Should I Be Feeding This To My Child?

Dr. Robert Melillo

Pasta,  pizza, bagels, milk,  cereal, macaroni-and-cheese… 

Are these among your child’s favorite food groups? If not all of them, it’s a  good bet that at least some of these foods fit into your child’s menu several times a week, if not almost daily. Kids have been fussy eaters since– well, maybe not the beginning of all time– but  at least since the beginning of modern time when provisions became plentiful and man created fast-food chains and the scourge known as trans fat. It is hardly a secret these days that the typical American diet is taking its toll on the health of our children (as well as adults) in terms of the rising rate of obesity and the earlier onset of serious but avoidable health  threats, such as heart disease and diabetes. 

There  hasn’t been enough emphasis, however, on how poor eating habits are jeopardizing the development of a healthy brain. The problem isn’t just what we are eating and feeding our children; it has a lot to do with what is and isn’t in the food itself. The composition of the foods we typically eat—even fruits and vegetables—has changed tremendously, and mostly for the worse.

Farmed  foods no  longer provide  the abundant nutrient  levels that they supplied in the past. The rapid turnover of crops and overutilization of farmland continue to deplete minerals in the soil. According to one report, an average of 250 million tons of pesticides are used world-wide each year on crops that supply the fruits, vegetables, and grains we eat and feed to our children. This does not include the millions of tons of herbicides and fungicides used in the agricultural system. Nonorganic  food farms—which are, by far, the majority—feed hormones, antibiotics, and suboptimal feed to the cattle and livestock that end up as our protein.

Soil,  water, and  air pollution  continue to be  a major problem that affects everyone, but the toxic effects they have on Disconnected Kids can be quite profound. In the last twenty-five to thirty years, food has become more and more processed with tremendous increases in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and the worst kinds of fats. Family dinners often consist of prepackaged meals high in fat, artificial additives, and preservatives. And, of course, there is the tremendous increase in the consumption of unhealthy soft drinks. Fast-food restaurants are a common substitute for a real meal, o!er-ing  only further nutritional depletion.

These  kinds of  meals offer  the lowest quality, highest processing, and the two most common “vegetables” in too many kids’ diets—  french fries and ketchup! Plus, fast food is loaded with salt and saturated fat. Most parents don’t recognize the detrimental effects a poor diet has on the developing brain, especially in children who already have Functional Disconnection Syndrome. It can impact everything that is already challenging  for a child with FDS—behavior, cognitive or academic achievement, sensory processing, gross and fine motor skills, equilibrium, an erratic immune system, and normal everyday body functions, such as digestion and elimination…