Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World: Let Them Eat Dirt

Let Them Eat Dirt“A must-read . . . Takes you inside a child’s gut and shows you how to give kids the best immune start early in life.” —William Sears, MD, coauthor of The Baby Book

Like the culture-changing Last Child in the Woods, here is the first parenting book to apply the latest cutting-edge scientific research about the human microbiome to the way we raise our children.

In the two hundred years since we discovered that microbes cause infectious diseases, we’ve battled to keep them at bay. But a recent explosion of scientific knowledge has led to undeniable evidence that early exposure to these organisms is beneficial to a child’s well-being. Our modern lifestyle, with its emphasis on hyper-cleanliness, is taking a toll on children’s lifelong health.

In this engaging and important book, microbiologists Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire Arrieta explain how the trillions of microbes that live in and on our bodies influence childhood development; why an imbalance of those microbes can lead to obesity, diabetes, and asthma, among other chronic conditions; and what parents can do–from conception on–to positively affect their own behaviors and those of their children. They describe how natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and solid foods influence children’s microbiota. They also offer practical advice on matters such as whether to sterilize food implements for babies, the use of antibiotics, the safety of vaccines, and why having pets is a good idea.

Forward-thinking and revelatory, Let Them Eat Dirt is an essential book in helping us to nurture stronger, more resilient, happy, and healthy kids.

Why we LOVE this book:

  • Book helps parents understand how to improve their children’s health
  • Do’s and Dont’s at the end of every chapter to help guide you
  • Full section addressing cleanliness questions parents face on a day-to-day basis
  • Down to earth and interesting – doesn’t read like an instruction manual
  • Stresses the importance of microbes and educates you about them properly

B. Brett Finlay, Ph.D., is Professor of Microbiology at the University of British Columbia and a world leader on bacterial infections who speaks internationally on the subject. His over 30 years of work with microbes has earned him numerous awards and led to over 450 published articles, as well as media appearances for outlets such as Nature and NPR. A founder of the biotech companies Inimex, Vedanta, and Microbiome Insights, Brett is Officer of the Order of Canada–the highest Canadian civilian recognition. He lives in Vancouver with his wife, a pediatrician, and has two adult children.

Marie-Claire Arrieta, Ph.D., who will start her own lab in September of 2016, is a postdoctoral scientist in Finlay’s lab, where her recent study connecting asthma in very young babies to missing key intestinal bacterial species was deemed a breakthrough in the field and was reported by dozens of news outlets around the world in 2015. Arrieta has been published in leading scientific journals such as Gastroenterology, PNAS, and Science Translational Medicine. She spends her busy days juggling between experiments, science writing, kindergarten pick-ups, and play dates for her two young children.