Published on in CHOP News
Transform the way your family eats with a new, easy-to-use and child-friendly guide to anti-inflammatory eating. The Anti-inflammatory Family Cookbook includes 100 simple and delicious recipes for meals and snacks the whole family can enjoy.
The book is co-authored by Maria R. Mascarenhas, MBBS, Director of the Integrative Health Program and Nutrition Support Services, and Section Chief of Nutrition in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Co-authors also include: Stefania Patinella, Alexandra Romey, Hilary McClafferty, MD, and Jonathan Deutch, PhD, with guidance from CHOP Integrative Health Program dietitians Amy Dean, MPH, RDN, LDN, and Maria D.A. Hanna, MS, RDN, LDN.
"Our cookbook explains the anti-inflammatory diet which combines the best elements of a Mediterranean diet and an Okinawa diet," Dr. Mascarenhas says. "It includes eating organic foods in season, decreasing the use of processed foods, and increasing the nutritional content of meals for the entire family."
Benefits of anti-inflammatory diet
Recent studies have found an anti-inflammatory diet may support a children's focus on schoolwork, increases healthy gut bacteria and microbiome, and decreases symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and functional GI diseases. It also may be used to improve disease symptoms or as part of a patient's treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
"What we've found through research at CHOP is that what you eat, influences your gut microbiome and this, in turn, can influence the rest of your body – not just your nutrition, but all aspects of your health and wellness including sleep," Dr. Mascarenhas says.
The Anti-inflammatory Family Cookbook includes recipes that cover every developmental phase of a child's life - from infancy to adolescence – and includes recipes for meals, snacks and special occasions. The recipes use a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains, and limit processed foods known to cause inflammation.
"We also included a lot of culturally diverse recipes and fusion recipes that incorporate the healthiest elements of different cultures so anyone can find something they like, are familiar with, or are comfortable trying," Dr. Mascarenhas says. They also indicate the major allergens so parents of children with allergies can easily find which recipes would be safe for their children to try.
Though the book is geared to families who want to follow an anti-inflammatory diet or anyone who wants to be proactive about health. The cookbook contains medically accurate and child-specific guidance for anti-inflammatory eating.
Recipes & practical tips
In addition to recipes, the cookbook offers practical tips to help families learn how to better stock their kitchens (so kids only have healthy choices), and provides fun ways to expose children and teens (and even some stubborn older eaters) to new foods and flavor combinations.
"Small changes can make a big difference in a person's health," Dr. Mascarenhas says. "Many families we see at CHOP are eager for this type of information – and it can be easy to implement changes. For example, if your child loves macaroni and cheese, consider using lentil pasta and adding some broccoli. It won't substantially change the taste but it will get them to eat lentils which contain some of the essential nutrients their bodies need, as well as broccoli."
The cookbook is scheduled to be released on Jan. 12, 2021, in both paperback and Kindle versions. Reserve your copy of the Anti-Inflammatory Family Cookbook at a store near you, online or at your local library.