One of the things I’ve struggled with over the years is feeding my family a healthy diet. Cooking isn’t one of my favorite activities, and on those busy football practices evenings, it’s sometimes easier to swing by McDonald’s. I know it’s not the best for my family, but sometimes the easiest route wins. Until I received Nutrition 101: Choose Life! by Growing Healthy Homes.
I was excited to use this product, as I figured that maybe if my children (and let’s be honest..I) knew the “why’s” behind eating healthy foods, it would help our family make the commitment to eat better.
About Nutrition 101: Choose Life!
Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is a 448 page book available in print or in PDF format on CD-ROM. It covers an extensive list of nutrition related units, including:
- The Brain and Nervous System
- The Digestive System
- The Respiratory, Olfactory, Auditory, and Visual Systems
- The Skeletal and Muscular Systems
- The Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
- The Endocrine System and Emotions
Each unit is broken down into four chapters, each centered around a topic related to the unit. The chapters include information, discussion questions, age appropriate activities, and recipes.
An extensive list of appendices include topics such as:
- How to Select Fresh Produce
- Baking with 100% Whole Grains
- Milk – The Big Debate
- and many more
Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is meant to be used as a family study with kids from elementary to high school ages. Middle school and high schoolers will be able to use the book as is, but elementary students may need parents to simplify the language for them.
Our Experience with Nutrition 101: Choose Life!
I received the book in PDF format and right away debated printing it out. I opted to use it on my iPad, as I loved the beautiful color illustrations, but wasn’t willing to pay the price to print the book in color. And the iPad worked well for us.
My kids (3rd and 7th graders) and I jumped right in to Chapter 1, “The Brain.” There was a TON of information in that first chapter. We learned about all the different parts of the brain and what they do. The language of the book was a little over my son’s head, but my daughter grasped the concepts well. My son did well when I’d stop and rephrase the book in simpler language.
Sprinkled throughout the first chapter were little “fun facts,” which my son enjoyed immensely. As a third grader, he’s really interested in trivia, and the fun facts kept him attentive to the lesson.
After the main lesson, we talked about the discussion questions, such as “What does it mean to be ‘fearfully and wonderfully made?’” and “Do you think playing video games exercises your brain? Why or why not?” That second question really made my son think about his video game playing habit.
We skipped the activities and extra resources, as we were strapped for time, but the activities are relevant and age appropriate. They are divided into activities for elementary kids and secondary kids, with the secondary activities being more difficult. The additional resource section lists books and websites that you might find helpful to look deeper into a subject.
Finally, we read the Power Recipes section and made the guacamole recipe, while we discussed things we had learned from the chapter. Though my kids aren’t avocado fans, they enjoyed cooking and talking with me as we worked. We really enjoyed our time in the kitchen.
The next week we continued on with chapter 2, which was a very similar format to chapter 1. This is such an extensive book, I’d like to take a year to work through it.
Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is a beautiful book, both to look at and to read. It’s definitely got a Christian perspective, which I really enjoyed as well.
The Low-Down on Nutrition 101: Choose Life
- It’s beautiful to look at
- Extensive coverage of the subject matter
- Activities are fun and appropriate for different ages
- The appendices are extremely useful, in a practical way
- Available in print or CD-ROM (or both) format
- It ties anatomy and nutrition together, and really brings home the reason why good nutrition matters
- The study can be used by the entire family
- It’s expensive at $99.95 for the book or $79.95 for the CD-ROM, but it’s such an extensive book, it’s worth saving for.
- Might be difficult to use if you only have elementary students. The language is pretty advanced for a typical elementary aged child.
My Overall Opinion:
Wow. Just wow. Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is just what our family needed! Even though we’ve worked through the first few chapters, I feel we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of all this book as to offer. I am planing on incorporating this into our studies next year, and we’ll take the entire year to work through it.
Important Information About Growing Healthy Homes
Cost for Nutrition 101: $99.95 for the book, $79.95 for the CD-ROM, $129.95 for both
Discount: Use the code TOScrew11 for 15% off.
Age Range: Elementary through Adult
To see what the rest of the Crew has to say, visit the Homeschool Crew Blog!
*Disclosure: I received a copy of Nutrition 101: Choose Life! in exchange for my honest review.