Review and Giveaway: “The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood” and Sinupret for Kids

April 17, 2009

When I was initially approached with the idea of checking out a child’s medication and a book about how to get the whole family to eat right, I was reluctant to do the review. After all, I’m neither a child nor a parent, and as I’ve made clear many times, I try to stay away from supplements, drugs, and medications of any kind.

But at the same time, why shouldn’t I review a product and book that I normally wouldn’t be looking at? Might as well balance out the perspective of family nutrition by offering a single university girl’s standpoint! And it’s about time we started having giveaways here at Living Healthy in the Real World.

Book Review

The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood, written by William, Martha, James, and Robert Sears (all MD’s), is a classic example of the health books that are cropping up all over the market these days. It contains the general information that there are healthy fats and carbs that we need for our bodies, and that we should stay away from processed foods. But what I really enjoyed about this book was that it has some great advice for getting picky eaters to eat nutritiously.

I have always wondered how all of you healthy parents out there manage to incorporate a somewhat healthy diet into your child’s lifestyle. When I was a nanny for three months to two little girls (age 6 and 8), I found that it could be a real struggle to encourage them to eat healthy. Dealing with a stubborn child is one of the most difficult tasks I can imagine!

I myself was the pickiest kid ever growing up; I ate my white spaghetti with Parmesan cheese and nothing else, refused any kind of bread except white, and complained if any meal contained tomatoes or onions. That being said, I still ate lots of fruits and vegetables. It was just very specific ones. And I definitely ate my fair share of junk food, too. My parents were patient with me and so when I liked a healthy food they’d let me eat lots of it (such as apples. I don’t think I will ever get enough apples). And, over time, I have really developed my taste buds and done a complete turnaround.

This book offers ideas for using kid-friendly terms when it comes to food so as not to intimidate them. Rather than calling some foods “healthy” and others “unhealthy”, the authors suggest that we refer to them as “green light/red light foods” or “grow foods”. I like that idea. Even when trying to get adults to eat healthier, I have learned that stating that a meal is “healthy” causes them to look a little fearful. Injecting some pizzazz or fun into the label gains interest and a willingness to try something new.

Another great thing about this book is the structure and layout. Busy parents don’t have a lot of time to sit down and read a good book. This book is set up with tons of great information such as why we should be eating fish, an explanation behind HFCS and it’s evilness (my word, not theirs) and why we should avoid all kinds of artificial sweeteners including Splenda, and all about how to lower cholesterol and choose the right fats and carbs. All of this information is set up so that it’s in chunky blocks with bold headlines. It makes for easy access if you want to quickly scan through the book and look up something specific.

Each section is short and to the point with anecdotes of their personal experiences with their children. There are also charts and diagrams throughout the book, as well as sidebars with key information highlighted. There’s a lot of repetition in here, but I think that that’s perfect for the audience that this is targeted toward: parents have a lot on their minds and we learn best by repetition. If you missed the information the first time around, it’s presented at the end of the chapter in a slightly different fashion so that it’ll stick in your mind!

Sinupret for Kids

Ingredients: Gentian (root), European Vervain (aerial), Sorrel (aerial), European Elder (flower), Cowslip (flower with calyx). Also contains water, malitol, ethyl alcohol, and cherry flavor.

This medication is a natural herbal remedy for sinus and respiratory problems and immune support. It comes in the form of syrup and has been clinically tested as being safe. Because it is an herbal product it has not been approved by the FDA.

As some of you may know, my mother is a veterinarian. She specializes in holistic medicine, acupuncture, and chiropractic for animals. I asked her to take a look at the ingredients list and to give her opinion on it. The verdict is that this medication is legit and very safe. As someone trained in both Western medicine and Chinese medicine with a good understanding of the healing properties of herbs, I trust her judgment!

There was no one to test Sinupret on, so I took it upon myself to have a little taste of it. It smells like almond extract and is slightly sweet with a metallic aftertaste. It’s not particularly pleasant, but neither is it something that you’d have to wrestle with your kids to get them to choke down.

Although malitol as a sugar alcohol isn’t exactly healthy for you, I’m willing to let that slide because I’m aware that medication does have to be sweetened with something- and as far as I know, malitol isn’t dangerous (especially not in the miniscule amount that it would be in this medication). Flavors like cherry aren’t healthy either, but again, this is a medication, so realistically it makes sense to have some kind of sweetener.

Overall I’m impressed with the ingredients on this medication. The list is much better than on most other meds and these herbs are effective and safe for healing purposes. According to the research included in the box, Sinupret has been proven to work. I can’t say the same from personal experience because I don’t have a test subject and am not ill myself to test it out, but the good thing about Sinupret is that it can’t hurt to try it.


