- Too fat.
- Too lazy.
- Too wired.
- Too busy.
- Too self-centered.
- Too violent.
Sigh. We hear enough negative things about the kids in America…that aren’t all even true. Do we really need to hear more?
This is a tough topic to write about, partly because no one wants to hear the truth. It’s bleak, it’s painful, it’s raw for the mamas and it just plain old sucks.
Before you start thinking I’m talking about obesity or excess sugar consumption let me stop you right there.
It’s NOT about eating too much.
There’s an underlying reason why many people eat too much, so let’s not blame it all on that. Many kids today don’t even eat enough food and have very poor appetites.
Related: The Best Cooking Kid Videos
Over a Century of Health Problems
Weston A. Price, a dentist at the turn of the 20th century, began to discover this truth.
American kids had poor dental structure and far too many cavitations. He did some research on this and it’s profound – the Weston A. Price Foundation and the books Nourishing Traditions and Nutrition and Physical Degeneration are based entirely on his research and findings.
Since his time things have only gotten worse.
At this current time, we’ve all been born out of the ‘processed food era.’ Processed foods lack nutrients and minerals critical for optimal function and health. Not only that, but our soils have become grossly depleted these past couple of hundred years and worse yet in the past 30-50.
If the minerals are not in the soil to begin with, they won’t be in the food and they won’t be in our bodies either.
Kids today are the most affected by this because they are being born from mothers who had fewer nutrients than their moms…and so on.
We are degenerating.
It’s a fact.
No one likes to hear it, or wants to hear it, but it’s true. So let’s accept it and find out what we can do about it.
How to Fix a Mineral Imbalance
All four of my kids have mineral imbalances, yet I’ve been a real food enthusiast for at least a decade or more. The past six years I’ve been extremely dedicated to ensuring my kids get a nutrient dense diet.
They ‘seem’ like ‘normal’ kids and don’t get sick as often as most kids in their school. Yet, they are depleted and out of balance. Why is that so? I’ve got five reasons why.
1. Nutritional Imbalance in Mom or Dad
For some reason we in America forget that the state of BOTH mom’s and dad’s health BEFORE conception matters.
Traditional cultures knew this and took excellent care of couples in their child bearing years.
Too often today, women are getting pregnant when they are already depleted and barely given much guidance on what nutritional support is needed during pregnancy. Not to mention, so many women today eat poorly during pregnancy because they have morning sickness – something we’ve accepted as a ‘normal’ part of being pregnant (it may be common, but it’s not ‘normal’).
Morning sickness usually occurs during the first trimester, 8-12 weeks into the pregnancy. This is when all the organs and tissues of the baby are essentially formed.
As a baby grows in the womb it draws minerals from the mother’s body. Over the course of the pregnancy it takes about four pounds of minerals from the mother or about 10 percent of her total mineral supply.
Babies will get what they need at the expense of the mother’s health in utero. So if the baby needs a certain mineral that is in short supply in the mother’s body the baby will take it anyway, leaving the mom more deficient on some essential minerals than pre-pregnancy.
BUT, if mom has an excess of a mineral (like calcium or copper) that excess will be passed on to the baby – basically the baby gets the same mineral pattern the mom has.
A child’s health begins with the health of his/her mother or father.
The truth is that screening for imbalances is inexpensive and would be advisable and extremely beneficial to anyone knowingly planning to conceive. Many times people are just too consumed with life to stop and think about such things, and we certainly are not programmed or trained to think this way in our modern culture.
I certainly wasn’t aware of any of this when I started having kids (me neither, says Katie!).
None of this is shared to pass judgment on anyone. It’s just how things are these days. Hopefully, we can start to turn it around.
My son Paul wrote a real cookbook!
He and 4 friends have published a cookbook by kids, for kids, all healthy foods — Chef Junior.
If you want to see how kids write to kids and get some fab bonuses for supporting these 5 teen authors, buy the book and then redeem the bonuses the kids created!
2. Lack of Minerals in the Soil and Food Supply
The human body is approximately 72% water and 28% minerals.
That said, we can’t make minerals in our bodies. We have to obtain them from our food and water. Since both the water and today’s food are lacking in minerals, we find ourselves in a conundrum.
Modern day food doesn’t contain a lot of minerals. Unless you are eating only food raised from VERY mineral rich soil and always have you will not be very healthy in the long run.
