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Slim & Fit Kids: Raising Healthy Children in a Fast-Food World

Slim & Fit Kids: Raising Healthy Children in a Fast-Food World

by Judy Mazel, John E. Monaco, John Monaco
In 1996, shortly after best-selling author Judy Mazel released the sequel to her original book The New Beverly Hills Diet, Dr. John Monaco, a pediatric critical care specialist and former "fat kid," turned to Mazel's program to combat his own critical weight problem and improve his health. After achieving great success himself, he decided that where adults


In 1996, shortly after best-selling author Judy Mazel released the sequel to her original book The New Beverly Hills Diet, Dr. John Monaco, a pediatric critical care specialist and former "fat kid," turned to Mazel's program to combat his own critical weight problem and improve his health. After achieving great success himself, he decided that where adults succeeded on the program, kids could, too - perhaps even more so. Most important, Dr. Monaco realized that obesity among children was the main factor precipitating life-threatening diseases among them - such as asthma, diabetes and clinical depression - as well as other serious, though not potentially fatal, problems like excessive strain on bones, joints and muscles.

Mazel and Monaco have teamed up to offer parents Slim and Fit Kids, a one-of-a-kind approach to raising healthy, well-adjusted children. Combining Mazel's successful twenty-plus years of experience with food combining with Monaco's pediatric expertise, this book will teach parents everything they need to know about nutrition, digestion and nutrient absorption. This compelling book provides easy-to-understand information on the science of pediatric nutrition, as well as down-to-earth reminders on children's natural eating habits, making it easy and fun for parents to teach healthy nutritional habits that will last a lifetime.

Divided into parts, the first focuses on children's obesity. Chapters in this part include an overview of the problem of obesity in children and the diseases and disorders it engenders; Dr. Monaco's discovery of the Beverly Hills Diet and his idea to adapt it to children's nutrition; an overview of the digestive process; a summary of developmental nutrition, explaining the nutritional needs and issues of each age group; and personal accounts of the childhood obesity problem. The second part shows parents the practical steps to incorporating the nutritional principles they have learned into a daily program for their kids.

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Health Communications, Incorporated
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Read an Excerpt

from Chapter 10

Get Ready to Eat Slim & Fit

Now it's time to begin, time for you and your child to discover the keys to a new philosophy of eating that will change how you think about food forever. So take a last look at "fat" and let me welcome you to the world of Slim & Fit! The weight to be healthy and trim is over.

Why Kids Get Fat

In developing both The Beverly Hills Diet and Slim & Fit Kids, I never lost sight of the relationship between feelings and eating. Those of us who love to eat ("eaters") are a special category unto ourselves. The world has labeled us "sensitive." We're feelers who drown our hurts in food. Eating is the "Band-Aid" that somehow makes it possible for us to cope with disappointment, disapproval, rejection and fear. Of course, it also is our way of dealing with excitement; the highs, as well as the lows, when we have more on our plate figuratively than we can do, we soothe ourselves with food. Because "eaters" are high-energy, highly creative types, we're also geniuses at setting unrealistic goals. That means we're also constantly frustrated because our appetite for what we want to accomplish is often bigger than our ability, especially true for kids.

Then there is another type of child who also gets fat. I call them "products of society." They don't have an emotional attachment to their fat and to eating. They're the ones who have become obese because they ate too many foods with preservatives and chemicals, and drank too much milk. (You've already read what Dr. John says about the effect all those chemicals and milk have on our weight; suffice it to say, I second that motion.) These kids can easily lose weight and keep it off by tuning into their bodies and avoiding junk food, preservatives and chemicals. Unlike "eaters" who are perpetually on empty, these kids can actually act on the suggestion that they check in with their bodies to see if they're actually experiencing hunger before they go into the kitchen to eat. If they discover they're eating out of boredom or hurt feelings, they can actually stop. "Eaters" can't!

And that's why "eaters" particularly need the Slim & Fit Kids program: There are no portion controls, no time limits and no restricted foods. For an "eater," big portions are better; food feeds the soul as well as the body. I know all that because I'm still a compulsive eater. If I don't feel stuffed to bursting when I leave the table, I'm not happy. When someone tells me they stay thin by not eating after 6:00 p.m., my first question is, "What do you do for the rest of the night?" I'm not happy and likewise can't sleep if I don't eat something right before I'm ready to close my eyes. When I discovered the physical laws of digestion, enzymes and food combining, I was able to eat what I loved and as much as I loved and still get and stay slim. This is what I'm going to teach you and your child.

