Today, I want to talk to you about the connections between school lunches, MTHFR, and your children!
First, let me explain what MTHFR is…. MTHFR disorder, or methylenetetrahydrofolatereductase disorder, is the inability of your liver to properly break down heavy metals, chemicals, synthetic B vitamins (folic acid), etc., and this can lead to sleep issues, anger issues, ADD/ADHD, and more! One of the things that piqued my curiosity and started me down the road to connect food with my children’s attitudes was a parent about 20-plus years ago… She was a lunch lady in a local elementary school. She came into the office one-day upset, explaining how they had stopped making all the food in-house at their school. They started unpacking things from the freezer and warming them up. She noticed the increased use of ketchup (because everything tasted terrible now) and how its ingredients changed. It was pumped full of high fructose corn syrup and red dye instead of actual tomatoes, salt, and water. She noticed that instead of kids running into the lunch room to eat immediately, they would go to the nurses’ station for their pre-lunch meds, which usually were some attention assistance or digestion assistance before eating. I got curious and started researching, and I was pretty upset about what I found… 43% of food marketed to kids is artificially dyed, and those colors such as red40, yellow5, and blue2, are linked to several different types of cancers, hyperactivity, asthma, tumors and so much more.
Now, let’s go back to MTHFR.. 60% to 80% of all Americans are estimated to have this gene disorder, meaning roughly half of the kids at school cannot break down chemicals and heavy metals through their liver daily. Then they are being fed artificial flavors, artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup, GMO additives, etc.. This is going to cause some issues.
Our children then return to their classes, where they are expected to sit quietly and still, focusing on the teacher. We don’t understand why our children are showing up angry, defiant, sleepy, hyperactive, or a combination of the above! These reactions are from your bodies having a sugar spike and raising their metabolism to process these toxic chemicals from their food. When I was growing up, we were fed fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins. These foods were essential for our growth, brain development, and social interaction abilities. The food our children are being fed now is destroying their gut, liver, and ultimately, their brain.
In my practice, I am constantly asked, “well, what can I do.” Here are some steps to help better feed your children at school! Firstly, pack their lunches from home. This is a great way to teach your children about vegetables, meal prep, and the responsibility of creating their lunches. Another thing that you can do is go to your school PTA or school board and see if there’s anything you can do to educate better and then swap during lunchtime. You do have to remember this will be an uphill battle as many government agencies are involved. While you cannot control everything outside your home, you are your children’s gatekeepers. Taking back school lunches and making them nutritious is one significant step you can take for their physical and mental health. Also, explore my blog. I have a recipe page and a 90 Days to Clean Eating course. I also am constantly uploading new recipes and ideas for meals. I’ll link a few below for ease! The biggest thing for me was to realize there are no rules for food- take dinner, use other countries’ ideas, soups- but American lunch and breakfast tend to be wheat and sugar driven. Stop. Those are not serving you or your children’s health.