Children are looking for one thing: someone to love them. -Dr. John DeGarmo

128: Kids Who Aren’t Loved & How we Can ALL Help Foster Kids with Dr. John DeGarmo

I’m honored to host an expert today who didn’t just learn from books — the DeGarmo family has welcomed over 60 foster children into their home over the last 20 years. I think that means Dr. John DeGarmo definitely deserves to be hailed as a top expert on foster care!

We’re all about raising healthy kids here at Kids Cook Real Food, and I want all children to thrive. Whether you’ve ever considered fostering or simply want to know more about how you can be part of a child’s village – a child who perhaps has never felt love in their lives – this short interview is an incredible listen.

You’ll learn:

  • What teachers and neighbors and community members can do to help support foster families
  • How Dr. John and his wife began considering fostering
  • The hardest parts and greatest joys of being a foster parent
  • Myths and excuses about foster care

What if your kids could make a whole meal by themselves?

It’s totally possible for even the youngest children, once they learn the skills in the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse!


  • What foster and adoptive parents need to keep top of mind to help them raise their children
  • The reality out there that no one wants to talk about in America (and where the actual scary places are for our kids)
  • The most important thing a child needs (and btw, please apply this to your own kids, too!)

The fact that there are kids out there who have never felt love is hitting me hard today, and I know our family prayers will begin to include kids in the foster system.

Thank you for watching and sharing this one – information everyone needs to know!

Can’t see the video? Learn about how to help foster kids here on YouTube.

No time for the video? Here are the notes!

Helping Foster Kids with Dr. DeGarmo

  • 0:13: Today on the Healthy Parenting Connector I’m talking with Dr. John DeGarmo about how you can help foster kids. I’m passionate about helping all kids be healthy and there are thousands of kids in the foster system that are often overlooked. 
  • 0:39: Dr. DeGarmo is a foster care expert who has been on many news networks and written several books about foster care. His family has fostered over 60 children in the last 20 years

Paleovalley Meat Sticks

It can be hard to find healthy snacks that you can take with you on the go. When I want the convenience of a jerky stick, but want a healthy, protein-packed snack option, I grab Paleovalley meat sticks. Paleovalley ingredients have these high standards that you can feel good about:

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  • Naturally fermented and contain gut-friendly probiotics!

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These beef sticks and turkey sticks taste delicious! My favorite is the Jalapeño but my kids love Summer Sausage.

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  • 1:45: Dr. DeGarmo shares his story with us and how his family got into foster care.

Foster Care in the US

  • 4:12: I don’t know much about foster care. I’ve seen a few people go through the process and I’ve read about kids being adopted from other countries where kids are in orphanages. We don’t really have many orphanages in the US because we have the foster care system

These kids need someone to love them with all their hearts. -Dr. John DeGarmo

  • 6:45: There has been a huge spike in child abuse and childhood trauma since COVID started. There are so many children in pain in this generation. Dr. DeGarmo has a beautiful perspective on helping these children. Yes, it’s hard to be a foster parent, but what a gift he and his family can give to hurting children by providing them with a safe place and love for a short while.

Every child deserves to be loved, and so many aren't. -Dr. John DeGarmo

How Can You Help Foster Kids?

  • 8:00: You don’t have to be a foster parent to help these kids in need. There are children being abused and abandoned all over the country. You can support these children right where you are. Contact your local child welfare agency or foster agency and ask how you can help. You can provide school supplies, clothing, meals, or gifts.
  • 10:17: If you know a foster family or your child meets a foster kid in school, how can we be open, accepting, and loving of these kids and families? Many foster kids are bullied in school.

Despite any abuse they’ve been through, most foster kids want to go home to their mom and dad. -Dr. John DeGarmo

  • 11:58: Many people worry about how fostering will affect their own children. Dr. DeGarmo sees his children being empathetic and kind, standing up to bullies because of the family culture they grew up in
  • 12:40: You can sit down with your children and teach them to befriend a new kid and stand up against bullies. 
  • 15:43: What is the greatest joy in being a foster parent? The stories Dr. DeGarmo shares are heartbreaking. 

