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Family Fit Plan

Author: Muth ND
Category: Healthy Lifestyle
Audience: Consumer
Length: 220 pages
Publisher: American Academy of Pediatrics
  Year Published: 2020
List Price: $16.95® Rating: Excellent!

Family Fit Plan is an excellent resource for transforming your weekly routine into a healthy one!

Recommended for: Parents who wish to follow a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their children.


Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP is a dual board-certified pediatrician and obesity medicine physician. She is also a registered dietitian and certified specialist in sports dietetics. Her pediatric practice focuses on developing healthy family routines. Dr. Muth also authored "The Picky Eater Project: 6 Weeks to Happier, Healthier Family Mealtimes." She lives in Carlsbad, CA where she hosts a "Walk With A Doc" exercise group.


This 220-page book is organized as follows:


  • Chapter 1: Success Through Family Buy-In and Social Support
  • Chapter 2: The Starting Line
  • Chapter 3: On Your Mark...Get Set...Goal!


  • Chapter 4: Week 1: A Nutrition and Mealtime Makeover
  • Chapter 5: Week 2: Mastering Mindfulness
  • Chapter 6: Week 3: Outsmarting the Six S's
  • Chapter 7: Week 4: Savoring and Celebrating Success


  • Chapter 8: Post-Plan: Making Changes That Stick
  • Appendix: Recipes, Reinforcement Planners, and Workouts


The title -- "Family Fit Plan" -- suggests the focus is on exercise and fitness. However, this book addresses more than that.

More accurately, this book is about creating an entire healthy lifestyle. This includes not only physical activity, but, also, healthy nutrition, adequate sleep, and reducing the amount of time staring at computers and smart phones, something that doesn't get enough attention, in my opinion. Managing stress is another facet of the program.

If you want to cut to the chase, open the book to pages 40-41. Here, Dr. Muth presents an example of a wellness plan for the entire family. For each of the 5 categories above, goals are listed, and then specific actions (behaviors) required to meet those goals are identified. For example, a Nutrition goal is: "Eat 5 Vegetables and Fruits Per Day." One action leading to that goal is: "Keep a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter."

It's impressive how much useful content this book provides. In addition to the general discussions and the check-lists, there are 6 categories of side-bars:

  • Let's Experiment: Simple challenges to get you thinking about healthier habits.
  • Your Toolbox: Practical applications to translate a plan into action.
  • Did You Know?: Facts and stats.
  • Get Fit!: Suggested exercises.
  • Mindful Moment: Suggestions for dealing with stress.
  • Kitchen Hacks: Quick tips for healthier eating.

Chapter 1: This chapter provides a road map for holding a family discussion about developing healthier habits.

Chapter 2: This chapter provides tables and checklists for assessing your current levels of fitness, nutrition, stress, and sleep.

Chapter 3: This chapter presents an example of a family plan, the current dietary and physical activity guidelines, several exercise routines, and suggestions for improving sleep quality and managing stress.

Chapter 4: This chapter provides suggestions how to give your dietary pattern a makeover.

Chapter 5: This chapter discusses mindfulness and how it can be applied to physical activity and healthy eating.

Chapter 6: This chapter is titled "Outsmarting the 6 S's": Snacks, Sweets, Sugary Drinks, Screen Time, Sleep Disruptors, and Slick Sales and Marketing.

Chapter 7: This chapter encourages readers, after following their new plan for several weeks, to recognize the successes they have achieved so far.

Chapter 8: This chapter guides the reader as to what they should do after they have completed their 30-day lifestyle makeover.

Appendix: The Appendix provides Recipes, Reinforcement Planners, Workouts, and References. The recipes are healthy-sounding plant-based recipes. Some entrees contain chicken and fish. The exercise routines are short and simple.

Other details:

Photos & Illustrations: This book contains several black-and-white photos. These are helpful.

Tables & Graphs: Lots of tables are provided. Most have blank areas so they can be photocopied.

Documentation / Accuracy: This is not a scientific book, however, 2 pages of cited publications appear at the end. These will be appreciated by some readers.

What I Liked About This Book

This book checks all the boxes:

First, the title and sub-title accurately describe the content. Second, it is very thorough without being lengthy. Third, the recommendations are highly useful. Anyone can take the recommendations in this book and apply them to their weekly routine. Fourth, the page layouts are varied (ie., not just pages and pages of only text) which makes it an easy-to-read book.

It is also important to point out that the author has the perfect education/training/credentials to write this book: pediatrician, obesity physician, Masters degree in Public Health, Registered Dietitian (Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics). And, not only is her medical practice focused on developing healthy lifestyles, she leads a "Walk With A Doc" program in her community!

What Could Be Better

In general, this book is very well done. About the only nit-picky detail I noticed was that several of the stylized images demonstrating yoga poses (pages 91 and 207) are too, what's the difference between the Butterfly pose and the Turtle pose? What's the leg position for the Monkey pose?


Family Fit Plan is an excellent resource for parents who wish to develop a healthy lifestyle for their family. It provides a ton of useful guidance, yet, the book is not lengthy; it doesn't overwhelm the reader with explanatory text. I can definitely recommend this book. (In fact, I photocopied several of the fish recipes and gave them to one of my older clients who is trying to incorporate more omega-3's into his diet!)

Reviewed by: Stan Reents, PharmD 2/28/2021 1:56:26 PM

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