A solid, quite complex text which includes physical and psychosocial aspects of nutrition--but doesn't quite manage its secondary goal of providing day-to-day advice for parents. The authors begin with a dizzying discussion of ""optimum nutrition,"" some of it too dense (on Recommended Daily Allowances), some self-evident (there's more breast-feeding now due to ""the growing realization that breast-feeding has more advantages over bottle-feeding than had heretofore been realized""). They straighten out, however, once they reach the age groups: chapters on infancy (divided into 0-3 months, 3-6, and 6-18 months), pre-school, elementary school, and adolescent years give complete background information on changing diet requirements for each of six food groups--milk and dairy products, fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, meats, and fats--as well as vitamin and mineral requirements. Peary and Pagenkopf also cover psychosocial eating needs: for infants, feeding time is when they bond with their mothers; for teenagers, it's when they socialize with their peer group. This changes their eating needs and habits as much as do changing nutritional requirements. The authors go into the special problems of each age group, from infantile obesity and colic to anorexia nervosa; and they offer sample meals and snacks for all. The menu advice is based on the diabetic diet method of determining caloric and nutritional needs, then selecting and balancing foods from each food group to fill those needs. For more practical and homey advice, see Dr. Eden's Diet and Nutrition Program for Children (a revision of his 1976 Growing Up Thin--to be reviewed in the next issue); but for complete, reliable basics, this is fine--especially for people with a professional involvement in child nutrition.