Access to all articles, new health classes, discounts in our store, and more!
By Nina Planck, review by Marjorie Tietjen, BS
I don’t feel it is an exaggeration to state that the survival of the human race depends on mankind returning to a diet which is more in harmony with nature. The further we move away from natural dietary principles, the sicker we become. Our list of chronic illnesses seems to increase every day but the most frightening part of all is that this trend is often considered to be acceptable. Our children are suffering as a result of nutritional ignorance, which is perpetuated by the industrialization of the food supply.
Nina Planck, in her book Real Food for Mother and Baby, helps to dispel this ignorance by educating parents about which foods provide real sustenance. Be prepared for a surprise. Her recommendations do not coincide with the dietary advice of “authorities” such as government agencies and corporations. Planck explains how producing vibrantly healthy children begins even before conception. She discusses the importance of a special preconception or fertility diet and tells us which foods are helpful and why. Many indigenous cultures stressed the importance of women consuming special nutrient-dense foods before they were allowed to marry. This practice ensured increased fertility and sturdy offspring. The author shares her opinions concerning veganism, including what this type of diet is lacking, and how it can affect mother and baby.
Planck describes how women feel during the different stages of pregnancy and uses her own experiences as examples. She reassures women about morning sickness and explains why it can occur. There are normal physiological reasons for being nauseous in early pregnancy and Planck offers several possible remedies. She also thoroughly explores the types of food that should be eaten during pregnancy but advises mothers-to-be not to get overly uptight if their appetites fluctuate. She suggests that pregnant mothers listen to their cravings, as she feels they occur for a reason.
After the baby is born, Planck recommends breast milk as the absolutely best food available – perfectly designed for the human infant. She talks about how difficult or even impossible it is to make formulas which could closely imitate human breast milk. The author feels so strongly about this issue that if she could not produce her own milk, she would consider hiring a wet nurse. Her second choice would be to purchase milk from a human milk bank. This book allays fears concerning strict nursing schedules and mothers are encouraged to set aside preconceived notions as to when or how often they should nurse. Basically, we are told that the infant will let you know how much milk it needs and how often.
When it comes time to introduce solid foods, the book offers many nourishing snack ideas to choose from. Planck discourages cereals and tells us why on page 199:
“Babies do not produce the needed enzymes to handle cereals, especially gluten-containing grains like wheat, before the age of one year. Even then it is a common traditional practice to soak grains in water and a little yogurt or buttermilk for up to 24 hours. This process jump-starts the enzymatic activity in the food and begins breaking down some of the harder to digest components.”
The author’s personal stories are encouraging and reassuring. She puts new mothers at ease, letting readers know that even if the pregnancy, birth, and the nursing experience didn’t go quite as they had planned, that doesn’t mean they have failed. She dares to admit that even she is not perfect, nor does she have all the answers. Planck’s style of writing is personal and informal. I think that most readers will find this book to be helpful and refreshingly different from other books on this subject.
Real Food for Mother and Baby, by Nina Planck 262 pages, softcover.
For questions, contact us at [email protected]
About the Author
Marjorie Tietjen is a freelance investigative journalist with a BS in nutrition. She writes on various topics but has a special interest in public health, education and awareness. Her writings can be found in several print publications, including past issues of the PPNF Journal.
Purchasing this title via the Amazon link helps support Price-Pottenger.
Published in the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing
Summer 2009 | Volume 33, Number 2
Copyright © 2009 Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Inc.®
All Rights Reserved Worldwide