The Challenge; Standard American Diet within a System- part 3

The challenge of the Standard American Diet – when it is in a System…

Part III of a series on The Value of What we Feed Our Children

When a child belongs to the State, the only allowable diet is the recommended diet of our land, known as SAD, the Standard American Diet. 

SAD Diet systems and childrenOur family can share the experiences we have had with the FosterCare System which covers 500,000 children in the U.S., however I need you to think a …

LITTLE BIGGER…think of systems where children (and people) are organized.

Who does the Standard American Diet affect the most? You have a choice. Although it may be hard to choose, you do have a choice where and what you eat. But children? They eat only what is provided. Now, I want you to think of all government facilities and provisions; schools, orphanages, hospitals, welfare, prisons, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, daycare, etc…Can you see the impact?

It is far reaching.

What scares me is that as we travel abroad, there are many countries who are following America’s lead! Bravo to the nations that are saying “NO to GMO, we want to see if it is safe first!” {Italy, Spain, Germany, Argentina,…} But food is certainly NOT an area that America should be in the leadership role. America is great for enterprise and entrepreneurialship but food belongs to farmers – NOT CORPORATE BUSINESSES! See Joel Salatin, Support Farm to Legal Defense, Follow Nourishing Liberty. Please take 18 minutes for a family education on sustainable farming (16 minute mark is the home run). For the record, this is how I believe our Creator designed life to be.

Oddly enough, it appears the Standard American diet is related to the crazy farming (e.g., feeding chicken to fish). And it breaks down to our experience through the hospital system with a foster son. See THIS on how the Standard American Diet affects the Fostering System.

Our very first foster child had cancer and lived in the hospital for one to two weeks out of a month; so we get to see a few systems (hospital, foster care, welfare) and the way each one works. We worked out an arrangement where the biological parents could stay the nights with him in the hospital. We would stay with our shared son during the day from 9am-6pm while the bio-parents look for jobs and get their lives in order. 

Upon arrival in the morning – No matter how much we plead for a special, healthy diet – our little shared-son would have:

bags of cheetos, 

powdered or chocolate donuts, 

canned vitamin milk,


genetically modified foods,

pesticide-sprayed vegetables from tin cans and more.

These are a few of the allowable and recommended foods of the Standard American Diet. These foods are SO commonly provided that no one even questions the legitimacy of the food. Repeatedly I would appeal to the hospital staff for a special diet; real butter, not margarine, no fat free snacks, sodas, cheetos, etc…these nutrient-depleting foods should not be in a growing 2 year old boy’s diet. The dietician is college-trained to advise each patient on the best diet for their illness and situation. And THIS is the diet written…”anything the patient can eat [within this Standard American Diet].” There are no restrictions for a cancer patient who can swallow and bodily functions are all working.

This is the Standard American Diet and it is (SAD)!

First the diet is laden with a lot of grain/bread as fillers. Source There is an effort to reduce the amount of fats in our diet, yet we are getting more obese. Source. Read here and notice that it doesn’t look so bad on the surface. If the food used were to be mostly fresh vegetables, or fresh bread as a whole grain (not modified and chemically altered for long shelf life) there would be some value. However, when I speak to administrators, it is expressed that they are required to have a specific supply of  “canned” foods instead of fresh foods for “safety”. Additionally, the foods that are most affordable, because these farms are subsidized, provides produce laden with pesticides, while many of the foods are Genetically Modified. Pesticides are full of chemicals, metals, and sludge. It kills bugs. All bugs. And we think it doesn’t affect us?

So looking myopically into our world, we have a 2 year old boy with cancer, receiving chemotherapy (toxins injected directly to the blood stream to kill everything including the cell tissues that are cancerous).  The experts are saying the child just needs to eat – I say the child only needs to eat clean, unmodified, fresh vegetables; the life-giving nutrients. I understand the concern for the child to eat, but the Standard American Diet food provided is not food.

It still blows me away when I think of how disconnected we have become.

“If there is no choice, eat fresh and frozen vegetables over the “canned” food. Avoid GMO, breads, canned and boxed foods which are highly processed with additives and preservatives!”

From a more Macro-perspective, let us talk the physiological function of rebuilding cells (whether you are enduring cancer, ADHD, eczema, autism, or less chronic immune challenges) . The need for nourishing foods is paramount. Amazingly we had taught our shared son within three months how to eat and enjoy nutrient dense foods. Now the hospital is UN-DOING our diligent work to nourish this child. I don’t believe it is on purpose.  We have just gotten lazy and desire convenience foods with a long shelf life. 

We must change these habits because our children are really sick. Read thisSource: Center for Disease Control and prevention 2003, and Center for Disease Control Report 2011

There is Hope! How did we do it?

In the hospital, we bring salads every day and we would eat a nutritious salad with water. On our “unprepared” days, we would order stir fry vegetables, salads, and fruits. Our oncology team told us they were amazed at how healthy he would look when we returned for the next round of chemotherapy.  

When a little girl came to us with extensive teeth and gum damage. She was also on the Standard American Diet in her government-provided preschool program. Upon meeting her, we are informed that she is scheduled for periodontal surgery within 6 months and she is only 2 years old.  She is a product of parents with severe drug addictions.  With the broth and organ meat, we are able to see phenomenal progress.  She heals so quickly it is exciting. Children heal quickly for most illnesses, we just have to be committed to a whole food, nutrient dense diet. We supplement her diet with natural, whole food vitamins and minerals and literally watch her teeth heal. Unfortunately, she left our care and I have not heard the current status. But a list of nutrient dense foods and a supply of organic whole food supplements went with her in hopes for her continued healing.

We also use THIS. It’s simply an activator to get your body’s neurological system communicating. We call it the “boo-boo” light. This is especially useful for the mouth.

We share because we know there is HOPE. We want to encourage you that it is possible to work around the systems. Take lunches, pack nutritious whole foods. It certainly is not subsidized by any program, but we realize quickly that it is beneficial to pay for good food. Refuse the deals on food-like products and work hard to find a way to eat whole foods. If you are in a financial restraint be creative! Volunteer with a local farmer.  Share bulk orders and create a co-op.

Standard American Diet in a System

I paint this picture so you can see the most EXCITING PART!

With a nutrient-dense whole food diet, you can literally watch the bad behaviors, sicknesses, and challenges melt away. This is really that simple. Our bodies are amazing. It takes commitment but healing is truly achievable at a higher level than I ever dreamed. Just change the diet; ignore the Standard American Diet. Or at least consider reducing the grain/bread intake and use whole fresh foods grown locally. Avoid GMO foods and pesticides where possible. Impossible to be perfect, just try! Work with a naturally-minded doctor in your area.

So change your SAD to happy; give structure, whole foods and loving discipline. From a holistic standpoint, we have found our children to be noticeably improved after only two months. Healing comes in time. For great recipes inspired by whole nutrient dense foods; visit The Nourished Kitchen.

Up Next: The statistics you don’t want to miss are in part 4. The Compelling Reasons to Change!

Keep Fostering Nutrition for those you love!

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Mandy is the force behind the advocacy portal Real Food Recovery. Since losing a 4 yr old to cancer while fostering to adopt, Mandy founded a nonprofit organization recovering children at-risk using real food, real discussion, and encouragement. As a Wife, Mom of birth, foster, and adopted children, author, Nutritional Therapist, & NRT, Mandy shares simple food tips while volunteering in a local Orphanage to create a model for change. Connect with Mandy through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
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