Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TOS Crew Nutrition 101: Choose Life Review

Nutrition 101
Nutrition 101

 Growing Healthy Homes
Nutrition 101: Choose Life!
CD ROM $79.95
Book $99.95
Book and CD ROM $129.95
***Use the code TOScrew11 to receive a 15% discount!

Ages:  Toddler through Adulthood

“ I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” Deuteronomy 30:19"

My children know a good deal about nutrition and have been label readers for quite some time.  When I first received this ebook to review, I was a bit skeptical thinking, "Oh boy, yet another nutrition guide".  On glancing through this ebook, there's a lot of information -  446 pages to be exact!

Choose Life! is a mega unit study covering science, anatomy, biology, nutrition and health for toddlers to adults.  Co-authored by homeschool mother Debra Raybern, N.D., M.H., C.N.C., I.C.A.; homeschool mother and researcher Sera Johnson, B.M.U.; mother and writer/editor Laura Hopkins, B.S.; and mother, grandmother and former Home Economics teacher Karen Hopkins, B.S., this study can be used daily or weekly (scheduling helps are also included).  More than a nutrition book, it's a manual focusing on how foods and lifestyle affect individual systems of the body.
"If the principles in Nutrition 101: Choose Life! are already a part of your family’s lifestyle, use it to enhance your food preparation and meal time experiences. This teaches the whys of eating the way you do. Rather than, “Mom said I can’t have that,” they can say “I choose not to eat that because I know what it does to my body.”"
Additionally, each unit is very thorough, complete with activities for older and younger students.  Plus there are 32 appendices covering everything you can think of from Health Stats in the USA to mold to How to Pick Your Own Produce plus vitamin and mineral charts which are packed with valuable information.

Breaking the book down further, the 12 main body systems will be covered in six units.  Each unit contains 4 chapters.

Unit 1 – The Brain and Nervous System
Unit 2 – The Digestive System
Unit 3 - The Respiratory, Olfactory, Auditory and Visual Systems
Unit 4 - The Muscular and Skeletal Systems
Unit 5 - The Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
Unit 6 - The Endocrine System & Emotions

Each of these units contains:

Chapters - Each one includes information about body systems or how food affects them.
Discussion Questions - Try to answer these questions with the whole family. See how answers vary from
children to adults.
Activities - Pick and choose... or do them all. Extend the time spent in the chapter to finish activities or
save them for next year as reinforcement. The activities are structured to allow children to progress as they
Additional Resources - These are optional and can be a great way to dive deeper into learning, especially
if a family member takes a particular interest in something.
“Power” Recipes and Additional Recipes - Use the “Power” Recipe to enhance the topics covered in
the chapter and incorporate the additional recipes throughout the course of the unit.

You'll also learn interesting facts and useful information such as:

*Which lettuce leaf lasts longer?  One that is torn or one that is cut?

* What is the best drink for healthy teeth?

* What ailment can soaked almonds help?

* How to make a poultice

*Practical helps for those picky eaters in your house!

Another component are the real-life testimonies of healing using proper nutrition and natural supplements.  Very impressive!

There are scriptures, fun facts and word power boxes throughout this book.  The diagrams of the part of the body being studied are colorful, easy to read and well labeled.

Our experience:

What I like most about this extremely comprehensive study of nutrition is that it's not the kids hearing the information and thinking "Oh, it's Mom saying "THIS" is healthy and we need to do "THIS" and not "THAT".  It's all in black and white (and color), geared to their ages and explicitly shows them the benefits vs. drawbacks of what various foods can do to a particular system of the body.

We haven't gotten all the way through Unit 1 yet, but my 7th, 4th and 2nd graders have enjoyed and learned a lot about the Brain and Nervous Systems.  For example, did you know that proper nutrition for the brain begins in the womb 31 days after conception?!

Reading through the first chapter, they learned the parts of the brain and what each part does.  They also found the section on brain damage to each of these areas and the results very interesting!
Following the brain, they learned about Nerve Cells and their names and jobs.

They answered thought provoking Discussion questions such as:
*What does it mean to be fearfully and wonderfully made?
*What other scripture references support what we've learned about the brain?
*How does a healthy brain make a healthy body?
*Do you think video games exercise your brain?  Why or why not?

My two oldest took a brain dominance test that really helped explain their personalities and quirks. 

In the kitchen, they made a "power" recipe of guacamole alongside various research, kitchen/shopping activities in regards to the ingredients in the recipe.

In chapter two, the book takes a look at diseases of the brain focusing in on fats (good and bad).

We had a great discussion centered on the question:  Do you think what you eat as a child affects your brain when you are an adult?  Why or why not?

This chapter's recipe "challenge" was to create a salad using 10 of your favorite ingredients (good brain foods only).  There were some very interesting combinations!

My kids were able to make the correlation that healthy food for one system was healthy foods for another....and, most of the unhealthy foods for a particular system generally meant it was unhealthy across the board!

There's just so much information and great activities within this book that we thoroughly enjoyed taking our time going through it.  Because of this, we are going to back up to the beginning and incorporate Dad into the study as well!!!

"Proverbs 9:10 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” It is very important to learn how our bodies work and how food affects them; it is even more important to apply that knowledge. The best way to do that is to get in the kitchen!"
My only complaint was the authors' reference to a certain multi-level marketing company as the only source of nutritional supplements and essential oils.  While I DO agree that there's much 'junk" in the health foods market, there are other quality natural healing products found from other sources as well.

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Here's what other crew members are saying.

I received this item for free in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Hey Lisa, Visiting from the Crew. Great review! What an amazing product! Blessings,

  2. Wow! That is right up my alley! My kids already know a lot about nutrition and we do teach them the 'whys' of why we aren't eating certain things, but I love the idea of centering their science education around it! That is great!