Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ready for Halloween

Whew, I wasn't sure I would even get to post this before Halloween. I've still been busy with sick parents, sick kids, and school problems. It's been a tough fall so Halloween kind of snuck up on me this year.

A fellow food dye fanatic/friend sent me this link about Necco wafers going dye free. I stocked up on Yummy Earth Lollipops, Darell Lea's licorice (from Target) and some chocolate. I use my selections to replace what my kids bring home from parties.

Here is what I sent in to the preschool party today:

I used a white cake and frosting mix and then decorated with spider rings from Walmart. My daughter loved that some of the rings were purple. For those who have not read my previous holiday posts, I often use white cakes and frosting to make cupcakes for school parties. Be sure to read the ingredients. Many white cake and frosting have dyes.

Then I decorate with colorful things that don't contain dyes. Some cupcake paper wrappers come with matching toothpicks to stick in each cupcake. Otherwise I've used foil wrapped chocolates. Basically I try to add color, without adding petroleum based color like red #40. This year I did not sign up for very many parties (didn't get to the list quick enough at parent night) so I just brought in a cupcake for my son's party and he passed on the rest of the stuff the other parents brought.

My oldest has been quite happy that I stocked the teacher with candy for him. He would rather have a few Surf Sweets sour worms than a cupcake anyway. I just asked what he wanted to eat on party days and he picked a few bags of candy. It works out easily because the candy keeps a little longer than cookies or cakes. The only down side: one day he had a sub and she didn't believe him that he could get candy instead of a birthday treat. Win some, loose some.

I'm also still trying to find which dentist pays kids for their Halloween candy. I think we'll pay him a visit.

Monday, October 19, 2009

pet peeves about food dyes

My children often drink water in restaurants because the lemonade and punch have dyes, the soft drinks have sugar and sodium benzoate, and one is even allergic to milk. I hate it when the only water option is the self serve soft drink dispenser where you have to push the tab on the same spout as the fruit punch. I always let the water run to try to wash it out. Today I went back and asked for a lid for the cup of water. They did not have a lid so they gave me a white Styrofoam cup instead. Once I transferred the water from a clear cup into the white cup, it was easy to see that it was still pink. SIGH. How frustrating when you can't even get water without the red#40. Next time I'll spend the extra dollar and buy a bottle of water. So much for the environment. I dumped the cup an told my daughter I'd give her a better drink when we got home. Bottom line: watch out for where your water comes from in restaurants.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

dye free cough syrup

Since flu season hit so early here, I've found myself with 3 coughing children this week. I don't like to give a lot of medicine, but when they are hacking away so bad that nobody can sleep, it seemed something was needed.

I actually had 2 kinds of cough syrup on hand after I threw away the purple stuff. One was a clear Triaminic. The other was NatraBio children's cough syrup from the health food store. Both have helped. My children tolerated the taste of both, even though the homeopathic one smelled pretty strong. I have been unable to find more the of the clear Triaminic now that we ran out, but I've only checked Kroger so far. The good news is, you do have choices besides the rainbow colored ones. Even if your kids are healthy, keep an eye out for the dye free Motrin and cough products now so you already have them when you need them. You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

dye free antibiotics

I can't believe we're in cold and flu season already. We've had a major flu outbreak at school this week, so when my son spiked a fever, I was thinking there was a huge chance it was H1N1. It turns out 2 of my children have strep throat instead. The doc warned that almost every child she has seen from our school has tested positive for flu, so we will probably still get it. Can't wait!

In the mean time, the nurse handed me 2 prescriptions for Amoxicilin chewable tablets. I reminded her my kids can't have food dyes. She said she could check with the pharmacy, but they were visibly swamped and I guessed that would take another hour. I called the pharmacy myself, from the doctor's office. The pharmacist originally thought they only had pink tablets, but sounded surprised to find some white ones. Problem solved, for once without dyes and without the run-around. My son says they taste good/minty. It was nice to get a cheep generic prescription rather than the expensive compounds we've had in recent months for other things.