It’s Not Just Food. It’s Chronic Disease.

wpid-IMAG0924.jpgThe age is moving down.  High blood pressure.  High cholesterol.  Obesity.  Diabetes.  In medicine we call these chronic diseases.  Diseases that won’t go away.  Before I left practice, I was seeing many kids with these diseases that don’t go away.  I’m talking junior high boys with obesity and high blood pressure.  What is that?  Let’s see…thirteen years old!  Then I counseled weight loss and more activity, never providing a springboard for success.  Never saying or thinking that most of kids’ calories come from grains which are not necessary components of our diet:  wheat, corn, rice, and oats.  Never thinking or saying that nearly all of these grains are accompanied by sugar of some sort, artificial preservatives, and highly processed, oxidized vegetable oils.  Never suggesting that parents reserve these juiced-up grains for treats rather than every day meal choices.  I never suggested that candy need virtually eliminated, again reserved for real treats rather than handed out daily.  If you think your child doesn’t get (or have the opportunity to get) candy or baked sweet goods nearly every single day outside of your home, I’d ask you to start asking them and recording the opportunities available for them so you have a true picture.  It is ghastly.

Our children need us to be bigger.  Need us to pull up our pants and do the hard stuff.  So they can.  It’s “just food”, doc.  No.  It’s not.  It’s DIABETES.  HYPERTENSION.  OBESITY.  ARTHRITIS.  HEART DISEASE.  STROKES.  DEMENTIA.  ADHD.  GERD.  I am shouting.  Instead of saying it’s “just food,” say it’s any one of these illnesses.  And take out the excessive, repetitious nutrients and add in the good stuff to help eliminate these chronic diseases in kids.

Questions to ask yourself.

1.  Where is my child getting most of her calories?  Is it from bread, buns, crackers, cookies, muffins, bagels, pasta, and cereal?  Yes?  A set-up for chronic disease.

2.  Do the flour-based (even if they’re whole grains) products have sugar of some sort in them or artificial preservatives or colors?  Yes?  A set-up for chronic disease.

3.  Do you ask your child specifically each day if they had a sugary treat?  At school, such as a sucker, mint, birthday cookie, or Doritos swapped at lunch?  Or at sports practice?  Or at Wednesday night church or Sunday School?  Or the sitter’s house? Or with grandma and grandpa?  The kids answer “yes?”  Don’t shoot the messenger.  It’s just the truth.  This is a set-up for chronic disease.

4.  Have you given up on serving a wide variety of colorful vegetables and fruits because the kids won’t eat them?  Yes?  A set-up for chronic disease.

5. Do you regularly eat out?  Yes?  A set-up for chronic disease.

6.  Are you always in a hurry, relying on boxed-food choices?  Yes?  A set-up for chronic disease.

7.  Do you think the vitamins and minerals placed in processed foods are good enough to replace the foods they are naturally found in–foods your kids wpid-IMAG1697.jpg likely don’t like so well?  For example, vitamin D should be found in your fish–not your milk.  And folate should be found in your spinach–not added back to your refined, white flour so you can keep on eating so much of it.  Omega-3s should not be found in your peanut butter.  The photo at right is a peanut butter label with omega-3; they added sardine, anchovy, and tilapia to it.  Nice.

How Can You Fight Chronic Diseases for Your Children?

Shun sugar and sugar sources.  Reserve for real treats.

Limit grain products because the kind you buy at the store have been stripped of any nutrients and all you get are their side effects.  Reserve for real treats.

Become aware of highly processed oils (vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and margarine to name only a few) because they wreak havoc on the cells and functions of the cells in your child’s body.  Eliminate them.  They are found in most all processed foods.

Remove artificial preservatives from your child’s diet.

Dedicate yourself to the endeavor of making them vegetable-eaters.  This is where chronic-disease fighting vitamins, minerals, and nutrients will come from.

Do what you want.  But your children aren’t destined to have chronic diseases.  They are nurtured.  Not natured.  It will take some heavy-duty fighting for the cause.  Are you up to the challenge?  No?  See you at the doctor’s office.

Defy the trend.  It’s not just food.  It’s chronic disease.





20 thoughts on “It’s Not Just Food. It’s Chronic Disease.

  1. mommytrainingwheels

    Wow, I wasn’t aware that these chronic diseases could be found at such a young age. Luckily, we have no problems with having our son eat veggies – we actually typically serve him his meat before adding veggies and grains to his plate because otherwise he’ll just have the vegetables and grains.

    I find it hard to even think of reducing grains from my/our diet. It has been so ingrained with the nutritional guide that we need them that I have trouble imagining meals without them. Any tips on how to reduce/replace them with better alternatives?

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Yes. Sadly these diseases are dramatically increasing in our kids. Here is a quote for diabetes from the American Diabetes Association: “Type 2 diabetes has been described as a new epidemic in the American pediatric population that has been coincident with the overall 33% increase in diabetes incidence and prevalence seen during the past decade.” (

      If you look at the guidelines regarding grains, they are changing–just too slowly. For so long grains were saints and natural fats like butter were demons. I know it was a shock for me two and a half years ago to take out grains and allow my natural fat intake to creep up! (My dad is a grain farmer.) Here is a post on my shock:

      My family tanks up mostly on veggies, fruits, and meats. Nuts and dried fruit are snacks. Grains, particularly wheat and gluten products, bring about a kind of “leaky gut”–increasing food intolerances and food allergies. Sorry! My response is getting way too long with too many links! And I know you have a newborn to go tend to! ~~Terri

      1. mommytrainingwheels

        Thanks Terri!

