Summer is here, time to play, explore, relax, and respond more often than during any other season to the twin childhood mantras of, “What’s to eat?” and “I’m hungry!”
Have I got the perfect book for your summer reading: Brain Foods for Kids, by Nicola Graimes! The book itself reminds one of summer days: bold, bright colors and happy, healthy smiling kids fill its pages! Beyond the visual delights found in Ms. Graimes’ latest book on nutrition, the information found within is both engaging and accessible. Divided into two sections, the first half of Brain Foods offers the reader a wealth of easy to understand basics regarding the science behind how food can “enhance a child’s brainpower”.
Beginning with pregnancy and moving through the primary school years, Graimes offers advice on what to feed our kids and why, along with what to avoid and why. After comprehensible front loading of the science behind healthy eating for kids, the remaining sections of part one present interesting, concise chapters, covering issues from “Food Intolerances” to “Best Buys”. Ms. Graimes not only shares her extensive knowledge on this subject as a nutrition writer but also as a mother, addressing real parental concerns such as “picky eaters”, “junk food”, and “variety”, which leads me to part two of her book, “Brainboosting Recipes”. In this second half she presents numerous easy to prepare, kid tested recipes that contain the brain-beneficial foods discussed in part one. Graimes categorizes her recipes; starting with breakfast, she moves through the rest of the day, and includes sections such as “Picnics and Parties” (nibble on her party people biscuits), “Delicious Drinks” (sipon her bananarama smoothie), and “Sweet Things” (devour her strawberry hazelnut shortbread). Making her book even handier, Graimes includes numerous side-bar features such as the “brain box” to quickly and effectively impart additional pertinent information.
While the book is aimed at adults, its charming, colorful style offers much to attract kids, too! Checkout the page titled “I can see a rainbow”, where Graimes literally uses a two-page rainbow to highlight the benefits of choosing variety in our fruits and vegetables! Yes, glorious summer is finally upon us, but you’ll find yourself returning to this book from season to season for great advice and delicious recipes!