Book Review: “Busy Mom’s Guide to Family Nutrition” by Paul C. Reisser, M.D.

I am not a busy mom. I am not interested in getting my family to eat healthy foods, in discovering which weight loss plan is right for me, in helping my overweight child, or in cutting through the hype–

Oh wait.

I am interested in cutting through the hype about health and nutrition. Which is why I agreed to review Tyndale’s Busy Mom’s Guide to Family Nutrition.

While I may not be the target audience of this book, as a Registered Dietitian with a keen interest in food and families, I do have some basis by which to evaluate this material.

Cover to Busy Mom's Guide to Family NutritionThe good news is that the majority of the information found within this book is accurate. “The Official Book of the Focus on the Family Physician’s Resource Council, USA” contains standard, low-hype information about food and nutrition. While there were a few unclear statements and a few answers that missed the main point, most of this book is scientifically sound.

The bad news is that, well, I just didn’t like this book.

First (and most frivolously), despite the promising glossy cover, this book was printed on that cheap acid-filled paper that disintegrates within a couple of years, making it far less than ideal as a reference work.

Second, the organization of this book made absolutely no sense. The book was written in a Q&A format in which questions were grouped under broad headings that made up chapters. So far, so good–except that the broad headings were often so vague as to give no information as to what could be found within, and the questions had no logical order to them.

An example: The first chapter was entitled “Nutritional Basics.” The first five questions answered under “Nutritional Basics”? “What is a nutrient?” “What are carbohydrates?” “Why do I sometimes seem to crave sugar?” “What is hypoglycemia–and do I have it?” and “What are the different sugars I might find at home?”

Yeah. Not quite sure what the editors were thinking on that one.

As a result, I don’t see how this book could really be useful as a reference, since the only way to know how to find the information you’re looking for is to read the book straight through. And while *I* might be willing to read it straight through, I think it’s silly to expect a “busy mom” to read a book of this sort straight through. The information is far from novel enough to compel great interest and the writing style and mode of delivery is nothing spectacular either.

Finally, while I am fully convinced that how we relate to food has spiritual implications, there’s nothing uniquely “Christian” about this book’s information–apart from a comment or two about blessing food before you eat it or the Hindu roots of yoga. I don’t see any reason why Focus on the Family needs to have a book about nutrition in the first place–and I especially don’t know why they need to have a book about nutrition if they’re only going to glance over anything spiritual related to nutrition.

This book clearly does not satisfy my desire for a well-written nutrition reference that takes into account the physiological, psychological, psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of food. I guess I’ll just have to write my own!

Rating:2 Stars
Category:Nutrition Reference
Synopsis:A factually correct but disorganized Q&A on a variety of nutrition topics.
Recommendation: Skip this one and stayed tuned for my book :-P

I received this book from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.