REVIEW OF: Creating Healthy Children
Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods
By: Karen Ranzi
In the Judeo-Christian Bible, Proverbs 22:6 says “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” It is great to see that someone takes this seriously. Karen Ranzi, an author, speaker and consultant, has taken raw to a whole new level in her book “Creating Healthy Children.” The majority of my reviews are all about the “me.” In other words, it is food that “I” eat; it is products that “I” use and it is a recipe that “I” will prepare. Karen’s book takes raw and health to a new level. Her book is all about preparing us to prepare the next generation. Having seen what the Standard American Diet (S.A.D) did to one of her parents, and knowing the difference that changing to a raw diet lifestyle did for her, she decided to share with her readers the advantages to a raw and healthy diet for our children. From the womb through adolescence, her book takes us through the necessary steps to a healthy childhood. Allow me a moment to share with you, my reader, why I think everyone needs this book in his or her library.
Even before opening the cover, I was impressed by the quality and obvious professionalism that went into publishing this book. The cover, each of the 496 pages and the photographs appear to be well thought out and prepared with the reader in mind. The easy to follow index and the helpful appendices lead me directly to areas of the book that I needed to refer back to when I had questions.
Unlike many authors who I read and review, Karen does not seem to be afraid to quote her sources, and whenever medical jargon might be confusing to the reader, she is quick to offer an explanation. While many “raw” and “health” books state opinion after opinion, this book states the facts necessary to back up any claims she has made. The appendices give websites, periodicals and other references for further information. But, enough about that, let’s get on with the book’s contents.
I was inspired when I first opened the book and discovered that the forewords were written by an M.D. and a Ph.D. This always adds credibility to a book in a field where everyone seems to want to write about something, and they are all “experts.” Then, as I began to read “My Story,” a chapter about Karen’s life, I realized that this was not just a happy-go-lucky, feel-good book. I understand that Karen was going to stick with the facts, whether they were “warm and fuzzy” or “hard and cruel.” One sentence made me laugh, while the next made me want to cry. Her attention to detail and information is phenomenal, which made the reading more interesting.
I was interested in her approach early in the book with regards to the parents. I expected the book to be all about “healthy children,” and did not even consider that “healthy children” need to come from “healthy parents.” This was a pleasant realization, and the book points out that healthy children begin before conception. Then, she touts the benefits of home childbirth in the next chapter, and reminds the reader that medical intervention is only one danger of a hospital birth.
Karen seems very concerned about the amount of fats and proteins in the diet of pregnant women, and rightfully so. The incidence of early puberty in girls, obesity and other health issues are addressed with accuracy and fact-filled information. While promoting a reduction of fat in the diet, the author points out that many foods are rich in protein, yet S.A.D. does not push these as high-protein foods. The amount of information to the public is deceptive about where these proteins should come from, and how much protein our bodies actually need.
In another part of the book, a whole chapter is dedicated to the myth that vegans and children of vegans are going to experience medical problems because of a lack of B12 in their bodies. The author offers options for increasing B12, as well as medical information on whether this is even necessary. But, as a true informer, Karen confronts both sides of the issue and how it affects her readers. This chapter then moves into the next section involving breast-feeding and attachment parenting.
It makes sense that mothers should breastfeed their infants. Karen references many sources which show how advantageous breastfeeding is since the infant is readily able to digest the mother’s milk. It is all very natural and this common sense approach seems best. Although I found the lead-in to attachment parenting to be informative and interesting, I do not feel qualified to review this aspect of the book. Skin-to-skin contact between the mother and the infant seems important to me, but as a man, I have to yield to a woman’s expertise in this area.
The information on feeding a baby uncooked food and teaching a child how to eat was for me, the most important part of the book. Imagine where we would all be today if our mothers had started us eating correctly from the womb. Obesity, as well as many diseases would be a thing of the past. However, that is not the world in which we live, and the next chapter on “Transitioning Older Children to Raw Foods” addresses that need in today’s society. With the prevalence of fast food restaurants, junk food in the grocery stores, snack foods being served and sold in schools, it is no wonder that our children are in terrible shape both physically and emotionally. If a million families would follow the advice set-forth in this book, two to three million children could be saved from an early death, as well as billions of dollars saved in future medical bills, much of which are going to have to be paid by a strapped government system. The United States Government should consider buying one of these books for every American home as part of the stimulus package. Stimulate healthy kids to save the government money. What a concept!!
Much of the remainder of the book is dedicated to recipes for children (ok, adults, too – I have already used some and they are great) along with testimonials from raw families and how it has affected their lives. The stories all brought smiles to my face when I read how a raw lifestyle changed their lives. Having been through the transformation myself, I know what a life changing and life saving experience it can be.