Interested in Sinupret for Kids or Dr. Bob Sears’ book? You can enter to win a package by leaving a comment at the end of this post with tips on how you keep your kids and family healthy, or sharing a story about how your parents kept you healthy. Alternatively, let us know what you’ve tried (or your parents tried) that completely backfired in making you healthy. You know the drill- I want to hear your thoughts, stories, and opinions!

The package includes a sample of Sinupret, a copy of The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood, a mini plush bear, a pair of yellow children’s binoculars, and a Sinupret for Kids activity book and stickers. Fifteen winners will be chosen at random; if you’ve got a USA or Canadian mailing address, you’re eligible to enter. Winners will be announced on Friday, April 24th.

Want an extra chance to win the package? A Life Less Sweet is doing a giveaway as well!


  1. well, I hate that after your amazing detailed review my “answer” for the family is a simplesimple one.

    I have just decided (before kids) to lead by example.

    My mom was a DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO and it kinda backfired with my sister (all Im sayin’ :)) so I decided not to say a word and let the Toddler watch.

    it is amazing how simple it all is (now anyway).

    she revels in being fast, strong, eating like MAMA & loving what her body can DO for her.

  2. I was picky too growing up, haha 😀

    Great review!!

  3. oh so cool! I really want to try the sinupret stuff! My dad didn’t think I really had asthma, he is the “oh allergy schmallery, its all in your head” . Well we got a cat when I was about 2 or 3, and I was unknowingly severely allergic- I almost died during several initial attacks. My mom ‘overrid’ my dad and took me to the hospital and luckily the doctors realized immediately and gave me all kinds of stuff to open my airways. Thats pretty crazy!

  4. First – I’ve never heard of sinupret before ! Interesting.

    Second – I’m with MizFit. It’s hard to teach something you don’t practice yourself. My parents weren’t so good with this. I’m trying to be better!

  5. I slowly introduce it into the family, showing that fresh food can be delicious. Then again, my family does eat relatively well, but of course, the typical splurge of baked goods and such is often. However, one thing I am trying to incorporate is instead of using white rice, we instead try wild rice, or brown rice. My mom has been open to the change, and so from to time to time, we do have wild rice, red rice, or other types rather than white. But my dad is such a big fan of white rice, but he is slowly, yes, slowly, finding that other rices are tasty too. I find that a happy medium is when we mix the white rice with wild rice/brown rice together.

  6. Don’t have kids myself, but I can’t imagine how tough it would be to avoid the bad food these days! Applause for parents who are trying!

  7. We are just learning of an allergy in my home, so this should help. I have been doing alot of reading and researching on the subject to give the best treatment I can.

  8. Love the giveaway! I try to keep my brothers and sisters healthy by feeding them the more fun healthy foods when they visit me… like oatmeal with chocolate chips instead of Pop Tarts in the morning.

  9. MizFit- simplicity is usually best (I’m far too wordy ;)). I’m pretty sure one of my dad’s favorite phrases is “do as I say not as I do”, hehe.

    VeggieGirl- I’m still picky; it’s just that these days everything has to be healthy food!

    bhealthier- such a conundrum, cat vs. kid. Glad you won!

    Charlotte- I bet you do a great job.

    Sharon- mixing the two together is a great idea. Compromise is key.

    Missicat- no kidding!

    Mary- doing your own research is really smart.

    Ashley- ooh I want to come and have breakfast at your place!

  10. Sagan, thanks for another great review!

    How my parents kept me healthy: absolutely no refined foods at home. All treats were home-made and restricted to weekends. Week-day desserts were fruits and nuts. The plate was always FULL of veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. And, what I think is SO important: the whole family enjoyed meals together, making it such a joyous experience.

    How I keep kids healthy: pretty much do what my parents did with me 🙂

    Other personal thoughts: kids are what you make them, picky eaters are “made” by the parents. If you embrace a wide range of healthy food, your kids will copy. If you make faces over fish and broccoli, kids will copy that too. Sugars and processed junk appeal to kids simple palates but if you don’t introduce them to it, then they won’t eat it. If you make fruits important and are vocal about your appreciation of them, kids will gravitate toward them.

  11. Nice review!!

    Don’t like the ethyl alcohol in that product. I would pass on it.

