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Review of Nutrition 101: Choose Life!

Posted Nov 19 2009 10:01pm

Homeschooling Curriculum copy

Meredith Review BB

"I'm fasting all healthy food," I declared to my family as I popped a bad cholesterol-building cookie in my mouth. "Can someone pick me up some eggnog?"

I know, I know, at my age, 47, healthy food choices are important. Oh, how I wish I had been a healthier eater when I was younger. I knew something about nutrition, but obviously not enough because my heart leans to white chocolate Resee Cups, M & Ms, Moose Tracks Ice Cream, and Whoppers.

Maybe this review isn't about sharing information with you, but learning and cleaning up my own nutritional life.

Nutrition 101:  Choose Life A Family Nutrition and Health Program by Debra Raybern, Sera Johnson, Laura Hopkins, and Karen Hopkins is a 448 page E-book published by Growing Healthy Homes. This book is Amish Country August 6, 2009 (22) based on the premise that the "cures" to most of the dreaded diseases (cancer, heart disease, and diabetes) is changing the way we eat. Surely, eating healthy will go a long way in preventing these diseases.

 This book is meant to be worked through together as a family. Neat! The idea of the book is to learn together and CHANGE together! The goal is to become healthy eaters in 448 pages. The authors recommend that the family using this curriculum together...
  • Get rid of junk food
  • Make a list of healthy food each family member likes
  • Each family member eats the healthy foods they do like
  • Thank the Lord for each food and involve His help in changing
  • Try at least one new thing at each meal
  • Find healthy alternatives to those old favorites
The book is divided into 6 units, each unit containing 4 chapters. Every chapter has discussion questions, activities, additional resources, and recipes. One of my favorite things is all the "Fun Facts" scattered throughout each chapter. Here are the units:

  • The Brain and Nervous System
  • Digestion and Elimination
  • Respiratory and Olfactory
  • Muscular and Skeletal Systems
  • Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
  • Endocrine System and Emotions
The best thing about Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is that it is Christ-centered. Scripture is woven into every chapter with application to the subject at hand. I love that! You may want to read Fearfully and Wonderfully Made and In His Image by Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancey.

Nutrition_10CDROM_cover The first unit is on the brain and nervous system. In the first chapter, The Brain, an excellent job is done explaining the parts of the brain and what they do in clear, easy-to-understand language. I could imagine myself reading it aloud to the entire family and keeping everyone's attention from the youngest to the oldest. The illustration was beautiful, clear, and labeled properly in bright, cheerful colors. The engaging questions for family discussion ranged from comparing your brain to a computer, to wearing bike helmets, to playing video games, to Scripture references. Likewise, the family activities using non-dominant hands for activities, playing 20 Questions, playing Memory, and researching the word lobe. I was impressed. There were many links and resources to gain further insight. The rest of the activities were an introduction to nutrition, making nutritional choices, and choosing fresh produce. We also got to make Guacamole. Yummy!  And healthy!

The second chapter, Brain Health & Nutrition, covers several diseases and conditions that affect the brain (Autism, ADD, Epilepsy, Dementia, and Alzheimer's) and Fats. Good and bad fats are explained, as well as healthy sources of good fats. The family activities include writing a funny or serious poem about brain food and experimenting to see how long it takes foods with different kinds of fats to go bad. Neat! In this chapter, you get to make Greek Salad.

Nutrition 101:  Choose Life!   would make such a fun family activity that even Dad would enjoy! Or this would make a great 24 week unit study on health. Add math and literature and you are good to go!

This book cannot replace an anatomy textbook for high school. Though it covers all the body systems, we are told what nutrients the body needs, but the chemical processes requiring these nutrients are not explained at the level high school students should be able to understand. I would use this text along with a more complex human anatomy text such as Apologia's The Human Body or Body by Design.

You can purchase Nutrition 101: Choose Life! on their website, Growing Healthy Homes for $79.95 (E-book on CDrom) or $99.95 (printed book) or $129.95 (book and CDrom combination). There are also free audio downloads you can listen to from their website, Growing Healthy Homes.

Hey, maybe I'll make some healthy dishes for Thanksgiving! Best wishes to all my readers for a happy, healthy, and joyous Thanksgiving!


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