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Growing Up Green: Baby And Child Care: Volume 2 In The Bestselling Green This! Series Paperback – 15 Apr 2008
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About the Author
Deirdre Imus is the founder and president of the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology(R), part of Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) in New Jersey. She is also a cofounder and codirector of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer, and the author of the bestselling book The Imus Ranch: Cooking for Kids and Cowboys.
Top customer reviews
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Imus presents to problem in the introduction: "The World Health Organization estimates that we could prevent more than 80 percent of all chronic illnesses by improving our lifestyles in simple ways, like working to reduce our exposure to environmental pollutants and eating a healthier diet. Eighty percent! So why aren't we doing more to protect our children?"
In chapter two, Imus addresses the role of the environment in children's health. Specifically, she writes about the health issues caused by pollution including learning disabilities, headaches, hyperactivity, asthma, allergies, obesity, diabetes, autism, pediatric cancer and more.
"Prevention is the best cure," Imus says.
With prevention is the best cure in mind, the remaining chapters focus on way to keep your kids healthy, beginning with preparation for pregnancy. This chapter includes information on greening your home by replacing toxic chemicals with safe products. She also discusses green building and specific green tips for the nursery.
The following chapter shows the expectant mother how to eat healthy for two.
Next, Imus describes how to develop a healthy eating "palate" for your baby, which includes organic and healthy food.
Imus writes about all green aspects of your child's life, including safe toys and personal care products. One of my favorite tips was to use apple cider vinegar in the bath, as it boosts mood and is relaxing for children. Add bubbles to the vinegar in the bath and you get amazing and fun foam!
The chapter on pediatrics was excellent and covers vaccinations, antibiotic overload, natural homeopathic cures and more.
Imus even includes a section on getting the schools to go green.
Finally, the book includes a list of basic foods for your kitchen, healthy breakfast recipes and easy recipes, recommended reading and resources.
The book is health insurance for your kids.
By the author of the award winning book, Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify and Energize Your Life, Your Home and Your Planet.
What grates is her irresponsible recommendations. She advises pregnant women to go vegan. I gather this is possible but requires an enormous amount of nutritional knowledge and careful checking to ensure you get all the nutrients and minerals so important for a pregnant mother. For the average person to attempt this is nothing short of stupid. There is nothing mentioned about the benefits of dairy, eggs, fish and meat, there is nothing that promotes moderation! It's not a guide to healthy living if no guidelines are provided! And to call these changes "small" is ridiculous - to make the changes she proposes would require a major lifestyle overhaul. Root Beer Float with soy ice cream is a once in a blue moon treat? I don't think the author has any realistic expectations on 99% of her audience.
My favourite part was the suggestion that formula feeding is better than breast feeding (due to the toxins that can be found in breast milk). Perhaps a mention to the overwhelming benefits of breastfeeding could have been mentioned!? Totally irresponsible.
This is exactly the kind of sloppily researched, enviro-psychotic writing that I cannot bear. I stand as one of many that try to live green, recycle and eat\live in a healthy, balanced way. This author sadly lacks any proper research and (sensible) advice and rather opts for endless lists of things to avoid.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
by Gerald T. Westbrook
This is my second book by Diedre Imus (DdI) that I have reviewed.
The first book was: "green this: Volume One - "greening your cleaning." .
The first review was: "Deirde Imus: A Second Coming of Rachel Carson II?" This review continues my quest to know more about what Ms Imus had to say. My review for Volume One concluded as follows:
"Among other findings, she has reported that BP has dumped more than 800,000 gallons of dispersants into the Gulf. And the EPA has ordered BP to stop using the toxic dispersant: Corexit. EPA admits it doesn't know very much about this chemical, but intends to work on that situation. The manufacturer, Nalco Chemical, also has little to say, but argues it is no more acutely toxic to marine organisms or hazardous to human health than alternative dispersants. The recipe for this dispersant is not public. However, DdI is highly concerned particularly for small children."
2.1 Introduction. My review for Volume Two: "growing up green - baby and child care" will start out by noting that the author reported that 50 years ago, parents had a good feel as to what to do to raise their children safe and to protect them from harm. Today that task has become far more difficult, for a variety of reasons. Our lifestyles have changed. We seem to be in constant motion. We surely work more, but sleep less. We have more drive-in meals/or other meals in places away from home, and less meals around the family table. From these sources we get more sugars, more synthetic additives and more trans fat. We also spend hours in our car, or watching TV and/or computer screens. And many of us do not get a daily walk or exercise of any kind.
Not only has our culture changed, but our environment has changed even more drastically. "Every week, more chemicals are introduced into our environment, often without first being test for safety on humans, much less safety on children." Some of these chemicals may be toxic.
In this review, I will look at what she has to say on vaccines, and on the relative safety of plastics used in bottles and toys. So I looked for the Index to look up vaccines, as I did in Volume One, on pesticides. However, there was no Index. Ouch! Next, I felt an inspection of her Glossary of Chemicals might be helpful, as it was for Volume One. However, there was no Glossary of Chemicals. Ouch again!
However, it does have a very good Table of Contents. This contents is divided into three parts".
* "one, the wake up call" two sections (Chapters 1 and 2).
* "two, from utero, to university" nine sections (Chapters 3 to 11, with 52 sub-chapters)
* "three, resources." one section, although not labeled as such.
