- An apparent misunderstanding about baby-led weaning. The book says that baby-led weaning is to be resisted and that baby's parents should be squarely in charge of what baby eats from the beginning. I did a combination of purees and baby-led weaning with both my children, and I was always squarely in charge of what they ate and what they were offered. Part of my role as a mother is to prepare nourishing foods for my children. Whether they pick at it and hand-feed themselves or whether I offered it mushed up on a spoon is irrelevant. The book fails to recognise that a child can only choose food from that which they have been offered or is available. If only nourishing food is offered and available, then that is what the child will choose.
I must admit I am surprised that with the concept of Nourishing Traditions being about adopting traditional methods of preparing foods as observed in ultra-healthy non-western people groups, I expected the book on baby and child care to promote more traditional and indigenous ways of nurturing (not just nourishing) little ones, such as babywearing and co-sleeping. I guess we always have The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff for that!
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I enjoyed reading Nourishing Traditions (NT) and have incorporated some of the information from that book into my family's diet. It also prompted me to delve into some areas of nutrition research that I hadn't read before NT. I expected this book to take a similar approach to child care (i.e. present qualitative and quantitative research, give an overview of historical trends, and present ideas from various cultures). I had high hopes for this book, since Sally Fallon was once again listed as an author, but after reading this book perhaps I should search for more from Mary Enig (the co-author of NT, but not on this book).
There is a lot to like about The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care by Sally Fallon Morrell and Thomas S Cowan. Some of it is exceptionally well-researched (other things I thought were a little sketchy or questionable, see further below). I could never list all the awesome things the book discusses, but some of the highlights for me include:
Perhaps the first sign that this book would be a let down were the typos throughout the pages (such as "hunbands" for husbands p 211, "sores" for scores p 104). The carelessness of the authors was reflected in the poor quality of the content and its presentation. This book lacked a coherent voice, and others have noted the contradictory statements found throughout its pages.
The children at The Meadows spend at least 2 hours outside daily, we are the only school that writes this into our curriculum. We have many learning centers outside and our teachers take the curriculum that they develop outside to help engage the children in different environments. If the weather is too poor to go outside then we have an indoor playroom with a gigantic hand painted two level castle complete with slide, ball pit, dragon cave and fairy garden to engage their gross motor skill and help them burn off energy!