Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Lost Art of Feeding Kids by Jeannie Marshall

The Lost Art of Feeding Kids: What Italy Taught Me about Why Children Need Real Food by Jeannie Marshall

Beacon Press (January 14, 2014) 240 pages

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

I requested this book in hopes that it would encourage me to cook better. Not only am I now actively attempting to lose weight(as opposed to "starting tomorrow), I also dream of ditching processed foods completely someday. I want to make better memories around our table, with better food. That takes a *huge* amount of encouragement in a world filled with so many processed foods.

It doesn't take long to feel and understand the passion that the author has for children eating REAL food. Her enthusiasm rubs off! Even if I was expecting the book to be more memoir than it was, it's still a large part memoir. (There's also a great deal of factual information. To be honest, when it came to those parts, I found it entirely too easy to skim.)She tells of when her and her husband first moved to Italy, and then had their son. She tells of the difficulties of trying to keep his eating healthy(with real food) and keep the media brainwashing from happening to him as processed foods are taking over Italy more and more.

There were times when I felt a little scolded. When she talks about baby formula, I was feeling like a horrible mother! I DID breastfeed(with formula as a supplement) for several months with all of my children. But, I also swapped them over to formula full time for various reasons at some point. I was really feeling the guilt factor. At the end of her talk, though, she does say that without the constant push and support to breastfeed that she had, it would have been too easy to give in to formula. For me, despite times of feeling scolded, the author always brought herself down to a realistic level in the end. She took the guilt away, but not so much that I became content to live as I am right now. She always left me with the motivation to eat better and feed my children better.

This book isn't Christian, in any way. The author MAY be Christian(I don't know!), but there's not a Christian element to it. I took a great lesson away from it anyway! I'm not a feminist!! This book made me realize how feminist I live, though. It was a pretty big wake up call. Sometimes, I feel like cooking and cleaning are such a waste of time, and unimportant. I want to get it over with, and get on with "more important" things. While that's still *partly* true, I want/need to put more thought and love into my meals and home, and therefore, my family. The author stresses that healthy meals are generally simple! Healthy and memorable meals don't have to be elaborate! It just takes time to learn.

The author talks about Micheal Pollan a great deal, so I imagine if you like his books, this one would be a good reading choice. I already have one of his books in line for my reading this year. If you're looking for encouragement to eat better, with lots of food facts, definitely give this one a try! I found it to be highly encouraging in my food journey and eye opening in many areas.

*I requested this book through Amazon Vine, and then realized I could get an e-ARC through Edelwiess. (I prefer reading on my Kindle(Fire) right now.) SO! Thanks to Amazon Vine, Beacon Press, and Edelwiess for providing me with an (e)ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. Sounds really good.

    I had to give up breastfeeding too. My milk just wouldn't catch up.

    1. My youngest started spitting up so much of "my" milk that he was losing weight, so I gave it up. I had a lot in the freezer, too, and that hurt! ;) I know a lot of people that just can't produce enough milk no matter how hard they try, though! I'm pretty grateful for formula! :)

  2. I think I've shared with you I had no milk supply...didn't even try with #3 due to a hospitalization for #2 and nearly for was too stressful.

    I don't know that we'll ever eliminate processed foods altogether, but I do make an effort to do more an more real food. I think a book like this would be good for me to be even more motivated.

    1. Breastfeeding really is stressful! I don't like making moms feel guilty about using formula! I had to pump AND then feed my little ones, because we couldn't get the hang of actual breastfeeding. It was so painful, it was worth the extra time. :S It was a huge weight off my shoulders when I no longer had to pump several times a day and wash supplies several times, too. I'm very grateful for formula! ;)

      Also, I really shouldn't say I want to ditch processed foods completely! That's just delusional for me! ;) Like you, though, I'm slowly weeding out more and more, and I've learned how much better most homemade things tastes.

      It is a motivational read!

  3. I breastfed both my kids. It wasn't easy initially. I had it all, mastitis and bleeding nipples--so painful!! But then it became a breeze, also because I had a lot of milk. Okay, back to book. I think I would like this one. It's true what she says that processed food is becoming more and more prominent in Italy.

    1. I had the bleeding and cracking. I tried the landolin(?) cream, but it ended up pulling my skin off. So! I'm proud of you for persisting!! ;) I know it wasn't easy!!

      I could feel her disappointment about Italy's food changing so much. The picture she paints from when she first moved there was *beautiful*. I'd be sad to see that go, too!

  4. A friend just sent your post to me. Thanks for reading the book so carefully. Sorry if I made you feel badly about breastfeeding. I didn't mean to at all. I found it very hard and I know I wouldn't have done it without the help I had. I wouldn't want you to feel badly about how you handled it (which sounds like you handled it well) but I wish there was more support out there to help women avoid baby formula when possible. Anyway, lovely to read your reaction. And I hope you enjoy Michael Pollan. He's fantastic.

    1. Thank you so much for commenting!! :)

      Honestly, I felt you balanced the "scolding" part PERFECTLY! You made me think about what I'm giving my children(and myself). It's too easy to not think about it these days, and I NEED to! It's so very important! Still, at the end of each part, you acknowledged the difficulties, and took away my guilt. I do better with gentle encouragement, and you did that wonderfully. Again, it was THE perfect balance!!

      I can't wait to read more from you! ;)