Just got the new book from Marion Nestle out of the library. I didn't buy it because I figure I have the info already - and it's true that I pretty much do what she says. But the book is very informative and gives you the lowdown on What to Eat.
Nestle is a nutritionist, food lover, and big critic of corporate food. With all the competing health claims and fears out there, and the pressures of grocery and restaurant advertising, we are bewildered about what to feed our children these days. Some of her guidelines:
"First, shop the perimeters of the market. That's where the real foods are -- the meat, produce, dairy. Don't go into the center aisles. If you have to, don't buy anything with more than five ingredients, not counting vitamins. And if you can't pronounce an ingredient, don't buy the product. Don't buy anything with a health claim -- they're misleading. Don't buy artificial anything. Don't buy anything with a cartoon on it -- these people are marketing directly to your child. And if you're concerned about weight, don't buy soft drinks -- they're all calories and no nutrients. ...Eating is a great pleasure. I'd rather try to keep control of the quantity I eat." (from a Washington Post interview)
This book is for you if you're confused about eating fish (sustainable? mercury levels? Omega 3s?), nutritional supplements (she's skeptical) organic food (she's cautiously in favor), and all manner of commercially processed "health food" (caveat emptor). Marion Nestle reads the labels, goes to the stores, phones the numbers on the back of the box and quizzes the spokespeople, goes to the farms and generally pokes around asking questions. The book is quite entertaining.
But basically - eat at home more often. Eat whole foods. Go easy on the junk food. If you want to lose weight, move more and eat less. Watch the added sugar. Drink tap water (buy a filter if you're worried about the quality). Etc.
Several cookbooks in my collection that help me with putting on simple meals cooked from basic ingredients with not a lot of time:
Making food just doesn't have to be hard work. What you need to eat every day does not have to be fabulous all the time. Simple home-cooked food is healthier, tastier and more economical than takeout, takeout, frozen dinners and takeout.