Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck

A terrific book for those who want a healthy mom and baby.

We’re back! Sorry for the silence on the site. Erin and I relocated across the country (we’re enjoying Western Michigan nowadays) and were very busy with all that entails. Simply put, life got in the way, but we’re planning to get on track with books. I should note that going forward we might stray from the normal genre of books we normally post about. Quite frankly, we haven’t found as many in the sustainable agriculture genre worth bragging about lately, plus our interests might be morphing a little bit.

On another note, we could use some help sourcing and reviewing books. If you’re interested, contact us.

And now, a book!

I’ll just come out and say it: I’m a fan of Nina Planck. You might recall my review of her first book, Real Food, and now I’m featuring her follow up aimed at mothers and young (or unborn) babies.In Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two and Baby’s First Foods,┬áPlanck takes us from preconception through introducing first foods using her common sense, no-science-required approach. In reality, she does bring in some science, but she does such a wonderful job of making the science available without making it necessary. Truly, anyone can read this book.

It is important to note that Planck’s food recommendations are not those of your standard dietitian or obstetrician. Fortunately for me, I am not your standard dietitian, and the result is that I echo her recommendations to anyone that will listen.

So what does she recommend? For foods introduced to the baby for the first time, Planck suggests meat, liver, fish or roe, egg yolk, banana and avocado. This definitely stands in stark contrast to most standard medical care, which will suggest first introducing iron-fortified cereal, followed by fruit, then vegetable, then meat. The fact that iron-fortified, heavily processed cereal is a very recent food to humans should be enough to suggest it might not be a great first food for your baby. Indeed prior generations, perhaps your grandparents or great-grandparents, would have told you Planck’s recommendations are no big surprise, and they probably would have been appalled at the idea of feeding a young child a processed food instead of meat or vegetable. Quite frankly, the thought still appalls me today.

In addition to these non-mainstream recommendations, Planck discusses how to use diet to promote fertility, healthy pregnancy and lactation. She also discusses the ups and downs of her personal pregnancy story. This story alone is worth the read for would be mothers anticipating a natural birth. The book is a terrific read for anyone pregnant or contemplating trying, and also for anyone generally interested in human health and nutrition.

On Amazon or at your local library.



05 2012

3 Comments Add Yours ↓

Thanks for your comments!

  1. Jack Johanson #

    I find it difficult to take anyone seriously who lacks understanding of different diets and assaults them and their practitioners. She has said she disagrees with science and ADA on a vegan diet. This is due to her personal experience. She has not education in nutrition and she has no solid no facts to base her beliefs or statements on raising children on vegan diets. Her ill health on a vegan diet was more to do with her lack of knowledge and apparent unwillingness at the time to read and educate herself on what she really needed. This is also someone who has said that eating disorders are not due to parents and poor food education at schools. The problem is people have a “disordered psyche.” (A 60s-70s era branch of psychology that has been roundly deemed as poor science) Having studied psychology, the totality of one experiences mold a person’s thinking, self-esteem and personal image. To give a free pass to school and parents is at best an uneducated stance and at worst, a sad sign of the shirked responsibility to try and raise our children to be more informed and less damaged then ourselves.

    I understand that it is nice to hear your own views expressed by someone else, someone with exposure. It would be wonderful if you could also speak to her denigration of others lives and her statements that we harm our children, when she has no factual basis to back up these views and spread disinformation as truth. Thank you.

  2. Farmbrarian #


    Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    I won’t speak to the cause of eating disorders because I know very little about it.

    As you seem to suspect, I disagree with you strongly on the vegan diet, especially for children. I’m not too sure what information Nina doesn’t know, because there is no good scientific data supporting a vegan diet (such as randomized, controlled trials). In fact, there isn’t even good observational data. There still exists no traditional culture we know of who subsisted without animal products. Put another way, we have no evidence suggesting a group could successfully live healthfully and reproduce for many generations without consuming animal products. I won’t say it is impossible, but the burden of proof would be on you, not on someone like Nina who takes a better supported approach.
    As far as the ADA supporting a vegan diet, I’m not convinced they truly do. Yes, they say a properly planned vegetarian or vegan diet can be healthy, but they NEVER recommend such a diet. If they did, I would disagree with them, as I do on many, many other things.

  3. 3

    Thank you for the review. I only wish I’d read a book like this when my children were small– but grateful to see my daughter reading Planck and Weston Price now and basing her family’s diet on traditional foods. This is the first time in history that people can choose diets based not on tradition but on ideology. While it might feel nice to think we can have optimum health as vegans, as you say, there is every indication that this is simply not true.

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