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Nutrition Reading List

There are always reading new books, videos, blogs, and websites dedicated to food. It can be overwhelming to find just the right information or know that what you are reading is a legitimate source. 

Well, we here at UC Cooperative Extension are what you might call "Foodies." Food is our life! We spend all of our time at work teaching about food, what to eat, where to get it, how to shop for it, and how to prepare it for your families. But, we also spend a lot of time outside of work learning about food more casually, just because we love it. 

So, we thought we would share with you some of our current "night-stand books," Pinterest pins, and some websites and videos related to food and nutrition. We hope this inspires you to love the joy of food like we do. After all, eating will always be a part of your life, so you might as well make it fun!

Currently on our night stands

The Living Clean Cookbook
Eat, Drink, Vote by Marion Nestle

Reviews of some of our favorites:

Drop Dead Healthy, by A. J. Jacobs
One mans journey to perfect health is a laugh out loud read. When you realize all of the messages we get about safety, health, nutrition, exercise, and sleep you can see how putting them all into practice is overwhelming even to a person dedicating more than a year to get there.

The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
We make each choice unconsciously or consciously. This book explores how those choices are made, and how you can change them. Whether wanting to give up your afternoon sugar, or stopping nail biting, there are concrete steps you can take to get there. This book is applicable to everyone! 

Omnivores Delima by Michael Pollan
Deciding what to eat can be overwhelming for even those of us who study it for a living! This book made sense of the complex nutrition world, and boiled down advise to just a few words "Eat (real) food. Not too much. Mostly (whole) plants." Yup. That about sums it all up. 

Food Rules by Michael Pollan
Leaping from the Ominivores Delima, Michael Pollan makes it even easier. Food Rules is just that, a list of rules. My favorite "If your grandma would not have known what is was, then it probably is not "real" food." 

The Picky Eaters Project on Food Network
I hesitate to put web links, as they can disappear and not work, but this was just too perfect. The number one issue we hear from parents is that their child is a "picky eater". Well, I hate to tell you, but picky eaters are made, not born. So what can you do?! Well, these web videos walk you through one families transformation. They are practical tips, and include fun activities you can incorporate into your families routine. 


Guys Grocery Games
I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do, there is a good chance it is a food related show. When I put this one on last night while cooking dinner, it was an instant favorite (for my son and husband as well). Guy Fieri takes a classic cooking reality show, and makes it real world. Challenges take place in a grocery store, and include real world problems, like you need to make meatballs but you do not have ground beef. Or you have to prepare a meal for under $6 and in less than 30 minutes. Who can't relate to that? 


Rachael vs. Guy Kids Cook Off
Want to get your kids to help out with meals? Inspire them with these young chefs. You will be amazed what children can accomplish if given the skills and patient supervision they need in the kitchen. 


Gulp, by Mary Roach
Want a good gross read about your insides? This book takes you through the digestive system with crazy but real stories and antecdotes about the gastrointestinal system. What I remember the most from the book was the story of the researcher who found a man who had a hole from his stomach to the outside of his body. They spent their lives working together, as they discovered how long food is digested (he wrapped food in string and dangled it in the mans stomach, timing how long until it was gone! Weird!) and many other wacky physiology facts we now know. 

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver
This author details her journey of 12 months of eating only food she can grow herself or buy locally. The whole family is involved. I came away with such a better respect for the work that goes into growing the food I eat, what a difficult job it is to be a farmer, and how thankful I am that I can go to a market and buy what I need (because honestly, I hate weeding my garden!). 

Good calories, Bad calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease, by Gary Taubes
This is definitely a more technical book. But if you want some historical perspective on nutrition science, and how the field evolves, this was enlightening. It does complicate current dietary wisdom, so if you already feel overwhelmed it might not be for you. However, I took away a great appreciation for the fact that no one needs to eat refined carbohydrates (bye bye white flour foods), and that it might be a real cause of our health problems. Once again, the bottom line for healthful eating is real unprocessed foods. 

Katie Morford’s blog
Katie Morford is a mom, freelance food writer, registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, and cooking teacher.

Katie’s blog offers healthy recipes, ideas for making family dinners more enjoyable, ideas for packing healthy lunches, and offers advice about picky eating and introducing new foods. 


Best Lunch Box Ever, by Katie Morford
As described by Amazon: Best Lunch Box Ever is full of recipes, ideas, and strategies for packing creative and healthful lunches for kids, solving what is for many parents the most taxing of daily chores. Kids will love the scrumptiousness, while busy moms and dads will appreciate the quick and simple solutions for wholesome, balanced meals developed by Katie Sullivan Morford, a registered dietician and mother of three. The 65 recipes are easy, delicious, and—best of all—packed with nutrients for well-rounded lunches and snacks, including Deconstructed Caprese Skewers, Easy Cheesy Thermos Beans, Pesto Pita Pizza, Cinnamon Wonton Crisps, Parmesan Kale Chips, Crispy Applewiches, and more.

The New Way to Cook Light Book,  by Cooking Light Magazine
Beautiful photos, easy recipes, sound dietary advice in the foreword, and great ideas for incorporating new grains and vegetables into your culinary repertoire, make this a great cookbook to have in your kitchen.