We talk about the emotional health of our adopted children, but an important issue that is less spoken of is the physical health.
If I followed the path of childbirth, I would have watched what I ate, become extra sensitive to the toxins in the environment around me. I would have taken my pre-natal supplements daily. I would have eaten a diet rich in folic acid and healthy oils to boost the brain power of my unborn child. If I would have given birth to my child, I would have breast fed them, as long as I could, making sure that they received the best nutrition available to them. I would be careful of what I ate, and didn’t eat because I would know that eventually it would reach the belly of my child.
I did not take that path, and I did not have control of my children’s emotional or physical health until they joined our family (which was 11mo, 12mo, 15mo, 2.5yr and 5.5 yrs). I know for sure that at least one of my children had a bio-mom that smoked throughout her pregnancy. There is nothing I can do about that. It happened, it’s done.
What I can do now is ensure that I offer the best possible nutrition and physical environment to my children. Teach them healthy habits. Engage them in physical play, and limit the toxins that they are exposed to. This is also beneficial for their emotional/mental health as well. There have been numerous studies that have proven the connection between diet and emotional health.
I have a list of absolute no-no’s for our house:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Artificial Sweetners
- Artificial Colors
- Hydrogenated Oils
Other than that, I try to offer healthy meals, and they don’t get soda. This is not a soapbox stand about feeding kids nutritionally healthy food, it’s about undoing in some cases years, of poor nutrition in my children. I did not get the luxury of monitoring this from pre-natal. My concerns that nutritional deficiencies in their early years may be impacting them now are legitimate. Poor nutrition early in life can result in physical, cognitive and behavioral challenges. The impact on the child is varied, but the good news is that with help, children can catch up and thrive!