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5 Reasons Kids Just Aren’t Healthy Today

5 Reasons Kids Just Aren't Healthy Today

This is a guest post from Lydia Joy, certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and blogger at Lydia Joy.

  • 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 & Why Kids Shouldn’t Eat Sugar.

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.

5 Reasons Kids Just Aren't Healthy Today

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.

5 Reasons kids aren't healthy today

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.

Your kids can learn to cook, even if you don’t know where to start

My 4 kids and I created the online Kids Cook Real Food lessons to help bring real food and independence to families all over. Over 10,000 kids have joined us and we’d love to invite you along for the adventure!

Kids watching a cooking lesson at a kitchen island

I’m so pleased to offer a little gift from our family to yours, a knife skills lesson as a free preview of the full cooking eCourse!

5 reasons kid are not healthy today

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.

5 reasons kids are not healthy today

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.

RELATED: Why is there so much anxiety in kids?

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
  • allergies
  • asthma
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • 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 & How to Teach Kids to be Conscious Consumers

5 reasons kids are not healthy today

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:

  • flatulence
  • headaches
  • colic
  • dryness of skin and mucous membranes
  • tendency for colds
  • burning pain in head relieved by food
  • heartburn
  • 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 reasons kids are not healthy today

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.

Were you aware that we have a mineral crisis in modern America?
Lydia - Color - December 2013Lydia Joy is certified as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and is a single mom of four fabulous boys, on a mission to share her passion for whole, healthy, real foods with the world! She enjoys living life one day at a time, from the inside out! Lydia believes that health is a choice, a right and a gift that we cannot take for granted, and in this day and age, unfortunately, must fight for!

Lydia blogs and coaches at Lydia Joy.

You can find Lydia on Facebook. Lydia offers Hair Mineral Analysis to help with healing.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

18 thoughts on “5 Reasons Kids Just Aren’t Healthy Today”

  1. I strongly endorse Katie’s recommendation of ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration’ by Weston A. Price. Probably the most important book ever written regarding the continued viability of the human race.
    It’s a weighty tome, documenting Dr. Price’s observations of cultures as they were affected by the introduction of modern processed foods about 80 years ago. (And the processing is far worse now).
    I found I couldn’t put it down, but for most people, short of time, if you just look at the illustrations and their captions you’ll learn a great deal to help you reverse the downward trend in your own family.
    Available free :

  2. Kristy Burtenshaw LMT

    May I please re-post this as a guest writer on my blog I think dancers need this inofrmation. They get depleted with the poor diets their coaches recommend and I’d love for them to see another witness of food logic.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      I don’t give permission for re-posts (especially since this isn’t even my content but a guest here) but you are more than welcome to use a paragraph or two excerpt and link back – I agree that more people should get this info especially if dancers around you are being given diets that cause nutrient depletion! Thanks for asking, Katie

  3. Pregnant mamas whom are in the throws of adrenal exhaustion will give birth to adrenal depleted babies. I know my mother did this to me and I, in turn, did it to my daughter.

    After I read this tidbit of info in a paper written by 2 adrenal fatigue gurus (Dr Lam and Dr Wilson), my entire life of fatigue and exhaution suddently made sense. And the fact that I felt AMAZING while pregnant made sense too, because I was sucking up all my adrenal hormones from my daughter!

    My daughter is 20 now and a junior in college, so no babies are in her immediate future, but she understands that we must get her healed before she embarks on starting a family so we can put an end to this cycle.

    I would imagine that many kids today are over-stimulated electronically, as well. Not enough natural day light to set the sleep cycle properly. Not enough vitamin D. Not enough running around barefoot to connect to the earth, and of course too much packaged cr@p in their diet….they are vitamin and mineral depleted to the nth degree!

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      You speak so much truth! I love your story, because even though it’s really not a great thing that happened, it’s SO good that you recognized it finally and are able to stop the cycle. Very, very interesting. I’m beginning to wonder about my own adrenals, and if depleted, if that’s why my babies are such terrible sleepers who wake up all the time? 🙂 Katie

  4. This post rubbed me the wrong way. First, it seemed too much like a sales pitch for hair mineral analysis. Second, I think it invites moms to stress out too much. At the beginning of her post she says that her kids seem like healthy, normal kids and don’t get sick often, but they have mineral imbalances, according to hair tests. I think this is silly. If kids feel great and their immune systems are working well, I don’t think it’s wise to nitpick and mess with things. I believe God knew how polluted our world and diets would be at this time… he expects us to do our part to be healthy and eat well, but the point of our existence isn’t to obsess about health and diet. I’ve been down that road and it’s not a good place to be. There are more important uses of our time and energy in doing His work.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Thanks for your honesty. I don’t want to nitpick either, but I don’t know if we can really put ourselves into the mind of God and assume much at all. I would encourage you to read the post Lydia linked to about her own family’s experience with hair analysis, only because it explains a little more about how it helped her kids, who, sure, weren’t sick all the time – but they worked out some nasty behavioral stuff through this process, so I’m sure Lydia is grateful she did it and able to be a better mom because of it. The healing process, from what I understand, is temporary – so it would be obsessive about diet for a little while, and then you would be back to normal, healthy eating. I hope that helps you feel a little better about the post! It’s the part about how the nutritional “sins” of past generations really hurt the children that gets to me – and it fact it reminds me of the Old Testament. What we choose to do, how we choose to treat the world and our bodies, really does impact future generations, and it happens to be in a pretty negative way right now. 🙁

  5. I just wish those tests weren’t so expensive!! I would love to be able to do this for our family but sadly I can’t!!

  6. I have a condition called ICP that I get during the third trimester of my pregnancies… I’ve had it with all three babies. I wonder if this will help solve that problem?!?

  7. You are so right! I recently went back into public education after 24 yrs & was shocked at how unhealthy the kids looked. After working with them, I could see that they are unhealthy in just about every way: physically, spiritually, mentally, psychologically, etc. Very sad!

  8. Do you have citations to reputable medical/scientific sources for these statements? I don’t mean to be rude, but your bio says you’re not a licensed medical professional, and I think it’s important to validate health information before applying it to one’s body and that of our children. Thanks!

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Hey ZB,
      Lydia’s experience is really only in nutritional therapy – so the recommendations are based on experience, her training, and they’re just dietary changes – not medicinal actions or anything. It’s about finding the right diet and lifestyle for you and involves some experimenting, but hopefully less with the hair analysis that points the right direction.

      Thanks, Katie

    2. Agreed. I am curious to read about the validity of a hair test, and any peer review studies proving its reliability. I’ve seen people charging thousands of dollars for blood intolerance tests that have no science to back it up. Yes, it’s not a medical intervention, but sure enough it claims health benefits.

  9. Great post! How long before getting pregnant again do you recommend taking the hair test and implementing the protocol? I would think I need to give it a few months of following the recommendations before getting pregnant in case there is any detox involved?

    1. Sarah,

      It really depends how depleted you are and what your goals are: do you want to have a baby sooner or do you want to have a restored body to grow that baby.

      A few months is a good start to support but hair analysis also helps bring correction. Often there are deep issues like adrenal exhaustion and thyroid imbalance, and a sluggish liver. So, with all of that in mind a few months won’t correct any of that entirely.

      Mineral balancing can be done during pregnancy too but it’s really best to bring the body into better balance first. Having had 4 kids myself and seeing hundreds of hair tests most women are badly depleted (yes, still functional), but quite out of balance.

      Hope that helps….here’s an article to give you a bit more info:

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