> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 3 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9780099510963
  • Imprint: Windmill Books
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $40.00

Let Them Eat Dirt

Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World

This book will take you from conception to early years to show simply and easily how to give your child the healthiest start in life.

'A must-read for parents' William Sears, author of The Baby Book
'This book might change your perspective on real cleanliness and along the way help you to raise healthier kids' Giulia Enders, author of international bestseller, Gut
‘Should be read by every pregnant woman, every parent, every paediatrician’
Professor Margaret McFall-Ngai, Member of the National Academy of Sciences
In the two hundred years since we discovered that microbes cause infectious diseases, we’ve battled to keep them under control. But is our modern lifestyle, with its emphasis on hyper-cleanliness, having a negative effect on our children’s lifelong health?

Let Them Eat Dirt is a ground-breaking book which explains how the millions of microbes that live in and on our bodies influence childhood development and how an imbalance in those microbes can lead to obesity, diabetes, asthma and reactions to vaccines, among other chronic conditions.

Taking you from conception to pregnancy, to birth and beyond and packed with simple and practical advice on what parents can do to positively impact their children’s gut health including sections on birth options, breastfeeding, the use of antibiotics and the importance of good bacteria and diet, this is a must read for parents everywhere.

  • Pub date: 3 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9780099510963
  • Imprint: Windmill Books
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $40.00

About the Authors

B. Finlay

B. Brett Finlay, PhD, is Professor of Microbiology at the University of British Columbia and has published over four hundred and fifty articles on microbes and how bacterial infections work. 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, BC, with his wife, who is a pediatrician, and has two grown children.

Marie-Claire Arrieta

Marie-Claire Arrieta, PhD, has been studying how intestinal alterations lead to several immune diseases since 2007, combining her knowledge of microbes and immunology to lead a major clinical study on the role of the microbiota in asthma. A mother of two, Arrieta is a tireless advocate of using scientific knowledge to improve the health of children.

Praise for Let Them Eat Dirt

“This book might change your perspective on real cleanliness . . . and along the way help you to raise healthier kids.”

Giulia Enders, author of Gut

“Let Them Eat Dirt has turned my world on its head. The book is a rallying cry to parents to put down antibacterial wipes, throw out sterilising tablets and start making mud pies.”


“Very clearly written and well-explained – it stopped me worrying”

Evening Standard

“A must-read for parents, teachers, and any healthcare provider for children, Let Them Eat Dirt takes you inside the inside tract of a child’s gut, and shows you how to give kids the best immune start early in life.”

William Sears, author of The Baby Book

“Parents around the world are bound to rejoice at the publication of Let Them Eat Dirt.”

Sunday Times

“This book is filled with practical advice for parents on how to positively impact their children’s health from natural childbirth to breastfeeding”

The Green Parent

“Finlay and Arrieta explain, in illuminating detail, the importance of the gut microbiome ... The focus on practical choices before and during birth makes this book a good resource for expectant parents.”

Publishers Weekly

“With the quiet weight of their authority, pioneer researchers Brett Finlay and Claire Arrieta help parents to understand the real nature of microbes, and then to act to improve their children's health.”

Martin Blaser, author of Missing Microbes


SEN Magazine

“An interesting and comprehensive guide”

A Mum Reviews Blog

“A fascinating read”

Cupcake Mumma Blog

“The subject is very clearly written and well explained”

i Paper

Related titles