________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 11 . . . . January 23, 2009

cover Fruit and Vegetables. (Being Healthy).

Heather C. Hudak.
Calgary, AB: Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
24 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $22.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-417-0 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-416-3 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Vegetables-Juvenile literature.
Fruit-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Barbara McMillan.

** /4

   
cover Grain Products. (Being Healthy).

Heather C. Hudak.
Calgary, AB: Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
24 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $22.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-419-4 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-418-7 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Grain-Juvenile literature.
Cereals as food-Juvenile literature.
Cereal products-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Barbara McMillan.

** /4

   
cover Meat and Alternatives. (Being Healthy).

Heather C. Hudak.
Calgary, AB: Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
24 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $22.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-423-1 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-422-4 (hc.).

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Barbara McMillan.

** /4

   
cover Milk and Alternatives. (Being Healthy).

Heather C. Hudak.
Calgary, AB: Weigl (Distributed by Saunders Book Company), 2009.
24 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $22.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55388-421-7 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55388-420-0 (hc.).

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Barbara McMillan.

** /4

excerpt:

From the top of your head to the tip of your toes, you are what you eat. To keep everything working in top form, it is important to eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and be active.

How do you decide what foods to eat? Do you have a special diet, or do you eat whatever you like? There are many guides, such as Canada's Food Guide, that can help you make good choices about the foods you eat.

So begins Fruits and Vegetables, Grain Products, Meat and Alternatives, and Milk and Alternatives, the four books in Heather Hudak's "Being Healthy" series. As the titles suggest, the focus of Hudak's writing is healthy living and the choices for a healthy diet that children can make when they know about the body's nutritional needs and how these needs can be met by eating a balanced diet of foods from the four food groups.

     Hudak helps children to acquire this knowledge by first listing the number of daily servings from the four food groups recommended in the Canadian Food Guide for ages 413 and describing and showing in colour photographic illustrations samples from each food group. As one example, in Meat and Alternatives, readers learn that they should consume 1-2 servings (125 milliliters/serving) per day of meat or a meat alternative and that these foods include fish, beef, pork, mutton, and poultry products as well as eggs, nuts, peanut butter, beans, and lentils — which "are rich in protein, fat, iron, zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins." Hudak then uses annotated photographic images to illustrate the process a food source requires before it ends up as a packaged product for sale. In Milk and Alternatives, for example, Hudak begins with the milking of a cow on a dairy farm and goes through the steps that lead to pasteurized and homogenized cartons of milk in the refrigerated dairy case of a grocery store. These sections are followed by information on the particular food group the book is focused upon. Readers of Grain Products learn about the difference between whole grains (with bran, germ, and endosprerm, thus, rich in fibre, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein) and refined grains (with the bran and germ removed to prolong shelf life). In the three other books of the 'Being Healthy' series, Hudak distinguishes fruits from vegetables, red meats from poultry and legumes, and dairy products from soy products. She then introduces readers to food labels and how to read them, and she uses this information to compare the nutritional and caloric value of comparable food items, for example: whole grain brown rice to long grain white rice; cooked spinach to raw spinach; fried chicken breast to skinless, roasted chicken breast; and ice cream to low-fat frozen yogurt. Before moving on to the application, recipes, and assessment components of each text, Haduk describes the benefits of proteins (easiest to acquire by eating meat and meat alternatives), carbohydrates (the complex sugars in grain products), fibre and vitamins (in fruits and vegetables), and calcium (in milk products).

     The volume of clearly presented information in the 'Being Healthy' series is one reason for school librarians to consider adding these four books to their collections. The content aligns well with science and health curricula for Grade 2 and Grade 5, and the colourful layout will appeal to both visual and verbal-linguistic learners. It's important to note, however, the redundancies between/among the four books: Pages 4, 5, 11, 19, and 23 are identical, as is the information on page 18. Given that each book in the series focuses on one particular food group, it would not have been difficult to include a food label specific to the food group being presented rather than using the food label for cake in the books about meats and meat alternatives, fruits and vegetables, and milk and milk alternatives. The three websites presented on page 23 of each book in the series could also have guided readers to age-appropriate and interesting food group-specific sites in addition to those that focus more generally upon health and healthy living. Finally, "The Food and Fitness Facts," found on page 19 of each book, presents readers with the time needed to exercise in order to burn half a donut, a glass of pop, a small serving of French fries, and 25 peanuts. Unfortunately, the exercise changes with each kind of food, and no comparison can be made. The unknown number of calories in the half-doughnut are burned by walking for 22 minutes, a bicycle is ridden for 13 minutes to burn the calories (again unknown) in the pop, the calories in the small serving of French fries are burned by climbing stairs for 30 minutes, and burning the calories in the peanuts requires 18 minutes of gardening. This is followed by a short section, "Work on This", that invites readers to determine the length of time they would have to exercise in order to burn off the calories in "a doughnut, fries, and a pop." It's not possible to choose walking or bicycling or gardening or climbing stairs as the exercise used in answering the question. One can only add up the minutes provided by Hudak, but even this is not straightforward. The answer given is for half a doughnut, not "a doughnut," and many may wonder why the correct answer isn't 87 minutes (22 + 22+ 30 + 13) rather than the 65 minutes given (22 + 30 + 13).

Recommended with reservations.

Barbara McMillan is a teacher educator and a professor of science education in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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