Our children will be the leaders of tomorrow
Part I on “The Value of the Food We Feed Our Children”
Because according to the CDC, 1 in every 2 children has some form of chronic illness today. When our family began to reach out and help foster and orphan children, we discover that each child is pretty sick.
Who is looking out for the health of our children? Even the children without parents.
There are over 500,000 children who are under a State and government protocol in the United States. These children must fall under the widely accepted diets because there is not a family that is looking out for them.
These children are forgotten or hidden in society.
Introduction to Fostering
It is a warm summer day when I get the call. After all the paperwork, 10 weeks of classes, and comprehensive state and federal investigations, our family is approved and licensed to foster and have the opportunity to adopt. “You guys were fast! Are you ready?”asks the State Licenser. “Ready?” I respond, “Yes,” she says, it is hard to find people qualified and we have a two-year old little boy who needs a home today!” Thus begins our first day fostering.
Looking back, I acknowledge we only had a vague idea of what we were getting into. We just love children and know that we can make a difference.
From the opening of the front door, we are informed that this 2-year old little boy; cannot speak, has been in several homes, has a bronchial infection and needs to go to the doctor again. He has papers for his frequent visits to the doctors over the last 6 weeks. Two ladies who transport the child to our home, drop off paperwork and leave us with a file box of legal papers.
We are encouraged as foster parents to use the WIC program to feed this child. It allegedly helps in the transition if the child returns back to his family. By participating, the birth Mom (or Dad) will have an account set up for the child and many times the child doesn’t get food if the foster families do NOT participate in the WIC program.
We do not need this assistance, so I certainly do not want to “use up” from those who actually do need it…but I do want to understand this part of our system. How do we feed those down on their luck, out of a job, and all else?
Swallowing my pride, I determine to do this just once for the experience. After 3 hours at this government building, 2 appointments, and an hour of waiting, I am beyond frustrated. I am missing some papers the first time, so I have to return the next day. Mind you, I have 7 years of college with certifications and this is no easy day-in-the-park.
Once complete, we receive special papers that look like checks. With my 4 boys under 7, we head out for the closest Target to experience this adventure. I ask the customer service to help me understand the organization of WIC food as this is my first time. He informs me that you just go through the categorical sections and then look for the labels that have WIC. Two hours later (did I mention, the 4 boys under 7?!) I approach the checkout. The milk, cheese, juices, boxed cereals, and boxed lunches.
Well, it turns out that even though I picked the foods with the WIC label under them, only half of what is on the conveyor belt is correct. Apparently, I have the wrong size or brand! At this point, I walk away without any groceries because I have wasted time and I now understand the process. The foods allowed at the time I did this, did not include raw vegetables, mostly processed boxed and bagged foods. The challenge with this food is that it has been so modified and processed so much that very few nutrients remain.
As we arrive home, I grab an apple with a new understanding of the challenges to feed good food.