  12. I don’t want to win, but I can’t resist commenting on how I grew up eating. Before my mother and I were diagnosed with a lot of allergies, including foods, when I was six, we ate a much greater variety than afterwards. I have never understood the children I hear about who won’t eat things. I wasn’t required to eat anything I didn’t like, but some of the things I didn’t like (rice, cornbread, turnip greens, sweet potatoes) would make my parents look at each other and say “She can’t really be ours!” If I had stopped eating what was on my plate they would ask “Are you sure you don’t want any more of that?” and if my answer was no, [snarf] it was on their plate instead.
    They liked lots of vegetables, and we had fruit for dessert most of the time, so I didn’t discover until I was at least in high school that there are people who don’t like vegetables. (I thought my cousin who would only eat green peas or asparagus was just weird.)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  13. Dr. J: From what I understand, the ethyl alcohol is used as a preservative so the expiry date can be extended. I get my Chinese herbs from a very reputable source; the liquid combinations have an alcohol ingredient that the animals often do not like; the easiest thing to do is to let the herbal dose sit in the open for a short while to evaporate the alcohol; or to heat slightly (again to aid in evaporation of alcohol); or to dilute the dose in water. Once done, it is surprising how well most of my 4-legged patients tolerate the herbal “meds”.

  14. Thank you for the mention! Love your review of both the book and the medicine. (And obviously, I don’t want to be included in the giveaway!)

    Have a great weekend!

  15. I keep lots of fresh cut fruit and veggies in the fridge for easy snacking.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Great review! Within the past month, I’ve helped my Mister lose 30 pounds! By helping him incorporate healthy, fresh foods into his diet (instead of easy, fast and processed) and encouraging exercise, we both now love being healthy TOGETHER

  17. sorry, that was NOT in a month — I meant to say in the past 4 months. (Since January)

  18. We like cooked veggies, plain. We eats lots of that at dinner. I never have chips or soda in the house, and the kids don’t miss it. For snacks, we like cereal, the ones with not too much sugar. Yogurt and fruits are a good snack too.

  19. I’m so impressed that you are so informed. More motivation for me to keep reading.

    I like the green light, red light. I’ve been telling my 3 year old which foods help with what. Like carrots help you see, chicken helps you be strong. Either way they will inhale anything that taste good.

    My kids love flavor. Healthy food can taste good. I’m not talking about slathering the broccoli with cheese. Just fun unique flavors. I also heard recently that a new sent/flavor takes 14(or some high number)times for the taste buds to adapt and identify the new food. Kind of like meeting a new person. It takes a while before you dive on in. Unless your me: An open book, who makes new best fiends with complete strangers anywhere =)

  20. Yeah I read some of your book reviews. 🙂 I would love recommendations on good books to read!

  21. I need this book soooo bad! I too was a very picky eater at a young age- I would pick the little chopped up onions and peppers out of whatever my mom put them in! I think I spent most of dinner time picking instead of eating. I now have 2 daughters of my own. One is 16 and wants nothing but junk food, and the other is 10 and I see my picky self in her. I have done a lot of hiding the healthy veggies in foods, but still need some more secrets! Help!!!

  22. As a child I was exposed to a lot of veggies and fruits, we had a large family 10 children and we grew a lot of veggies,basically we were told to eat or try everything and my Mom was a great cook she expermiented a lot with flavors using seasonings and such to enhance the flavor. As an adult I tend to mix flavors and such and I love trying new things. Thanks for the giveaway

    sharr1226 at yahoo dot com

  23. Marta- great advice! Homemade treats are the best.

    Dr. J- I wasn’t TOO too keen on that either.

    Mary Anne, Kim & Katy- that’s good that so much of your meals are based around fruits and veg… if only the rest of the world would follow your example!

    Dr. Anony-mum- thanks for the info 🙂 It’s too bad that ingredients like that are still required, though.

    Cathy- glad you enjoyed!

    Shannon- that’s super impressive! Good for you.

    Fitness Surfer- sounds like you’ve got it all figured out with your kids 🙂

    Stuffgirlswant- ahaha I did the same thing with the onions 😉

    Sharon- trying new things is key.

  24. Sounds like a great package. I try to keep my fam healthy by being a good example. We just had our first kid and my wife and I are already showing her how to be active. We take her on walks often and she watches sometimes while we workout. She’s barely 2 months old but seems intrigued as my wife does pilates. 🙂

  25. “barely 2 months old but seems intrigued ”

    Blake, that made me smile. My mother used to tell me that when I was younger than two months she’d be doing her 1950s “recovering from childbirth” exercises on the floor and I would just laugh and laugh.

  26. […] World Discussions about being healthy in all aspects and enjoying life to the fullest! « Review and Giveaway: “The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood” and Sinupret for Kids The Slow Food Movement April 20, 2009 Defined as the opposite of fast food (because […]

  27. I was exteremely picky as a child and I still am. One thing I thonk backfired was cod liver oil, we all knew it was good for use but when mom brought out that bottle we ran for the hills.

  28. […] forget to enter my giveaway- deadline is tomorrow; winners will be announced on […]

  29. Check here for some tips to keep your kids healthy

  30. having good health is the best!!! cause we can do everything we want without thinking the risk!!! and just to enjoy the life, one of of making your health become good is to eat nutritious foods and do regular exercise.

  31. This is such a wonderful post i must say. Very useful and also informative to all the readers.

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