        Hum, you’re right, the guidelines regarding grains in *are* indeed changing. I was just taking a look at the evolution in our food pyramids and the recommended amount of grains daily goes from 3-5 in 1977 to 5-12 in 1992 to 6-8 in the current edition.

        This has gotten me very curious. I think I’m going to try to go grain-free for a week. Now I just need to plan things out!

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Fascinating to see those actual numbers for recommendations! Thanks! We eat a lot of soups in the fall, subbing sweet potato, squash, zucchini, potato, and so on for rice/pasta/etc. I’ve got it down now, but it was very overwhelming to begin. Hope you continue to mull on it. It’s an interesting experiment to eliminate them in many ways.

  2. lakenormanprep

    Your poor kids and mine. They are cursed with mamas who shout this info. Since we are at home a lot, my kids fix a lot of their own meals (except for dinner which they do help with). They know that every meal must have a protein, a fruit and a veggie. Their plate should be colorful. I think trips to the farmer’s market is such a terrific way to introduce kids to good food. The colors and the smells entice you to want to try things. When my kids feel bad, the first thing they go to is food (as in-what did I eat? Oh yes, too much dairy. Oh, maybe there was too much sugar in that drink. Oh, I did not eat well yesterday. Oh, I didn’t eat enough protein and I am feeling tired.) They crack me up. I am with ya. Food is our medicine! We are what we eat. Can I get anymore cliché? LOL.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Ha! Ha! It does sound cliché! But I now know it to be the truth! It really is! My kids do that too when it comes to food! I have a stuffy nose–dairy. I feel very mean and angry–grape pop at church with red food dye. My eczema is flaring–wheat. Sometimes I tell them to just stop it and maybe their symptoms have nothing to do with food at all and just eat well and move on!

      We have an awesome garden and we have been eating out of it all summer! I will be so sad here in the next month when South Dakota weather takes it away from me.

      Bon appetite!

  3. FitMomPam

    I just love this! I look back at how I used to feed my kids and so many of these applied to me. But now since becoming “paleo” and my kids being young so I have control over what they eat, that none of these apply to us 🙂 But I would love for all my student’s families to read this.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      If these feeding practices applied to you, apply them to me like ten times over. I was very, very bad. I probably deserve every health problem I have. Hope my kids learn better. I will go down trying! I wish stuff like this was in those health books at school and on billboards. Good luck teaching your students! They deserve to know it right!

  4. Debbie

    What is shocking is that even parents who are aware enough to eat healthily themselves, are oblivious when it comes to their children. Bring this up, and their response is, “They’re kids!” These are so-called educated people. And still they feed their kids junk every single day.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I have to hang my head in shame! I ate horribly and fed my kids horribly up to two years and a few months ago. They ate all the same processed foods I ate growing up. Medical school and pharmacy school never addressed eating, and I always felt healthy and ate what I wanted. I should have known. It seems so “simple” and obvious now! But I guess I had to walk the roads to get on the right path. That’s exactly what I used to think, “Oh, kids! I can’t deprive them of these things! It’s childhood!”

  5. elmo

    i’ve seen sardines with canola oil added to boost the omega 3 that they proudly reference on the front of the can. very sneaky 😦

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Are you kidding me?! That is horrific! The ploy of marketing on the innocent masses. Those sardines are probably rolling over in their cans. (Said tongue-in-cheek, but it really is a shame.) One has to watch everything.

  6. Jo tB

    Great post!! It reminds me of what I ate as a child. After the war, our parents didn’t have much money, and so we ate plain and simple foods: some meat from the butcher, a vegetable and potatoes from the greengrocer, bread (only white available at the time) from the grocer’s shop. Supermarkets still had to be invented!! Once a week we got three pennies (5 cents) and we were in heaven being able to chose 5 sweets (yes, 5 sweets) from jars on the counter. We never had lemonade (didn’t know of the existance of Coca-Cola). I don’t remember ever missing anything. In fact, we didn’t know we were missing anything!! I am absolutely flabbergasted at the sight of whole aisles (7 shelves high) completely filled with sweets of all kinds and little 3 or 4 year olds demanding a BAG of this or that. No wonder kids are sick, eating junk food all day long.
    The problem is to try and UNLEARN all those bad habbits that kids have gotten into and adults as well. I am in the fortunate position that I can remember what I ate as a child, and the foods that my mother cooked. As poor as she was, she refused to use margarine, cooked everything in butter..

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Sorry for my delayed response JotB! I have visitors here to hold the baby!

      Great comment and lesson for us all now. I always love to hear your take. It does sound ludicrous when you put it that way, “…whole aisles (7 shelves high) completely filled with sweets…demanding this or that.” And as someone who got all that candy as a kid and adolescent, I have had to work extra, extra hard to unlearn those habits. I hope my kids will one day appreciate my efforts now in cooking. I think they will, but they do feel a little alienated sometimes by the way we eat.


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