Healthy Kids, Happy Kids

healthy kids happy kids cover.jpgHealthy Kids, Happy Kids: Better Health for Larger Kids in New Zealand, by Lynda Finn

(Random House, $19.99)

Reviewed by Emma Fahy

Lynda Finn is also the author of Largely Happy, another feel-good-fat book, and Healthy Kids, Happy Kids continues along the same theme of loving your body no matter what shape or size it is. 

Designed for both children struggling with body image, and their parents, Healthy Kids, Happy Kids offers up a wealth of statistics and information to prove that fat doesn't always mean unhealthy.

Finn also looks at some of the common "diet traps" -- how yo-yo dieting can lead to long term weight-control problems, and how pressuring your child to lose weight can often instead cause your child to gain weight.

In the first few chapters, Healthy Kids, Happy Kids is little more than a rah-rah, feel-good self-esteem booster for overweight children and their families. But this book is worth a look even if just for the wealth of nutritional advice and recipe ideas that come in the last few chapters.

In fact, more than half of the book is made up of nutritional information, definitions of tricky food/nutrition terms, healthy meal and snack choices and recipes, and ideas for healthier lunchboxes. This part of the book is great for all parents, not just those whose children are overweight -- after all, aren't we all looking for healthy meal solutions that our kids will actually eat?

I could take it or leave it on the whole body-image-booster thing, but the recipes make it a worthwhile read.

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