Good Fat Makes a Difference for Kids
I thought about where the most significant impact could happen without causing a massive disruption in the beginning of my time with this orphanage. As the volunteer Nutritional Therapist writing the menu with a friend, the food is where my influence begins. Decisively, I choose to start with fat. Fat is the food that will make a tremendous difference and an easy change in the kitchen. First, I had to discuss the transition with the chef. Thankfully, he is awesome and entirely open to incorporate the healthier fat replacement.
Within a few weeks, all the hydrogenated, denatured, vegetable oils are removed; cotton, soy, and canola and replaced with coconut oil, tallow, duck fat and ghee for cooking at a higher smoke point. This change is a big obstacle to overcome in a large Children’s/orphanage home with a tight budget. Mostly, it seems that food costs are not a priority. Therefore, the cheaper foods that are highly processed and blended for the longest shelf life are the choice for most homes. Good fats cost a little bit more money, but the nutrient density makes this my number one choice.
Nonetheless, we figure out ways to remove; margarine, vegetable, canola oil and begin taste tests for the orphans to determine their favorites. The cook and I sit down to review the best food options to order from the delivery food warehouses. These warehouses supply food to institutions and almost all of the restaurant establishments. We couldn’t find any tallow on their lists, but I found a local burger joint, Burger Monger who willingly allows me to procure their tallow (beef fat).
Next, I get this fantastic donation in the mail from Pure Indian Food. When recovering from indications, eating gluten free and dairy free diet can be very healing – if it’s real food. Our family survived on cultured ghee during this time to keep the flavor and good fat in our foods. Sandeep, the owner, asked if he could help my effort and donate to these orphans. I felt awed by his offer and said, “Yes, of course!” A lot of people have great intentions, but I never really thought he would send this precious accoutrement for these “kids without a parent”.
Good flavor helps kids transition to good fats and now four cases of Pure Indian Cultured Ghee is sent to these orphans! We made so many wonderful dishes for the kids, and it is such a treat for the cook to work with a top shelf ingredient in the kitchen! Here is our showcase on their website on the “Causes We Support” page. I get to share the page with KickCancer who is an amazing nonprofit organization which educates and helps families with kids fighting cancer.
Every Day Work
Every day people tell me it’s hard to change a family and eat the better choices and I try to encourage dropping the junk. But can you imagine how hard it is to make this change in an institution while staying within the mandated state guidelines? It is a lot harder than I imagined but I’m passionate and crazy enough to keep trying. Most people are experiencing health issues, including the beautiful people that work in these systems. My job is to work alongside the physicians’ protocols as one of the therapists that helps get the right foods with the optimal co-factors to make these kids strong!
The results are coming in day by day. Fats have helped with behaviors as it slows down the sugar that is over consumed. Unfortunately, the kids are always changing as they move in and move out, with a few that stay the same. Yet, we see improvement in many wonderful ways. As we document, I will share what we are doing and the successes.
It’s this ordinary work that gives extraordinary results. In today’s world of epic proportions and everyone wanting such grand attention, I find comfort and beauty in everyday moments. This “ordinary” is where the healing happens. Honestly, the ordinary is where the consistent love and food build wisdom and confidence in kids who are missing the “ordinary” of life.