All of my kids were severely malnourished when I met them in 2012. After being evaluated by a pediatrician she reported that judging by their size and develop most of them had probably had only enough to eat to survive for multiple years. This has had a very detrimental impact on their cognitive and physical development even still today. Half of my kids have learning disabilities which are likely to have been caused from a lack of nutrition in their infancy and toddler years, one of my kids is severely stunted in growth, and another has a borderline eating disorder. I work daily to try and help them repair as much damage in their lives as I can, both physically and mentally.
No one leaves the house in the morning without a healthy intake of protein.
I am thankful that though they can tell me stories of not having any food some days, and other days only a few crackers, they don’t have any food hoarding issues now, nor any fear of whether their next meal will come. Food is approached with typical kid's excitement, thankfulness, or when it comes to vegetables, boredom. I try to make sure that every meal is balanced. No one leaves the house in the morning without a healthy intake of protein. No one packs their lunch for school without a fruit and/or veg and dinner means eating more of both. I want to make sure that throughout the day the kids are getting all they need for their active bodies to grow and give them the energy they need. This can sometimes turn into a lot of mom nagging, “dish up a bigger scoop of beans,” or “add one more spoon of corn to that,” “take two slices of tomato,” but in the end we manage.
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35
Though they don’t always love to eat what they need to, they always love to help me make it. Some of our best times are shared in the kitchen making dinner together. Everyone pitches in, and there is a buzz and excitement in the air when they are preparing part of the meal that everyone will later sit down to enjoy together. From cleaning the salad, to mixing potatoes they take their tasks quite seriously and are proud to present their dish in the end. I’m also happy to report that in the last year everyone has advanced further in school faster than ever before, and everyone has grown both up and out, though you won’t find an ounce of anything but muscle on anyone! Oh, to be that fit and lean!