The 52 sub-chapters were what I needed. Vaccines are covered in part of Chapter 8 entitled: Green Pediatrics. Plastic bottles are covered in part of Chapter 6 entitled: Better Bottles.
2.2 Review of Part of Chapter 6 Developing Your Baby's Palate
Sub-chapter 6.2 Better Bottles - Less than two pages are devoted to this subject, but reaches a strong indictment on Poly Carbonate use. This has exploded over the past decade. These bottles are made with bisphenol - A (BPA). DdI argues that this chemical can leach into your baby's drink. Consumer Reports also makes this argument. And several other organizations such as Harvard and Scientific America also support this case. I am still a bit skeptical, but will file this under more research required.
Sub-chapter 6.5 A Word on Microwaves - The microwave oven is incredibly convenient. However, beware of processed foods made for the microwave. Use the basic oven as an alternative. For example heating up frozen pizza. The result is less soggy, and it also starts to wean one a bit from the microwave. Now I'm not advocating getting rid of that oven, but learn to use it more effectively. DdI recommends one should never:
* microwave baby's bottles;
* heat up foods in plastic containers;
* never cover food up with a plastic wrap.
2.3 Review of Part of Chapter 8 "Green Pediatrics"
Introduction - In contrast to Sub-Chapter 6.2, here 46 pages are allocated to several subjects in this chapter with a major part on vaccines. The six sub-chapters, all with most intriguing names, are as follows.
* Vaccinations: Medicine's Greatest Achievement or Too Much of A Good Thing?
* Spotlight On: Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
* The Rise of Childhood Allergies.
* Antibiotics Overload.
* Spotlight on Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.
* Green Cures.
Sub-chapter 8.3 The Rise of Childhood Allergies - DdI reports that "Allergic disorders are increasing in almost every country in the world." at epidemic rates, particularly among our children . But why such rates? Both genetic and environmental factors are involved. And constant exposure to a multiplicity of substances in the environment over stimulate our immune systems. Today we are exposed to high levels of allergens that were never there before, and our immune systems have become hyperactive, even to non-toxins. "The end result is an epidemic increase in the incidence of asthma and other allergic conditions."
Sub-chapter 8.5 Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis - The sub-chapter on Rheumatoid Arthritis is of particular interest to me as I knew an athlete in my high school who was two years younger than me. He was a five sport superstar: football, baseball, basketball, hockey and trap shooting. He won the Gold Medal in Trap Shooting in1952, at the age of 17. Attended McGill University and played on their hockey team for one year. After that he had to give up all sports as his Rheumatoid Arthritis and associated pain had become too severe. He completed his medical degree and had a useful career in medical research, but passed away at 54. Now I do not know if his condition included the word Juvenile.
' An Examination of Key Customer Reviews on Amazon.com. - There were 31 reviews listed, 4 at three stars, five at two stars and six at one star. Hence there were 15 reviews at three stars or less, or almost half the reviews. Titles for three of the reviews follow:
* This book lost it's credibility, when it's author questioned breast feeding benefits.
* No Prioritization, No encouragement to go against the tide, Overwhelming.
* Not the Best Choice.
Now, my impression of this book is a bit stronger than these three reviewers.
' Review of part of Sub-Chapter 11 "Beyond the House: Community Activism and Outreach." Here DdI notes that taking charge of your household environment is an essential first step in any greening process. She also argues that it is as important to "take control in a broader sense," of their children's environment. She gives many ideas on this subject, some that I agree with, others that I would have some concerns if I could support. On balance I would give this book three plus stars.
As the mother of three, I have always tried to give my children the best start in life - from good prenatal care, unmedicated births and exclusive breastfeeding to making my own baby food, not vaccinating, buying healthy foods and limiting their exposure to media.
I was appalled to read Imus' very limited and very uninformed information on breastfeeding - which I had assumed would be a very large part of "Growing Up Green." After all, what is "greener" than that? True, there are some toxins present in breastmilk, but what about the toxins and artificial ingredients in formula? What about all the toxins and wasted resources that go into making the formula? What about all the waste that goes into landfills from the packaging of formula and the bottles that must be used to feed the formula? I can't think of anything LESS "green" than that, not to mention the fact that infant formulas have been recalled many times due to contamination. To even imply that artificial feeding (organic or not) is in some way better for our children than breastfeeding is ludicrous.
Imus also writes about how unhealthy our diets are, which is totally true for most Americans. However, she fails to discuss that a mother who has a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods is exposing her child to various tastes through her breastmilk and is therefore more likely to have a child who will develop a taste for these foods.
She mentions several times about the childhood obesity epidemic and the rise in various childhood illnesses such as asthma, allergies and diabetes, yet fails to mention that breastfeeding has been proven to prevent obesity and these other childhood diseases that she speaks so often about. Not only is breastfeeding healthier for children, but also for mothers. Research shows that breastfeeding significantly reduces a woman's chances of pre menopausal breast cancer.
Perhaps one of the most important things Ms. Imus neglects to mention is the fact that breastmilk provides antibodies and immunities to protect our children from various illnesses. That is something that infant formula has never been able to replicate - and probably never will. Breastmilk is a live food, a perfect food. For someone who speaks so often of the importance of making whole foods a part of our diets, she is doing a real disservice to the women and children of this country by suggesting that artificial feeding is in any way equal to or better than breastfeeding simply because there may be toxins present in a mother's milk.
This book now is part of every baby shower gift and should be a way of life. Its practical and can help you take the necessary steps to improving your childs enviornment and health.