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Fueling the Teen Machine by Ellen Shanley
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Fueling the Teen Machine

by Ellen Shanley

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Great ideas on getting healthy food into my growing boys without the constant struggle. Although I still cannot get them to enjoy vegetables, at least they are starting to understand the necessity of a balanced diet. ( )
  pawood17 | Sep 20, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Definitely not a book to read straight through, but a great reference guide for teens and parents to think about healthy eating habits. Not as controversial or thought provoking as Michael Pollan's work, it does give the basics on nutrition for teens interested in thinking about it. I don't think teens who don't think about their eating habits would be likely to pick this book up. As for the intended audience, I would say late childhood early teens. High school students I would direct to read Pollan's work, as his work is a more engaging read.
  AmyLynn | Mar 1, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Good nutrition for teens is, of course, an important and timely topic and it is, of course, important that teens learn how to take care of themselves. At this age, however, they are more likely to pay attention to what they read on Facebook or hear on MTV than what their parents say. Which is why I am rather disappointed that this book doesn't take a format that would attract today's teens. Informational books for teens seem to be in quick blurbs, with copious sidebars and illustrations. The tone should be a little sarcastic and self-deprecating like the Dummies books. I can more likely envision a teen's parent reading from this book and telling them, "See? This is what I've been telling you all along!"

One item that started me wondering about this book, is that on page 6, where they first mention the food pyramid, they refer to the illustration on page 40! It's the only color page in the whole book and they can't place it right? It is located between articles on Vitamin D and Vegetarians (who are given their own version of the pyramid, in black and white on page 86).

The tables are singularly unattractive. They have a largish one on "Common Herbal Remedies and Their Uses" which, by putting them in prominence, gives them more weight and importance than I believe they deserve. Two of the eight listed are St. John's Wort and Kava Kava. They are in the chapter titled "Funky Foods" along with "Superfoods" like pomegranates and oats. I have no doubt they were trying to be hip by giving this chapter a youngish name, but funky? I think nowadays that might mean bad smelling rather than different or miscellaneous.

Maybe it's because I haven't read any how-to books lately but the use of "you" and "your" throughout the book made me feel lectured to. I don't think it would have been any less effective to write this book in the third person or even from the viewpoint of a teen using we and us instead.

There are recipes in the back of the book which use a limited number of common ingredients and are perfect for teens to try. Either accidentally or on purpose, there are no warnings about operating the stove, assuming that teens are properly versed in its operation. With all of the other advise offered, there was no mention of my favorite practice of eating before food shopping to avoid being tempted into buying junk food.

I will pass this book on to my daughter and if she disputes my findings I will be back to ammend my thoughts. ( )
2 vote mamzel | Jan 27, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I asked my daughter to read this book and review it. She is a tween who has enjoyed reading about health and food for years, but not this time. She wasn't reading the book. She started it and then set it down time and time again. I picked it up and read it at that point. I understand why she couldn't get into it. While it offers good information about making healthy choices, it is written like a textbook. I can't imagine many kids would pick this up and read it on their own, even if they were inclined to try and get healthy.

There are also about 70 pages of recipes in the back of the book that are helpful for parents, but I don't know how much a teen or tween would get out of it. Good information in this book, but presented poorly if their audience is the teen/tween group who isn't in a classroom. ( )
1 vote HeatherHomeschooler | Jan 15, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Although the information is solid, I didn't get a good sense of the intended audience. It seemed a bit condescending towards actual teenagers; I would have found it childish as a high schooler. My son is in middle school now, and not motivated to eat well. This book wouldn't help with that motivation, although for teens coming in strongly motivated it provides good information.

My favorite part was the recipes in the back. Nothing fancy, but when cooking for my kids (or having them cook for me) I don't want fancy; I want simple and good tasting. ( )
  ejmam | Jan 13, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0923521577, Paperback)

Addressing the growing trend of teenagers whose eating habits keep fast-food restaurants flourishing but do little to keep the kids themselves healthy and in shape, this guide presents teens with the latest information on a wide range of food topics. With sensitive language, the authors, both registered dietitians, cover everything from carbohydrates and vitamins to eating disorders and vegetarianism, along with the ultimate new frontier for busy teens—cooking it themselves.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:57 -0400)

Here's a guide for teens and adults that takes a different approach to the strange and wonderful eating practices of teenagers. It looks at what to accept, what to modify slightly, and what may cause emotional distress in either teen or adult. "Fueling the Teen Machine" is written for teens with a minimum of fuss and cajoling. It was created by two registered dieticians who felt teenagers were often lectured about eating, but were seldom given useful facts about food and nutrition. Ellen Shanley and Colleen Thompson gathered sound information on everything from eating disorders and evaluating diets to vegetarianism and fast food. The authors felt that teens needed a book just for them. Their work in child nutrition ultimately led to a statewide contest that produced the recipes, created by real teens, that appear in this book. Once and for all "Fueling the Teen Machine" establishes that there is life after junk food and french fries.… (more)

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