Why You Can’t Raise a Healthy Child on the Standard American Diet

This past week I once again looked a mother in the eyes as she wondered what she was doing wrong, why her child has this persistent issue or symptom that won’t go away no matter what she has tried!

It breaks my heart! Mothers have enough voices in this culture lying to them, telling them they are bad moms; and now here comes seemingly more proof that they have failed! 


Let me tell you a little story of the history of food and dietary recommendations as we now know them in the United States. World War I and II brought about a major shift in our culture. First, we sacrificed much in order to provide for our soldiers overseas, including our families. Because many men were at war, women had to shift their focus to include working outside the home. This left less time for household chores such as meal preparation. Second, many new inventions arose out of necessity and discovery. This included many chemicals, freeze dried and mass produced food, and the invention of the microwave. None of these are negative in themselves, but when the war ended there were entire companies that no longer had a market for their product, or a product for their mass-production assembly line, and the American people became their target audience.

Chemicals that were originally invented to kill began finding their way into our food system. The substances that were invented for chemical warfare were also found to be quite successful in controlling insects and pests. Insects were out of control in large part due to overgrazing and undercare of the plains in the middle of the USA (which lead to the Dust Bowl in the 1930s). However, the long-term consequences of chemical use were not known at that time. We now know that use of chemicals on crops also kills the microbes in the soil, which facilitate the proper absorption of nutrients by the roots of the plant. Without microbes in the soil, farmers must rely on the far inferior addition of synthetic nutrients, which ultimately upsets the balance of the soil, and does not put nearly as much nutrition into our food as is present with natural soil health. In addition, part or all of the chemicals used on crops also get absorbed into the plant, which then gets consumed by you, adding to your toxic load. 

Mass produced food made to feed soldiers also needed a market when the war ended. The American people, accustomed to their delicious, home-cooked food, did not prefer the mass-produced food that was marketed to them. The companies then shifted their marketing, and housewives watched and read advertisements that told them things like “they had far better things to do with their time than slaving in the kitchen,” and showed happy, affluent people warming up pre-packaged food in microwaves. Prior to this time a survey of housewives showed that for the majority of them, food preparation was their favorite household chore, and they did not find it overwhelming, in fact they found it enjoyable!

Other modern convenience devices, such as the microwave, joined in these advertising campaigns. By the time you, dear mother, were born, the society had fully accepted that only losers and repressed women stay in the kitchen and slave all day. Eventually home ec. classes in schools were either dropped from curriculum, changed to be an elective, or taught in a way that explained cooking from cans and boxes (this is how my mom describes her classes in middle school). There were, of course, some families where the tradition of preparing food from scratch was preserved, and if you were fortunate to be from one of those families, let me know!

All of this history is now culminating in these current generations.

Our foods are nearly empty of vitamins and minerals. Chemicals and toxins are pervasive in our air, water and food. And our air is full of electronic waves that permeate us every moment. Of course your child’s body is not in tip-top shape.


But there is hope! Our bodies have the ability to heal, repair and otherwise work with imperfect situations. Our bodies are built with detoxification pathways. Through metabolism we can convert many parts into the nutrient or compound we need. The body will take and use anything it can get to compensate, repair, and keep going! Our bodies are amazing! And we can help them out. There are certain nutrients you can feed yourself and your children so they can be strong and well fed! 

What We Can Do

First: we need to address the problem correctly. My favorite quote about this is from Dr. Royal Lee, a brilliant man who studied the effects of nutrition on the body. He said:

“One of the biggest tragedies of human civilization is the precedence of chemical therapy over nutrition. It’s a substitution of artificial therapy over nature, of poisons over food, in which we are feeding people poisons trying to correct the reactions of starvation.”  
~Dr. Royal Lee, 1951

Second: we need to be honest about the quality of food we are eating. This doesn’t mean you have to switch to 100% organic, biodynamically grown food today! But you can add in some real powerhouses to your family’s diet, which will make a world of difference to helping their body deal with the toxins and less-than-perfect-foods their bodies are exposed to. Some of those foods include fermented cod liver oil with concentrated butter oil, liver and other organ meats, good quality animal fats and lots of them, iodine, meat stock, and fermented foods. 

Third: we need to correct what is already broken. This may mean healing a leaky gut, taking nightly detox baths in epsom salts to help remove toxins, take real-food “supplement” complexes (like from Standard Process), and consider other support such as homeopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and the like. 

You can have healthy, strong children. It just will take some counter-cultural action on your part. But you can do this! And that’s part of what Be Well Clinic and our Community is here for! Reach out to other moms who are doing this. Together we can support each other, and we can raise healthy children! We were never meant to do this alone! Let’s build our community together!

To get started, check out our Facebook group Be Well Families or, if you are local, join us for a Learn and Play group on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month and meet other moms in the area. And if you are wanting to start a Learn and Play group in your area, contact us and we can help you get started!


Pesticide Use: https://ukstores.org/3086070

Dust Bowl: https://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1583.html

Destroying the Housewife: http://www.safemotherhood.org/domestic-work.html

Dr. Royal Lee quote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbujYW1lDY0

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