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Feb 4, 2008 05:46 AM

Nutrition reference book?

I've been asked by a friend for a recommendation for a book, and unfortunately, I don't have the answer. Maybe someone here has an idea? Her sons (2 and 5) have terrible food allergies (wheat, soy, nuts, etc.) - and the two boys have different allergies to boot. This of course causes all sorts of problems for her. Cooking meals they can eat is a challenge. She is exploring all sorts of different types of grains and so on in an attempt to provide some sort of variety in their diet, but she's always worried about new foods. She wants to educate herself about food as much as possible. For example, her doctor has warned one of the boys off of peanuts because he has reacted to soy (both legumes), and she would never have realized that the two might be closely related. She's very careful, and I'm sure will ask a doctor before introducing new items into her sons' diets, but as a newcomer to non-mainstream eating, she would like a guide of some kind that would help her specifically to understand the relationships between foods - that such and such a fruit is related to another and so on, so that she might have a better overall grasp of her sons' issues. Anyone have any ideas for helpful books?

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  1. The bible for raw nutritional information for foods is Bowe & Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly Used. It's what's used in food databases, but it has much more info. But I am not sure that's what you are really looking for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Karl S

      Thanks, Karl! While it may or may not be what the original poster was looking for, it reminded me that I've been wanting a copy. I checked and there are plenty of copies available for $1 if you decided you want one. Just note that the first author is "Bowes" (not "Bowe").

    2. These two books don't refer to how foods are related, but I have found them incredibly helpful with health issues:
      1. Food as Medicine and 2. Eat right for your blood type

      1. One that may help her (foods that are related): The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, and a book I think is very important to nutrition (but probably won't help with the boy's allergies) is Earl Mindell's Food as Medicine.

        I recommend many of Earl Mindell's books, he did write a book for parents regarding childrens nutrition.

        1. A great resource is Paul Pitchford's Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. It actually has a chapter specifically for children. A lot of Paul's stuff may be too hardcore for some (eg. some of his stuff borders on Buddhist philosophies, no heating of oil), but I feel he is the wisest nutrition guy out there.

          1. I also stay away from gluten, soy, corn, sugar, dairy. These are the books I have:

            Cooking Free - Carol Fenster
            Allergy Self-Help Cookbook - Marjorie Hurt Jones
            All Natural Allergy Cookbook - Jeanne Marie Martin

            Now, each book has a combination of recipes (some use soy, some use dairy), but substitutions are being suggested. They all have an introductory part about nutrition and food allergies.

            Maybe your friend can get the books from the library first, see whether she likes them, recipes are OK for the kids, etc. then purchase one of them.

            I got Paul Pitchford's book from the library but it's not an easy read if you are not familiar with the Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts. I got it just to check things related to my problems so I will not buy it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: blue bike

              I can see how if you're not familiar with those concepts that Pitchford's book may be a bit difficult to understand. As I'm an acupuncturist, these terms are like second nature. However, these concepts may seem very foreign to some.

              The book is actually really comprehensive and well-written. If you read it from the beginning, it explains these concepts pretty well -- something that is very difficult to do. But if you're just reading sections, it's probably not the easiest read.

              For the OP -- I still think the book would be invaluable for your friend, provided she takes the time to read the beginning sections.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                Actually, it's the opposite. I am familiar with TCM and that's why I go to the section I need. But I understand the challenge for one who isn't.
                Anyway, my recommendation for the OP is that whatever book is suggested, tell your friend to get it from the library first.