What If We—With The Best Of Intentions–Are Causing Our Children To Be Sick?
In the tradition of Michael Pollan, Mark Hyman, and Andrew Weil, pioneering integrative pediatric neurologist Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD, reveals the shocking contents of children’s food, how it’s seriously harming their bodies and brains, and what we can do about it.
Chronic illness has become the new normal for children. Yet much of what is being done to children—medications they receive like Tylenol and antibiotics, the bleach and Purell we use to sanitize, processed foods they eat in school cafeterias and their own homes, even time they spend trapped in a classroom or doing homework instead of playing outdoors—play a very significant role in this epidemic of chronic illness.
Dr. Maya believes that children’s bodies naturally have the capacity to be healthy and heal when they have the tools to do so. Her plan starts with the soil, using fresh foods and nature to heal children from the inside out and the outside in. Revealing the profound connections between food, nature, and children’s health, Dr. Maya explains how food is constantly changing kids’ bodies, brains, and even genes—for better or for worse. She also shares success stories from her practice and tips as a working mother of three on stocking healing foods (from veggies to chocolate!), reading labels, and getting even picky eaters into the new menu. This paradigm-shifting book empowers you to transform your child’s health through food and ensure the long-term wellbeing of your kids and the entire family.
REVIEWS of The Dirt Cure
“What happens when a rigorously trained New York City pediatric neurologist learns the truth about health and healing? She gets her hands dirty (literally planting vegetables) and heals not only her son, but her patients as well. The Dirt Cure is an exhilarating book that had me cheering from page one. Don’t go the pediatrician without it!”
–Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
“The Dirt Cure is a game-changer when it comes to children’s health. Carefully researched and compellingly written… A must read!” (
–Mark Hyman, MD, Director, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, author #1 New York Times bestseller The Blood Sugar Solution
“Maya Shetreat-Klein’s pioneering book, The Dirt Cure, will forever transform the way you think about children’s health. At a time when kids are being prescribed more and more medications to treat symptoms, Dr. Shetreat-Klein turns the prevailing paradigm on its head by outlining how fresh food, rich soil, and contact with nature can reverse the growing epidemic of chronic childhood illness. Filled with unexpected twists, fascinating science and hands-on advice, her book gives you all the tools you need to get your kids healthy and keep them that way.”
–Andrew Weil, MD author of True Food and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health
“If you are a parent,or planning to be one, The Dirt Cure is your nutritional bible. Under the wise guidance of Dr. Shetreat-Klein, you can save your kids from a vast array of physical/emotional chronic illnesses, not only now when they’re still young but for the rest of their (longer and healthier) lives.”
–David Edelberg, MD, author of The Triple Whammy Cure
“Dr. Shetreat-Klein has written a tour de force prescription for creating a more nourishing environment to fight and prevent chronic disease in kids and adults. The Dirt Cure upends many cherished but flawed notions that have crept insidiously into the collective consciousness of citizens of the technological age. She combines cutting-edge science and medicine with common sense to illustrate the intimate, visceral connection between the health of the natural world that surrounds us—our terrain—and our own health. After reading this book, you’ll understand that we are not isolated from the chemical fabric that connects all life on our planet. As the environment sickens, so do we. As the environment thrives, so do our children, and so do we.”
–Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD, Co-director, The Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center (MMDC),UCSD School of Medicine)
“Emphasizing the importance of how food is raised or grown, Shetreat-Klein shares tips on procuring and consuming fresher meat and produce. She also takes some of the guesswork out of evaluating misleading and confusing food slogans and labels.” Read the Full Review
“On the fence about whether it’s truly necessary to avoid artificial sweeteners, food dyes, high-fructose corn syrup, and mercury-laden tuna? Shetreat-Klein, a pediatric neurologist who completed a fellowship in integrative medicine at the Andrew Weil–founded program at the University of Arizona, convincingly argues the case for a dirt-filled but chemical-free life. She practices what she preaches, preparing a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free dinner for her food-allergic family every day. This meal is organic and environmentally friendly. She knows how to use good, catchy phrases, such as “pasture-ization over pasteurization.” Although the recipes include some obscure, hard-to-find ingredients such as reishi powder and burdock root, this is a reader-friendly book, and Shetreat-Klein powerfully lays out the case for why bleach, hand sanitizers, fluoride, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. ‘Growing data say our children are allergic because we have sanitized them,’ she writes. Let there be dirt!”
— Karen Springen
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