  That's probably an argument better suited for a whole other post, but suffice it to say that even the "raw blue" agave is still highly processed, and the liver has to process this sweetener the same way it has to process high fructose corn syrup - it is NOT a healthy alternative to refined white sugar.  Yet the book had at least 25 recipes using it!

    However, even with those reservations, the Nutrition 101 course is so full of good info, and so-well organized and laid out, that I will continue to teach it to my children, adding in the things I listed above as we get to them.  And that's just another great thing about this course - you can add/remove/change things that you may personally feel need to be added/removed/changed without having to go out and try to find something completely different.  The overall information presented is very sound, both Biblically and nutritionally.

    You can check out more about the course by watching this video:

    You can also check out a free excerpt of the book yourself.

    The course is available on CD (e-book format) for $79.95, as a gorgeous, full-color book for $99.95, or a combo pack for $129.95.  My preference would be the combo pack.  It's nice to have the book in hands to read aloud from, flip through and have as a handy reference, but also great to have the e-book format so you can print single pages when needed.

    Want to see what the other crew members thought about Nutrition 101?  Check out their reviews here.

    Disclaimer: As a member of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received a complimentary e-book copy of Nutrition 101: Choose Life! in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased review. No other compensation was received.

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