Sunday, March 22, 2009

why do I care about food dyes?

It seemed like a good time for a summary of why I started this blog. My son went on a red antibiotic for 10 days and seemed to go crazy. He was impulsive and uncontrolled in such a dramatic way, I wanted to figure out why. That was 2 years ago. There wasn't very much online about food dyes back then. Nobody seemed to know what I was talking about and people looked at me like I was nuts. I started to pay attention to my son's reaction to food coloring. First I got rid of red#40, then yellow #5 and #6, then Blue #1. It was gradual at first. But I realized more and more that his behavior spiked when he ate things with dyes. I also realized that the problems always lasted 3 whole days.

Since then, more research has come out and more people are understanding how significantly dyes can affect children. I saw one estimate that 1/3 of all cases of ADHD could be eliminated by taking away dyes. When I started realizing the implications for other families, I started this blog to make the path easier for other families wanting to learn about dyes, and hopefully putting more consumer pressure out there for food companies to get the chemicals out of our food.

It was only after I stopped buying any products with food dyes that I realized how much calmer things were with my other 2 children as well. Looking back, I think taking my oldest son off food dyes is the single best thing I ever did for our relationship. I used to feel like I was at war with him. I was afraid for his future and dreading the teen years. He argued and tantrummed on and off. He complained more, defied more, yelled more. I yelled more too.

Now we all seem to have more stable moods. I'm calmer and happier too off the food dyes. I see life more negatively when I've eaten the chemical dyes. But don't take my word on it. Try it yourself and see. Stay off dyes for a whole week, then try something with dye, just one thing, go ahead and make it nice and red if you want. See what happens. Pay attention for a whole 3 days after eating food dye. Try it a few times. It's hard to believe at first. But when you see the same thing over and over again, eventually you start to see. Feel free to comment here on what you see.


Kara said...

Great blog! I think I need to take the plunge with my 3-yr-old (and, well, the whole family!) on eliminating dyes and HFCS. I'll try anything to get rid of these out-of-control tantrums. Thank you for all the info!

food dye diaries said...

Good luck! It's a big adjustment at first. But once you get used to how to shop, it gets easier. Pretty soon you don't really miss the dyed foods that much and you sure don't miss the tantrums.