By REBECCA WALD
|Author and lecturer Karen Ranzi
at Nuage Cafe in Parkland Florida.
In her new book Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods(2012) Jewish author, lecturer and mom Karen Ranzi combines two subjects that are close to her heart in an informative compendium of sound parenting advice and great raw food recipes that even picky toddlers will devour.
“I began writing my book emphasizing only raw food nutrition. However, I realized that one cannot raise a healthy child through good food alone,” Ranzi says. “Attachment parenting is crucial. The mothers of today’s civilized world must return to their roots and learn to listen to their maternal instincts in order to be present to raise their children,” she says.
Much has been written on attachment parenting since William and Martha Sears coined the term and introduced it to millions of readers in The Attachment Parenting Book: A Common Sense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby (2001). The attachment parenting style of childrearing aims to foster a close bond between young children and their parents, especially newborns and their mothers, through practices such as breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping, and baby wearing.
While more natural ways of living are gaining acceptance, according to Karen Ranzi, many still view the ideas presented in her book as controversial. “Most people are resistant to change. Living a raw food lifestyle and attachment parenting are growing movements, but they continue to be viewed as extreme by the mainstream,” she says. “These topics are often laughed off in our society as people are fearful of making changes, as they desire to be accepted and don’t want to be looked at as different in a judgmental society.”
Adding to the controversy, despite being Jewish, Ranzi takes a strong stance against circumcision in Creating Healthy Children. She devotes a whole chapter to the topic, which is written by her good friend Laurie Evans, a longtime circumcision critic who also happens to be Jewish.
A book about attachment parenting by a Jewish woman that openly disavows circumcision is a breath of honesty. Earlier this year, actress Mayim Bialik released her book Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way (2012). Mayim Bialik’s book makes no mention of circumcision, which has frustrated many who adhere to natural parenting principles. Ranzi points out that circumcision, in addition to its physical harm, absolutely goes against attachment parenting, as it severs the emotional trust and bonding with the mother.
“Mayim Bialik is wise to raise her children with attachment parenting, but avoiding the circumcision issue does not go along with this parenting style, and she must begin to realize this,” Ranzi says. “When a mother plans on nursing her child, being present for her child in every way, then how can one justify the cutting of her child’s most sensitive organ?”
Karen Ranzi’s own story when it comes to recognizing the harm of circumcision is fascinating. Her Jewish grandmother, whom she describes as a very strong-minded attachment parent, chose to leave her son (Ranzi’s father) intact. This makes Ranzi’s own son a third-generation Jew raised with the understanding that circumcision is harmful. Ranzi will talk more about this fascinating aspect of her family history in her upcoming essay for Beyond the Bris.
To read Ranzi’s fantastic blog, which is full of great tips for getting kids to eat their vegetables, and to learn more about her book Creating Healthy Children please visit her site superhealthychildren.com.