Modifying the Beverly Hills Met for Kids

The original Beverly Hills Diet was very rigid. Carbohydrates were carbohydrates and went only with other carbohydrates. Likewise, protein was protein, and you only ate it with other protein. And never the two should meet. But as I began working with more clients and including children in the program, I began to see that it was possible to introduce more flexibility into the diet and still lose and maintain weight loss. In my new approach, which I first introduced in my book The New Beverly Hills Diet, dieters can mix foods occasionally, have proteins and carbohydrates together, so that when they have a hamburger with everything on it, they can also eat the bun, and the fries. Likewise, meat loaf and mashed potatoes don't have to be separate meals. As long as children start the day with an enzymatic fruit, they can get away with at least one miscombination (a protein and carbohydrate combination) a day. Kids who are fat because they're "products of society"—kids who leave food on their plates because their hearts are in their chests instead of their stomachs and what they put into their mouths—can probably get away with more. Of course, they won't be as healthy if they eat miscombinations because their digestive system won't work as efficiently. Those who stick the closest to the rules will feel the best and lose the most weight.

Following the rules to getting slim and fit is easy.

  1. Begin each day with a fruit, preferably an enzymatic one (see the breakfast section of chapter 11).
  2. Once your child has eaten something other than fruit, in other words once they've eaten something from another food group, they should not eat fruit again for the rest of the day. Remember, fruit digests almost instantly. If it is trapped in the stomach by other foods, it will not be absorbed or metabolized efficiently, and instead will rot and ferment, and cause extra pounds.
  3. When your child moves on to eating carbohydrates, your child can also include soy products or any foods from my either/or list (see "Food Groups" at the end of this chapter).
  4. Once your child starts eating animal protein, the balance of food he or she eats for the rest of day should consist mainly of protein. As Dr. John explained, when proteins and carbohydrates are combined, the body does not digest, absorb or metabolize the faster-digesting carbohydrates as they should because they are trapped in the stomach by the slower-digesting protein. Trapped food means maldigestion, and maldigestion equals fat. Also, as you may recall, the carbohydrate-digesting enzyme is annihilated by the presence of the protein-digesting enzyme.
  5. Ideally, there should be a one-hour wait when switching from fruit to another category, and a two hour wait when switching from carbs and either/ors to animal protein.
  6. Dinner is whatever the family is eating (even if it's miscombined!).
  7. When mixing carbohydrates and proteins at the same meal ... your basic, ahem, "balanced meal" ... you can make it a more digestible combination for your child by ensuring that the protein portion is the bulk of the meal. This is for the same reason as rule four.
  8. Avoid foods, oils and soft drinks with preservatives and chemicals. To do this, you must read the ingredients section on food labels carefully. (Teach your child to do the same.)
  9. The ideal Slim & Fit day starts with fruit, moves on to carbs and either/ors, and ends however you or your child chooses.

Notice that I've taken the focus off dinner as the centerpiece of dieting. In today's hectic family life, dinner is a special catch-up time for the family to share their successes and disappointments. I don't want to make it the time when everyone focuses on what the "eater" is eating and how much weight he or she is gaining! Let your child eat whatever the family is eating. Yes, even if it's McDonald's or Kentucky Fried Chicken. Believe me, if your child eats fruit in the morning and basically follows the other rules, he or she will lose weight.

Welcome to the world of eating with joy where the joy of eating allows your child to enjoy losing weight!

How to Be Successful on the Program

In the pages that follow, you'll notice I've included lots of ideas on how to include soy, an either/or, in the diet. I'm not trying to turn everyone into vegetarians, but I am trying to help your children become slim and fit for a lifetime. Soy is a "super" food that can help them do just that! Because it contains all eight amino acids, it's a complete protein. It's low in fat, cholesterol free, and it also contains the B vitamins as well as being high in carbohydrates, fiber and calcium.

