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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

on 14 December 2011
This book makes for a riveting, eye-opening read, whether you are the parent of a baby who is starting to be interested in solid food or not.
If you're lucky enough to have to have the ability to eat whatever takes your fancy, whenever you are hungry, you may never have had reason to imagine that the issues presented by this work might have a personal significance. The facts are that rich or poor, we are all at risk from inappropriate diets, and that two billion people remain hungry.
Have you ever considered the fact that our ancestors' toddlers obtained iron in their diet by scrabbling around in the earth and snacking on little creatures? Or that whilst cereals may be culturally and commercially acceptable as a `baby food' they are in fact nutritionally hollow and not only that but children under two lack the appropriate enzymes for the digestion of starch, a major component of cereals?
This book points out some astonishing truths about nutrition and provokes a complete re-think about why we buy and eat what we do, especially for little ones in our care who are just beginning their relationship with solid foods.
The questions and answers the author presents around how and why most humans' eating habits are no longer about simple availability of local edible plants and animals, are often astonishing. It seems so obvious when Palmer points out that for the vast majority of our history, we have fed our children successfully without the help of experts, or little jars of commercially prepared food, and yet we are happy to assume that food marketed at us is sold to us for our own good.
The current epidemic of childhood and adult obesity frequently attracts comment in the media; this book certainly would enlighten those who wonder at its causes, as well as achieving its purpose which is to stimulate thought and debate, by moving beyond `the confinement of deference to the powerful, the expectations of those who hold the purse strings, political fashion and cultural inhibition.'
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on 2 March 2012
Palmer states several times throughout the book that her aim is not to be prescriptive, but rather to stimulate thought. In this she is certainly successful. At no point does she admonish parents for their feeding choices; instead she places blame for both starvation and obesity on political decisions and companies' unethical behaviour.

I was pleased to see Palmer repeatedly mention the benefits of delayed cord-clamping as this is a rare practice whose benefits do not seem to be widely known outside `earth mother' circles.

All of Palmer's statements are backed up by a solid grounding in research, details of which can be found at the end of the book, together with an index. This makes Complementary Feeding a good choice for readers who have a special interest in nutrition and its politics.

All in all, then, in my opinion Complementary Feeding is a great book: Palmer's accessible style, as well as the short chapters and lists of key points at the end of each of the three sections (both presumably leftovers of the book's original purpose), make it easy to read in short bursts while Palmer's arguments and the way in which she questions public policy makes it particularly satisfying.
Although the style of Complementary Feeding is very matter-of-fact, Palmer occasionally uses humour in a way which reminds us that, despite being fact-heavy, this is not a book about dry biological processes, but about children - small vulnerable people with funny quirks who need our protection to let them develop into strong adults with healthy attitudes and access to good food.
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on 12 June 2012
This was a real eye opener to me as was The Politics of Breastfeeding. I was surprised how small this book was, but really there was no need for it to be any bigger it was packed full of information.

It covered the nutritional value of what babies need to complement breast milk compared with what they are often given. It is very important to research how you wish to feed your baby solid food instead of just being pressured by marketing!! It is a book which lets you make your own decisions about how and what you feed your child.

We did baby led weaning with my second and it was fantastic, it also made me think, why would you wean any other way, this to me was just "common sense'' healthy eating.

I really recommend this book to anyone with children or working with children. Or just anyone interested in complementary feeding. I really enjoyed it!!
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on 14 September 2016
The book is in perfect condition, like new. The content is the one that I was looking for.
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on 24 March 2014
An excellent book for anyone interested in nourishing infants, children and their mothers. I wish I'd found it sooner. There are some strong messages and key facts which I will be incorporating into NutriBaby complementary feeding workshops. Ten stars are deserved!
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on 20 March 2012
Palmer herself explains that her book is not written to give answers but to stimulate debate. Starting on Amartya Sen's theory of entitlement she shows how people die of hunger not from lack of food but from lack of 'entitlement' to food and water'. Explaining how Health Professionals got mixed up in the marketing of Ready to Use Supplementary Foods explains how nutritional disasters can occur. The unfair distribution of food is clearly criticised and highlighted. The chapter on the TIMING of complementary feeding makes essential reading for all of those involved in supporting mothers with children under one, making a clear argument for 'baby-led' feeding. Definitely a stimulating read as ever from Palmer, however, I found this book more of a 'pre-cursor of more to come' from her..? Lets hope so!
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on 25 August 2014
Interesting, captivating easy read full of relevant information. I am definitely a fan of this author and would recommend her other works.
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on 4 October 2012
Comprehensive and eye opening.
Very succinct review of infant feeding and how it has been dominated by the need to make profit at the expense of the health of babies and children.
Good companion to Politics of Breastfeeding.
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on 6 August 2015
wonderfully informative
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on 9 November 2013
What an eye-opening book. Everyone should read it. But then I'm slightly biased as a woman, mother and a midwife.
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