Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nutrition 101: Choose Life!

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! from Growing Healthy Homes LLC is a very thorough nutrition course (or tome~ it's HUGE! 448 pages) that doubles as an anatomy course! The basic text is divided into 6 units, with each unit covering two specific areas of the body and the nutrients required to help those parts of the body function as the healthy, efficient machine that God designed it to be.
  • The Brain and Nervous System
  • Digestion and Elimination
  • Respiration and Olfactory
  • Muscular and Skeletal Systems
  • Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
  • Endocrine System and Emotions
Teaching style: UNIT Study!
The material in Nutrition 101 is intended to be used for K-12, which means that there is a vast amount of information included. If your teaching style adapts material easily, you will probably love Nutrition 101. If you prefer a more "scripted" approach to teaching and have younger children, this text may be more difficult for you to use. The "Text" portion of the course is NOT leveled by age. I found it helpful to highlight the portions that I felt were appropriate for my children when reading through the text. I did find it useful that the activities/discussions following each section were divided into age-appropriate sets.

  • LOTS of information
  • Helpful charts, HUGE Appendices
  • Lists of "Good Foods/Bad Foods" for each system's nutritional needs
  • Colorful text
  • Biblical base
  • Recipes that apply to the nutrition/anatomy topic being covered. ie: when learning about the brain and good fats/bad fats, you can emphasize that section with the included recipe for guacamole. (Avocado is a GOOD fat... YUM!)
  • I have to say that I struggled with certain aspects of this course, and the sporadic"tone" that I read in it. I am fairly health conscious, but I tend to be more in the camp of "eat these things because they will help a, b, or c be healthy and function correctly" vs. "if you don't eat these things then you might end up with x, y, or z..." This was what I felt through many of the portions of the study that we went through. I may be more than normally sensitive to this, because I have a child that is going through the "Worry about everything" stage and I was reading through the lens of his current perspective.
  • I also struggle with courses or books that are somewhat dogmatic in their stance. I felt that sometimes the authors were in some measure forcefully stating their opinions on nutrition, which others may or may not totally agree with. *This was not a constant, just something that "nudged" me upon occasion~ Worth mentioning, but not a "deal-breaker" when considering whether or not to use this for a curriculum.
  • In general, I felt it was a little difficult to distill the information for the younger student.
  • $79.95 for an e-book on a CD-ROM (Similar to the e-version I received for review purposes)
  • $99.95 for a hardcopy printed book
  • $129.95 for the book and CD-ROM together

Overall opinion:
I do feel that Nutrition 101: Choose Life! is a profitable and educational book, particularly when being used with an appropriate age. I would consider this a great course for 9-12th grade specifically (Teenagers tend to be past that "worry-wort" stage and are able to discuss their opinions when faced with certain statements). I wouldn't purchase it exclusively for K-4th grade students, but I can see that it's inclusion of activities for the younger children can be a boon to mothers with a wider age-spread than that of my own.

For many other opinions please hop on over to see what other members of the TOS Crew had to
say about this prodigious tome on the physiology of the Nutrition of the human body.


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