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Book review: ‘Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right’ could help decrease child obesity

Editor's note: Helping children eat healthy meals can be a challenge on the best of days. From creative meal ideas to helping children learn to cook to a nutritional guidebook, here is one of the cookbooks that have crossed our desks recently.


RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT, EAT RIGHT: The Food Solution that Lets Kids Be Kids,” by Joanna Dolgoff, MD, Rodale, $21.99, 254 pages

Joanna Dolgoff is most recently known as the pediatrician on “The Biggest Loser” who visited homes of overweight youths, ridding pantries and fridges of unhealthy food.

Don’t worry — these kids (and their families) were a part of the show and welcomed the help of Dolgoff, who specializes in pediatric weight loss. After years as a general pediatrician, Dolgoff felt frustrated, saying in her book, “There wasn’t enough time to have an in-depth conversation with these kids and their parents about the importance of weight management. I felt helpless.”

With that in mind she started her journey as a weight-loss specialist for children. In her book “Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right: The Food Solution that Lets Kids Be Kids,” Dolgoff introduces a way of eating that has “no calorie counting, no dieting and no off-limits food.” With her simple coding — red, yellow and green lights — she color coordinates food and portion sizes to help children get in better shape.

This is an outstanding source for parents who want their children to eat the right foods in the right portions. In addition to dozens of recipes, a detailed 28-page appendix categorizes foods in their respective colors with serving sizes.

A play on the green, yellow and red lights, Dolgoff has peppered “traffic tips” like meal-planning help throughout the book. Easy to read and navigate through, this book is an excellent resource for parents.