Busting Foster Care Myths

  • 17:04: We go through some common myths of foster care. You don’t have to have a huge house, be rich, or even be married to be a foster parent. 
  • 18:06: If you’re thinking that you’re interested in fostering here are some next steps for you.

Get ready for an adventure and a journey that will change your life. -Dr. John DeGarmo

  • 19:12: If you’re currently fostering or have adopted a child from the foster system here is some encouragement for you. 

Stay safe in the sun, with reef-safe sunscreens

Over the last decade+, I’ve personally tested over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, my standards are very high, and nothing I recommend is considered dangerous to coral reefs.

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If you’re looking for the best reef-safe sunscreen, simply start there. Here’s a list of some of my ultimate favorites.

  • Kōkua Suncare with tons of antioxidants and my kids’ favorite scent and application (use the code KS for 15% off from Kōkua’s online store!)
  • 3rd Rock Essentials rubs in well and reliably prevents burns in our tests (use the code KITCHENSTEW for 20% off!)
  • Raw Elements for so many reasons, including their tinted stick for adult faces (all styles, use KS10 for 10% off!)
  • Maelove, which I call the best “transition” sunscreen when moving away from chemical ‘screens
  • Others that make the top-recommended cut: Badger, ThinkBaby, Adorable Baby, Kabana

If you’re worried about the white cast on your skin from zinc oxide sunscreen, check out my video on how to apply mineral sunscreen correctly to minimize it.

  • 20:32: Foster kids are coming to you with trauma. You can’t take their behavior personally if they’re lashing out or withdrawing. Being placed in foster care is scary
  • 21:45: Dr. DeGarmo has some phrases that he uses with foster kids who are struggling.
  • 22:40: It takes time for a child to realize that they’re safe in a new foster home. All you can do is be there for them.
  • 23:19: I always like to leave parents with a message of hope. Years from now, a child may not remember the name or face of the person who fostered them, but they will remember that they were loved, and that can change their world.

More Resources to Help Foster Kids

Dr. John DeGarmoDr. John DeGarmo is a foster care expert and keynote speaker who has been interviewed on CNN, all sorts of Fox and ABC networks across the nation, and the 700 Club. he’s the author of many books on foster care, including “The Foster Parenting Manual,” “Faith and Foster Care” and “Love and Mayhem.” He’s the recipient of the Good Morning America Ultimate Hero Award and has fostered over 60 children in the last 20 years.

How we can support the foster care system to help kids in need

What You Should Do Next:

1. Subscribe to The Healthy Parenting Connector

Katie Kimball

I interview experts about kids’ health every week – stay in the loop with a quick Saturday morning email:



2. Try a Free Preview of my Cooking Class for Kids

Our members’ favorite lesson is always our 10-minute knife skills and safety class, teaching techniques with unique & memorable phrases from butter knives to chef’s knives (ages 2-teen). Take a peek here and try it out with your kids.

3. Enroll in the Online Cooking Course for Kids:

Enroll now in the Wall Street Journal’s #1 recommended online cooking class for kids (also rated 5 stars on Facebook). See what fits your family best HERE.

About Katie Kimball

Katie Kimball, CSME, creator of Kids Cook Real Food and CEO of Kitchen Stewardship, LLC, is passionate about connecting families around healthy food. As a trusted educator and author of 8 real food cookbooks, she’s been featured on media outlets like ABC, NBC and First for Women magazine and contributes periodically on the FOX Network.

Since 2009, busy moms have looked to Katie as a trusted authority and advocate for children’s health, and she often partners with health experts and medical practitioners to stay on the cutting edge. In 2016 she created the Wall Street Journal recommended best online kids cooking course, Kids Cook Real Food, helping thousands of families around the world learn to cook. She is actively masterminding the Kids’ Meal Revolution, with a goal of every child learning to cook.

A mom of 4 kids from Michigan, she is also a Certified Stress Mastery Educator, member of the American Institute of Stress and trained speaker through Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power.

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