'They Are What You Feed Them' argues convincingly that without the right nutrients it's not possible for our brains and bodies to develop properly, to grow properly and to function properly. Dr Alex Richardson clearly explains how the right kind of food can help improve your child's general ability and mood, as well as reducing the kinds of behavioral and learning difficulties associated with dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD).

According to Richardson there has been a "legacy of ignorance" on how nutrition can affect the mind and body, with many health professions not having much knowledge on the subject. Although she is UK-based, her arguments ring true here also, with many doctors happy to dole out pills, but not also to talk you through your diet.

She argues that in the First World there is no excuse for malnutrition - fresh food is often cheaper than convenience items. Richardson also gives practical advice on how to prevent malnutrition in your children and, as an extension, in yourself. Generally she disapproves of taking supplements and points out that fresh food and a varied diet will provide all you need, with some supplements having negative effects. She explains the digestive process - why a healthy system is so important and why it can go wrong - which will make you think twice about wolfing dinner down fast.

She addresses food allergies symptoms, and how to treat them, and goes through what types of foods you should feed your kids at different meals, with a useful 12-week plan and recipes to get you on track.

For instance, did you know that zinc is needed to make more than 200 different biochemical reactions in the body, but that many people don't get enough? If you don't know what zinc is, this book is for you - white spots on the fingernails signify a deficiency, by the way.

This book is for anyone who would like to improve their children's health - and their own. It gives a detailed guide to the major nutrients and their roles. It shows what foods to phase out and  what to include. Unless you are an expert already, you will learn a lot.

Mary McCarthy