ForeWord Reviews

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Grocery Makeover

Small Changes for Big Results

Foreword Review

User-friendly book gives families realistic ways to shop and eat healthier.

Dietitian Julie Feldman shares relatively pain-free ways to fundamentally change a family’s diet through simple shopping choices in Grocery Makeover, her first book.

Using clear and succinct charts comparing fat grams, calories lost, and good nutrition gained from healthier choices, Feldman imparts a unique form of inspiration and nutrition education. The tone is firm but friendly, encouraging readers to take decisive control of their family’s health. Designed with the busiest families in mind, there are few lengthy recipes within (those included are easy and delicious standouts, such as goldfish cracker-encrusted fish, and quinoa oatmeal). Significantly, there are no moments in which the author attempts to shame readers out of purchasing processed food altogether; for most American families, such a tactic would probably be off-putting and unrealistic.

Feldman focuses on effective substitutions, such as pumpkin puree or applesauce as a replacement for oil in dessert recipes. She suggests alternative snacks in lieu of the virtually fiber-free junk foods which often keep people overweight and hungry. Rather than focusing on foods families will be forced to give up while dieting, Feldman makes sure that readers are aware of the natural weight loss and health gains derived from small changes—choosing a cereal containing less sugar and selecting leaner meats, for example. The author includes sensible indulgences in her lists; many readers will be heartened to see Froot Loops and chicken wings christened as occasionally acceptable fare.

Optimal whole foods are showcased along with healthier and less processed alternatives, giving the reader a great deal of discretion in how far the grocery makeover should go. This highly user-friendly book positions itself to accommodate those who plan to give only a minute tweak of extra healthfulness to the family diet, yet undoubtedly offers help to anyone who wants and needs major lifestyle alterations.

Feldman includes a shopping list for the first week to encourage meal planning. An attached purse/pocket-sized supplemental booklet includes dozens of great ideas organized by store sections, preventing readers from becoming lost among a multitude of choices (lest shoppers head for the middle aisles of processed food in their consternation).

Grocery Makeover is great for readers certain that diet changes must be made, but also fearful of how drastic and unpleasant these changes might be. By aiming the book at the primary shopper and cook of the home, Feldman is doing great work to combat the epidemic of obesity in children.

Carrie Wallace