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Book Children Family Home Strategies

Book Review: Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Childrearing in America

While Anxious Parents is not a how-to parenting book, it is very useful for a parent to read as a primer to parenting books. I wish I had read this book before reading over 20 different kinds of parenting books before and after the birth of my first child. While I believe that this book could really use better editing (it is written by a historian, after all), it is a good read for new and expectant parents as that grain of salt that is much needed before embarking absorbing on other parenting books.

As a typical Type A, I like to plunge myself into any subject and research the facts, and I treated parenting much the same way. I didn’t have much resource in terms of family, so I decided to approach it like any subject I learned in school — by reading a lot. The problem with parenting book is that the majority of them are quite condescending in tone, and I can almost picture the author wagging their finger as they tell you how to do things their way. The other problem with parenting books is that you might do everything you say and your child may not do as they described your child should do… and then you would be tearing out your hair wondering WHY?? You might even think that there is something wrong with your baby and worry needlessly, as parents tend to do.

Anxious Parents is a book that chronicles how parenting changes over time and creates anxiety in parents. It really helps to put all that expert advice in perspective.

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Book Food Health

Book Review: What To Eat

I am a practical soul and not big on nostalgia. I am not an old lady yet but I don’t think that I will be the kind to reminisce about the good old days. Maybe it is because I have a pretty decent memory, so when I look back, I see the good and the bad.

In some ways, there is a price to pay for having more choices. The one thing that I felt that I needed to learn to be a good mother and housewife is nutrition. I have a responsibility to be the gatekeeper and provider of healthy food made or procured with love and intelligence for my family. One of the things that my parents’ and my grandparents’ generation did not have to wade through is a huge food industry and all the complexities that comes with it. When I was growing up in Taiwan my grandparents took me to the marketplace and it was a crowded and messy (I remember having to hold on tight so I don’t get lost in the crowd!). A lot of the producer we purchased were straight from the grower. We have even purchase green onions right off the local farm. These days, that simply does not happen and you get your foods prepackaged up at the supermarket. Today, you have different labels and reading food labels require some knowledge before you can actually comprehend it. It can be a confusing and frustrating exercise and difficult choices need to be made. All this while you juggle your babies is not so easy.

I enjoyed reading What To Eat by nutritionist Marion Nestle. It was like the scales fell of my eyes as I read this book. I will never look at the supermarket products the same again. I am a more discriminating shopper and more aware of how I spend my food dollars as a result. I also make more food from scratch and avoid pre-processed foods in some cases. I also spend more of my money on organic foods. I understand and appreciate the politics and context behind what goes into the food labeling as a result of the education that this book gave me. I highly recommend reading Marion Nestle’s book as well as following her blog at Food Politics.