|Reviewers Comments: ||Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family written by Ellyn Satter is a great resource for the parent seeking guidance in getting his or her family to eat healthier. The scope of her latest book goes beyond the division of responsibility to include guidance and hands-on advice on how to return the creativity, joy, and well-being to eating. This process starts with parents' feelings towards food, addresses meal planning and preparation, and arrives at a healthy, enjoyable mealtime. The author’s expertise in the field of feeding behaviors can be helpful for SNAP-Ed providers who are interested in learning more about this topic as well as for parents who are struggling with their children at meal time. Satter applies the information she has gathered in her practice to help her guide readers toward healthy food practices.
The Contents section lists the thirteen chapters and is very descriptive. This section also lists the 17 appendices that are like mini chapters on related nutrition and healthy eating topics. Each chapter listed has a brief summary of what the topic is about, which gives the reader a better understanding of the topic. The chapters are also grouped together by one of three categories: Part I: How to Eat, Part II: How to Raise Good Eaters, and Part III: How to Cook, which also includes some quick recipes.
How to Eat addresses the topic of parents establishing healthy eating behaviors within themselves. Satter begins this section with Chapter 2: Adjust Your Attitude . By adjusting how parents feel about eating certain foods, Satter believes that eating patterns can become healthier. She continues talking about honoring your appetite, eating as much as you want, and feeding yourself faithfully. Satter believes these topics are key to reminding the reader how to eat in a healthful way. Getting participants to be mindful of healthy eating is a goal of many SNAP-Ed educator with information and suggestions to offer participants who have “picky eaters”. This section also covers how to have pleasant mealtimes and how to orchestrate snacks, which Satter rolls into one chapter entitled, Stuff to Know to Have Family Meals.
How to Cook’s prologue covers all the information that is necessary to start creating healthy family meals. Chapter 8 then jumps right into a series of 20 to 30 minute recipes. Each recipe has tips on one or more ingredients, extra tips that may be helpful in making the recipe faster or better, and a sample menu containing a list of other foods that would be useful in creating a full meal, including dessert. Some recipes may not be suitable for those with limited resources, as they may contain some pricey ingredients. There are some recipes that involve simple ingredients such as Glazed Carrots that the SNAP-Ed provider could teach to participants. Chapter 13, Choosing Food, relates more to the SNAP-Ed provider’s scope by addressing topics such as reading food labels, choosing healthy grains, and calcium requirements, just to name a few.
Satter addresses the reader in a gentle writing tone, and readers will enjoy her to-the-point manner.