You'll also read about Blue-Green Algae in the "On Your Mark, Get Set .. ." section that follows. If your children ate nothing else but soy and Blue-Green Algae, their diet would probably be complete and their health off the charts!

If you're worried that your child is a finicky eater, you're not alone. Most children between the ages of four and ten are. Be patient and give it time. Try to keep in mind that your child is just asserting his or her sense of self, and hopefully your child will find our new Pure Energy Gourmet Kid Cuisine so enticing that his or her palate will prevail and feeding your child the Slim & Fit way will be a snap.

Lily Brumwell of Salt Lake City experienced major resistance from Sydnei, her five-year-old daughter. Lily found that she could overcome Sydnei's aversion to the texture of fruit by processing it first in the blender before serving. That was the first step. Now a child who wouldn't touch fruit is enjoying it! Then Lily stopped force-feeding Sydnei milk, which her daughter never even liked to begin with. Lily also stopped having cheese in the house by explaining that it simply wasn't healthy, not only that it was fattening. After five years in the fat lane, Sydnei is finally becoming slim and fit.

If your child is like Sydnei and not the most cooperative, then go, as Lily did, a little more slowly. Begin by replacing the unhealthy snack items in your pantry with healthy equivalents (see the "Snacks and Nibbles" section of the next chapter). Keep reminding yourself that this is a process, not a race. Anything you do is better than doing nothing or continuing the bad habits that contributed to your child's current state. You are establishing lifelong lifestyle eating habits—and changing habits that are already formed, yours and your child's—so don't let your frustration at it "not happening instantly" stop it from happening at all. Don't give up or give in, and if all you can do is to convince your child to start each day with fruit, you'll be ahead of the gain, or rather game. Soon the pounds will begin to fall off, and the rest will follow.

By taking her toddler off preservatives and presenting fruit by itself instead of in combination with carbs and protein, Tara Rogachefsky of Miami, Florida, a follower of The New Beverly Hills Diet, stopped her son's projectile vomiting due to reflux syndrome. "Once I quit giving him crackers that contained preservatives, fast-food French fries cooked in oils containing chemicals, and restricted fruits to breakfast when they were eaten individually with no other foods, his vomiting stopped almost immediately. This way of eating also eliminated all the unpleasant symptoms connected with my irritable bowel syndrome. I'll never go off Judy's diet!"

For those of you who are familiar with the original Beverly Hills Diet or my New Beverly Hills Diet, you'll notice that the rules for kids are a lot more lenient than they are for adults. Kids can get away with a lot more. They don't have the years of physical, emotion and mental buildup that adults have. If you plan on making Slim & Fit eating a family affair, and you are doing it to lose weight yourself, I would suggest that you buy a copy of The New Beverly Hills Diet so that you can understand and incorporate the adult rules and mini-restrictions.

Although some recipes have been included, this is not a cookbook per se. Instead, what I've prepared for you is a guide that will teach you how to apply this revolutionary style of eating to what you already put on your plate at home, to the food your kids have known and grown to love, and how to fix these familiar foods and make them animal-protein free.

Trust me, by time time youÆve finished this book, youÆll have learned everything you need to know about how to help your child be successful on this program.

(c)1999 Judy Mazel and John Monaco. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Slim & Fit Kids by Judy Mazel and John Monaco. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

Meet the Author

JUDY MAZEL is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Beverly Hills Diet and the bestselling New Beverly Hills Diet, as well as Recipes to Forever, The New Beverly Hills Diet Little Skinny Companion and The New Beverly Hills Diet Slim Kit audiotape and forty-page reference handbook. By practicing what she teaches, she has maintained her seventy-two-pound weight loss for twenty-two years, at a svelte 108 pounds. She lives in Pacific Palisades, California, where she conducts overnight "Slim-In" programs and manages her ClubSlim and CyberSkinny Internet base of operations (http://www.cyberskinny.com).

JOHN E. MONACO, M.D., a critical care pediatrician, is the director of the pediatric intensive care unit and chairman of the department of inpatient pediatrics at the Brandon Regional Hospital in Brandon, Florida. He is board certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners, by the American Board of Pediatrics in pediatric critical care medicine. In addition, he has contributed to numerous medical publications and given multiple presentations on varied pediatric topics.

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