Dr. Sears' L.E.A.N. Kids
by Drs William and Peter Sears and Sean Foy
Softcover, 288 pages
by Leanne Ely
Softcover, 320 pages
reviewed by Kelly Warner
Kennesaw GA USA
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 23 No. 1, January-February 2006, p. 26
Dr. Sears' L.E.A.N. Kids is just what it says -- a health program for children ages six to 12. But it is also so much more! The authors have tackled the growing problem of unhealthy, sedentary, and overweight children in our society. Dr. Sears expresses a strong wish to help all children be lean -- meaning healthy, not skinny. He has developed an excellent program to aid in this endeavor.
The book begins with a discussion of how children become unfit, linking our convenience food lifestyle and the sedentary nature of so much of what we do. Too much time sitting in front of a television or computer screen eating unhealthy foods, and not enough time moving and playing and eating nutritious foods is leading to epidemic health problems in progressively younger children. By addressing lifestyle, exercise, attitude, and nutrition, Dr. Sears outlines a very thorough plan that helps children become lean and healthy and avoid many health pitfalls of modern life.
Healthy children begin with healthy parents. We must embrace a healthful lifestyle -- offering good things to eat and fun activities to keep our families active. Our children will follow our example, be it good or bad. We set the tone.
Dr. Sears explains how to evaluate your child's fitness by looking at body fat levels, strength, and endurance. He outlines an exercise program for children and offers advice on involving children in other healthy activities. He then teaches us about attitude -- something often left out of conventional healthy living books. Studies show definitively that optimistic people with positive attitudes live longer. Dr. Sears gives us concrete ways to nurture positive, optimistic attitudes in our children. Finally, Dr. Sears covers good nutrition. The last portion of the book is packed with great information on feeding our children well. He offers a feasible plan that will benefit everyone in the family.
While this book might be exceptionally helpful for the parent of a child who is struggling with a weight problem, it will be relevant to parents of children of all ages. From a mother with a newborn who is hoping to lay the groundwork for healthy choices and habits to the mother of a teenager who is hoping to lead her family away from junk food and video games and toward a fun, positive, healthy lifestyle.
Reading this book inspired our family to make a few changes in our diet even though we learned about nutrition from Dr. Sears many years ago and were already eating pretty well. But we made some drastic changes in our activity levels. We started running together as a family at a local track three nights a week, doing yoga with the children, and working in other fun types of exercise. Our children love it and they are so glad I read this book! We were surprised by their level of enthusiasm when we started the program. Even our two-year-old is happily running a quarter mile at the track and is so proud.
I am grateful for having read this book. I think our entire family will be much healthier as a result. Once again, Dr. Sears has made a positive impact on our family.
To help in your pursuit of healthy eating, I would recommend Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely. This book simplifies and streamlines the meal-making process. More than simply a cookbook, it includes weekly menus, shopping lists, and recipes that are easy to follow and allow a parent to make nutritious food for the family without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. These two books together could really get your family on track to healthier living.