Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How can I get food dyes out of my diet?

I've been sharing my frustrations on this topic with my close friends for over 2 years. It shouldn't be so hard, but it is hard to eliminate dyes. Here are my suggestions on how to go about eliminating food dyes without loosing your mind.

  1. Pick a target color first and focus on that. I started with red #40 and focused just on avoiding that for several months.
  2. Then when you've gotten used to that, eliminate another color, like yellow #5 and yellow #6 .
  3. Once you've gotten red and yellow out, it's not that big a deal to get rid of the blue #1 stuff.
  4. Expect lots of mistakes, on your part, on your kids' parts, and from other adults.
  5. Get support from your spouse. show the research and reports from other parents. You cannot get anywhere if Daddy comes home with colored candy or cookies or just forgets what you are up to.
  6. Communicate your wishes with every adult in contact with your kids. Tell the teachers, informing them in writing or by email is best. Tell extra school helpers like speech and OT people. Explain to family members so grandma doesn't show up with red cookies or candy. Tell church helpers and freinds/neighbors too. Eiether provide your own snack or be clear about what your kids can have. I never take offense when my neighbor brings snacks for all the kids when her kids will be over with mine.
  7. Ask questions at restaurants. You have a right to know what is in the drinks, sauces, etc. Take a minute and ask wait staff to check for the food dyes or show you the ingredient list. Then you may be surprised to find out some foods are actually OK. My kids love sorbet at ice cream places and it is usually natural, but always ask first.
  8. Give yourself extra time at the grocery store and read those labels before you buy anything. It gets easier after a while. If you used to shop with the kids, find ways to shop alone for a while until you get used to reading the labels.
  9. Be strong in your efforts, you may find amazingly better behaved kids as your reward. Is there anything you wouldn't do for helping your kids be their best? Keeping the end in mind helps make up for all the hassles.


The Blairs said...

I came across your blog while researching red dye. It is something I have heard of, but never paid much attention to. My kids are typically well behaved, but lately I've noticed them being a little hyper. I cannot believe the stuff that goes into the foods we eat. I want my kids to be healthy and not eat processed crap. I was having a hard time finding good info on this, until I saw your blog. It is so great. We are starting with eliminating red dye and then will move on to the others.

I will say my kids have been sick for the past couple of weeks and had been taking lots of tylenol and cough medicines. They have been very hyper, completely not their typical behavior. I now think it is the dye in the meds. Who knew???

I look forward to reading more and learning more from your blog. Thanks for putting it out there and helping other people.

food dye diaries said...

Thank you so much for you comment. I just can't believe how lax our FDA is to allow so much damaging food in the basic American diet and to deny the research that is there. Good luck with your quest.


The Blairs said...

Thanks. I just ordered some Halloween candy for my kids that is all dye free. I told them all about what we are going to do and what they can and cannot eat. They think it is cool right now b/c we are already on a health kick in our house.

The hard part is going to be getting all the other adults in their life to be supportive. My mother-in-law is going to freak, especially on Halloween. Seriously though, the kids don't care and they will have their own special candy.

It's crazy how far behind the U.S. is on things like this. Makes me want to import some British foods :)

I can't wait to get started and see if it makes a difference in my kids. We just threw out the Otter Pops in the freezer. Yea!!!