Sugars and The Adopted Child!
Children who are adopted oftentimes come into a new family with a nutritional disadvantage. Unfortunately, many of these children come into their families after poor prenatal health, malnourishment or having consumed foods that have been heavily processed or compromised. One serious concern would be the over use of processed sugars in the diets of children trying to adjust or cope in a new environment after having lived lives of stress early on. Kids come into their new homes either having too much processed food and sugars or lack basic levels of good and healthy sugars that help to feed the brain. As a mom of 5 adopted children (from 3 different countries), I can tell you that we have learned via trial and error that balancing the types of sugars and amount of processed sugars in their diets is crucial to raising kids who are healthy physically and emotionally .
When I adopted my first daughter from Guatemala in 2005, I noticed a smell that was similar to tapioca in her formula. She was 5 months old and enormously beautiful! Cognitively my new baby was on track but had some serious digestive problems . She was often constipated and had difficulty transitioning to healthier foods because her taste buds had been accustomed to sugars in her bottles. We endured a period of time making sure she had a more sufficient diet that was healthy but low glycemic. But for years the impact of that poor diet early in her life created some issues in her health.
In 2008, we adopted 3 children from Ethiopia with varying health issues. They were 5, 6 and 9yo. They had spent years eating the same staples of injera and beans boiled in polluted water. They had suffered from severe ear infections that burned holes in their eardrums and had constant colds. My oldest Ethiopian daughter at one point was hospitalized with severe anemia resulting in temporary heart murmurs, blood transfusions and swollen feet. In time, we would discover this was a result of H-Pylori and other parasites in her system. In addition, we mistakenly started feeding them the traditional american diet of foods that were often processed or had much more sugar than they were used to. We learned in time, that giving sodas, junk food and boxed snacks and juices in excess was a sure way to bring on bouts of tantrums, disobedience and difficulty regulating moods.
In 2011, we adopted our son from Ukraine. At the time he was 5 and a half. Alec had been in the same wing of an institution his entire life. His meals were rationed on hot tea and broth loaded with sodium. He was protein deficient and very thin. In my ignorance and desperation, I smuggled cookies and boxed juices into his orphanage wanting to fatten him up. He also was in need of nutrient dense, low glycemic, gluten free, enzyme enriched, high protein foods. When he arrived in America, I became desperate to change our family’s diet for the better and went on a quest to improve nutrition for all of us. And the first thing we would address were the effects on the misuse of sugar in the diet of our family.
What i’ve learned about sugars and the adopted child:
- Juices and Sodas are best to be avoided
- Behavior Can Be Improved with a Reduction of Processed Sugars
- Some Natural Sugars are Needed for brain health
- Childhood obesity is on the rise
- Childhood Diabetes is on the rise
- There are Many Myths Regarding Sugar
- Substitute Sugar Laden Breakfasts for Healthy Enzyme Enriched Low Glycemic Protein Shakes
- Substitute Juices and Sodas with Greens and Fruits
- Make Sure Your Child Gets decent exercise
- Make Nutrition a Priority When Adopting
As a result of our struggles with food, our family has implemented a way of adding low glycemic, protein dense foods into our diets and we have seen a significant improvement. If you are interested in learning more about the program that our Adoptagenix team of “Healthy and Prosperous Forever Families” is using, check it out here.