Sunday, August 31, 2008

challenge of shopping for dye free products

Every week it's a challenge. Every grocery store trip involves much more reading of ingredients than I care to do. Luckily, Ben is great reader and helps look for the dreaded Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6. He's a good helper. It's still frustrating when the things I want don't come dye free. Today it was pudding mix to make a Berry Trifle for our neighborhood cook out. Why does vanilla pudding have to be yellow? Who decided that every brand needs it? I just wonder sometimes. Usually I opt not to get things with color. This time, I'm making the recipe anyway, because it's a favorite and I'm a victim of cravings. I'll just give my kids another desert.

It only takes minute to send a quick email to companies such as

Here's what I sent:

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to request that you make your products available without aritificial coloring. My children react strongly with negative behaviors every time they eat anything with food colorings such as Red # 40, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6. Research has shown these ingredients to be problematic. Please make products available that are naturally colored. It is frustrating that even things such as Macaroni and Cheese and Vanilla Pudding have coloring added. I find the additives to be unnecessary and detrimental to my children's health.


Laurie Hoff

Saturday, August 30, 2008

3 year old high on dye

Why do I need a diary to keep track of food dye? Well it seems like every week there is some new struggle. This week it is Lindsey's screaming, tantrumming and hitting ever since eating the orange cheese crackers for snack on her first day of Preschool.

The staff know she isn't supposed to have those crackers since they have Yellow #5 and #6. I've gone through every ingredient on the menu months ago and explained what my children cannot have. They forgot. They apologized. But I'm still left with a three year old who woke up that night and had one of the biggest screaming tantrums ever, all at 2 am. Then there is the hitting, spitting and sticking her tongue out all the time. I know, it's not at all unusual for a 3 year old to do these things and assert her independence and new found skills. The timing of her move to the 3 year old class and her big brothers going back to school could also trigger behaviors. But it is sure is interesting that these things only seem to occur within 3 days of a dose of dye. I try to pray for extra patience to materialize out of somewhere, because I used up most of mine by Wednesday. If she stays true to form she should be better today.

Friday, August 29, 2008

What's up with food dye?

I figured there was something about red food dye 2 years ago when my son took a red antibiotic for 2 weeks. He was a wild and crazy 5 year old for the entire 2 weeks. It was awful. He changed into this crazed maniac that I was embarassed to be with. So I started watching and realized over several months that it was happening every time he had Red #40. I took out the Red #40 and realized it also happened with yellow #5 and #6.

That was 2 years ago. Now I have removed all artificial food coloring from the diet of all three of my children. If you've ever tried to do that, you know it's not easy. If you haven't tried it, you should start today. You may have no idea how many of the annoying things your kids do could be related to the food coloring in their diet.

I'll write more about my kids in other posts. If you don't believe me, check out the link I've provided to Center for Science in the Public Interest . There is recent research that verifies this problem is not just for ADHD kids but the general population.

Britain has removed food coloring from their foods. Why haven't we done that here in the USA? I hope this blog will help more people ask that question and start demanding answers.