The following is a book summary of Dr. Sears' Lean Kids.

BY:        William Sears, M.D.,
              Peter Sears, M.D.,
              Sean Foy, M.

PUBLISHER: 2003, New American Lib.
wwwLeankids.com                 askdrsears.com


The National School Breakfast Program reports that students that eat breakfast have:

  • improved reading scores.
  • are more attentive.
  • have improved memory
  • have less depression than non-breakfast eaters

Breakfast should contain proteins and high calcium foods which helps improve behavior and learning.  An omega-3 supplement should be part of the breakfast as well as a multi-vitamin.  Omega 3’s stimulates brain performance.


Proteins are not stored as fat.  Excess protein passes through the body. Proteins are the building blocks of the body. The only bad protein would be those so called breakfast bars or protein bars that contain more sugar than protein.  Look at the labels.


If you have a child that is a late sleeper and doesn’t have time to eat breakfast, then fix a nutritious smoothie.  Don’t use a smoothie mix that has a lot of sugar but make one similar to the one below:

1/2 cup fruit – unsweetened or fresh (with no sugar)
1/2 container of flavored yogurt, but not one with fruit because this has a lot of sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 ice cubes


Tell your child they can eat as many free foods as they want with a limit to bananas, oranges, and peaches because they have high sugar content.

Fruits and veggies that use as many calories to chew as to digest are especially good for the child who is chubby.  Fruits and vegetables have more fiber so the kids will feel more full and satisfied.

To figure the amount of fiber your child needs take the age and add 5.  A 7 year old would need 12 grams of fiber a day.


Dr. Sears refers to foods that are rich in nutrients as the “grow foods” because these are the ones that help body to grow including the brain.

When kids understand that the rich nutrient foods are the grow foods, then the others are the dead foods.  If a child is concerned about growing or playing sports then this will be important to him.

“Junk food makes junk muscles.”


Teach your child to change their brain with positive talk.  Things like; “Yes, I can do this!” or “I’m good. I’m doing great.”

When your child starts saying negative things tell him to take a U-Turn and go the other way.  One way to do this is by having the family involved in volunteer work at least once a month.  This will get them involved in something outside of themselves by helping others instead always being the needy one.


The authors promote healthy lifestyle for kids because it is essential for learning. Here are 10 habits to adopt.

  1. Grazing nutritious foods.

  2. Making supermarket shopping a lesson in lean living by showing your kids how to shop.

  3. Starting the day with a brainy breakfast; one full of protein to get the brain moving.

  4. Doing 30 – 60 min. exercise per day.

  5. Liking your body type.

  6. Having positive thoughts eliminating negative thoughts.

  7. Spending more time moving instead of sitting.

  8. Getting a restful nights sleep.

  9. Having family meals at least five times a week.

  10. Think of eating and moving as preventive medicine.


Make a list of exercises that you and your child(ren) can do together so that you don’t get stuck in a rut and find yourselves doing the same ones.  This way the family won’t say that it is boring!

Throw Frisbees
Shoot Hoops
Play Volleyball
Throw the Football
Play Hide and Seek
Ride Bikes
Jump Rope
Play Tag

Play catch with a softball  
Have a Family Pillow Fight
Go Rock Climbing
Have a Dance Off
Walk the Neighborhood
Go Skateboarding/Rollerblading
Race Up and Down the Stairs
         Do Chores Together:
Clean Windows and Have a Water Fight
Paint a Room Together

Kids who don’t exercise, grow older faster.

Moving the body pumps more blood and oxygen into the brain.  Doing a physical exercise like shooting hoops or dancing will actually make the child more alert when doing homework.

Caution:  If your child is taking meds, check with the doctor to see what kind of exercise to avoid.

Exercise doesn’t mean a person has to hurt for it to work.  Moderate exercise is moving and moving the body is what a person needs to do to have a more fit body.

As most of us have heard and probably know, exercise has benefits.  From Pages 122-123 of Dr. Sears book, I quote:

Builds Healthy Heart      Builds Strong Bones
Prevents Injuries

Helps Self Esteem
Helps Fight Depression

Helps strengthen life skills:

Communication            Teamwork                    Sportsmanship

Leadership Skills
Goal Setting
Conflict Resolution

Helps our body’s overall function:

Bowels to move       Builds muscle
Burns Fat

Strengthens the Immune System


Zinc – increases white blood cells which help fight infection.  Find it in wheat germ, tofu, seafood, meat, poultry, nuts, and beans.

Omega 3 – helps immunity and helps the body’s healing process.  Find it in salmon, tuna, flax seed oil

Vitamin C – protects the immune system.  Find it in citrus fruits, peppers, guavas, kiwi fruit and kale.

Vitamin E – kills germs by producing antibodies.  Find it in sunflower seeds, wheat germ, peanut butter, canola oil, olive oil, salmon, wheat germ and avocadoes.

Probiotics – supports healthy germs in our intestines.

Most people are deficient in Omega 3, iron, zinc, calcium, fiber, antioxidents.


Water is not overrated.  In fact, most people don’t even realize the benefits from water.  Water is absorbed into the body almost immediately.  Caffine drinks, juice drinks and sports drinks lessen the amount of water that will be absorbed into the body.

Water helps control overeating by curbing the appetite.  During a cold or allergies, water helps to break down the mucus buildup. Because our brain is 70% water we need to drink water to feed our brain.  

Water helps rid our bodies of toxins that build up overtime from environmental pollutants medicine residue and junk food residue and free radicals.  Our kidneys need water in order to flush these poisons from our system.

This is a very short summary of all of the information included in Dr. Sears' book Lean Kids. You can purchase the book here.

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