Two Major Reasons
1. The Standard American Diet (S.A.D diet), the typical diet of minimal fresh foods, higher amounts of refined and processed foods, foods grown on poor/depleted soils, and excess phosphorous in these foods depletes calcium and has been shown to cause bone loss. Magnesium and chromium (and all minerals really) are also lost in processing and due to poor soil.
2. Excess Grains in the Standard American Diet as encouraged by the former food pyramid and now the new Food Plate cause a loss in minerals. Phytic acid in unsoaked/unsprouted grains bind with the minerals in the intestine and block absorption, causing them to be excreted unused.
3. Poor Sleep and Too Much Stress
For some reason the modern day child does not seem to sleep well or enough.
Kids are staying up too late at night. Babies have trouble sleeping through the night or well, sometimes for many years. And teens are wanting to sleep in until noon.
We also have too many lights and screens affecting adequate melatonin production. Kids get over stimulated by excess activity and electronic devices, not to mention, just way too much always going on.
Modern day kids are stressed out.
A big reason goes straight back to a lack of minerals, sedative minerals. And stress actually causes you to burn through minerals even more, creating a deep and vicious cycle.
All four of my kids showed exhausted adrenal glands (at ages 15, 11, 9 and 7). Unfortunately, every single hair test I’ve seen to date on any child age 1 and up has been in either the resistance stage or exhaustion stage of stress (learn what those terms mean in this post).
And these are in kids whose parents are really trying to take good care of their kiddos.
According to Analytical Research Labs, some symptoms in exhausted, stressed out kids today include:
- failure to thrive
- impaired learning ability
- anti-social behavior
- impaired growth
- chronic or recurrent infections
- poor appetite or fussy eating habits
- low self-esteem
- depression and even suicidal tendencies (source)
Perhaps you’ve seen some of these common symptoms of stress in your child or someone you know?
Related: Growing Pains in Children
4. Heavy Metals and Other Toxicity
This is not a topic we hear much about these days, so I hope to change that a bit.
It is safe to assume that everyone today has toxic metals in their body. Toxic metals pass from the mother to the child through the placenta.
One of the purposes of a hair tissue mineral analysis is to look for heavy metals. I have yet to see a single child that did not have a bunch of aluminum at the very least, if not also some arsenic and mercury (and sometimes even excess copper and manganese).
This is often alarming to parents, but sadly it is the case for everyone. The problem is that toxic metals impair your health and they are more of a challenge for a young child.
Since aluminum is what I see across the board, take a look at some of the early signs of aluminum toxicity:
- dryness of skin and mucous membranes
- tendency for colds
- burning pain in head relieved by food
- an aversion to meat
Heavy metals are a big deal, folks.
We also live in a toxic world, but you know that already right? No need for me to belabor the point…
5. Over Use of Antibiotics
An antibiotic draws copper out of the liver and puts it into the blood and kills the bacteria.
The problem is that you end up draining so much copper out of the liver with repeated antibiotic use that there is no more copper to pull out of the liver to kill the bacteria. This creates a copper imbalance in the body which then can lead to a whole host of other health issues.
A copper imbalance is often associated with fatigue, emotional sensitivity, depression, mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, skin conditions, yeast infections and many other disorders.
Copper is required for connective tissue health, women’s fertility, cardiovascular health, blood formation, energy production, neurotransmitter activity and the immune system. Bet you didn’t know how important copper was to the human body, eh?
Keep in mind also that antibiotics do not discriminate, they kill the good and the bad bacteria leaving you wide open and susceptible to more pathogens. Yippee!
And most people do not know to take probiotics during a round of antibiotics or to replace with a protocol of good bacteria afterward. This too opens up the body to further problems down the road. Egads!
The Good News About Kids’ Health
Now that I’ve shared some bad news with you, let me shift direction and tell you the good news.
The ‘bad news’ really is just to inform and educate, because once we know better, we can do better.
Thankfully, I’ve seen my own kids’ health improve in just a short time from their hair mineral analysis programs.
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis research provides many insights into the causes and correction of many children’s health issues and disorders. Kids often respond very well to nutritional programs specific to their unique imbalances.
As a mom myself, I’m so thankful for this useful test and approach to support the health of my kids.
Lydia blogs and coaches at Lydia Joy.