Monday, December 21, 2009

darn those yellow donuts!

This is the second time in the last month that yellow donuts have become an issue, both times at breakfast buffets. From the outside they looked like normal brownish sugar covered donuts (one with powdered sugar, the other with cinnamon sugar). Both times my 4 year old took a bite only to reveal a bright yellow inside. By then it's too late. Uhg! No more sugared donuts for us. I definitely see the irritability and impulse control problems that always accompany the dies. At least it will wear off before Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Food dyes and sensory issues

I wanted to respond to a question posted on my last entry. Do children who respond to food dyes also have sensory issues? In my family, I have one child with sensory issues who responds pretty strongly to food dyes with VERY SEVERE impulsivity and hyperactivity. My other two children do not have sensory issues, but they respond almost more severely to the dyes with irritability, tantrums, and pretty intense negative behaviors. These behaviors always last about 3 full days after eating the food dye.

My friend has a child who only seems to have sensory issues when she has food dyes. She becomes sensitive to clothing and temperature, etc. It makes getting ready for school on time almost impossible. The same friend and I have shared observations that we each have a child who could meet diagnostic criteria for Bipolar Disorder when they are on food dyes. What is reassuring, but also alarming to me, is that both children are normally well behaved, even tempered children. We are both trained child mental health professionals, so we find that very interesting that our children actually start to mimic symptoms of many clinical disorders by merely consuming petrochemicals in food. So my answer would be, yes children with sensory issues may very well be more sensitive to the neurological effects of the food dyes. But my strong hunch is that many many children are sensitive to food dyes and could be calmer and more stable with basic dietary changes. If only more parents knew this!!!!

If you are new to this blog and reading this, you read right when I said petrochemicals. Artificial colors and flavors are really made from petroleum and often manufactured in China. Need I say more? Why should anyone eat that? Get the word out so we all have more choices and options to eat real foods without chemicals. The trends are changing so hopefully it will be easier and less expensive too. I thought finding organic candy canes at Kroger was a great indicator of good choices to come.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

dye free candy canes

I could hardly believe it. I went to Kroger to pick up a few basics and saw in the produce section a huge display of holiday items. It was the typical stuff you use for baking. Then I realized there were boxes upon boxes of Organic Candy Canes! That means no dyes! They are the same kind I went to the health food store to get last week. I checked out their web site They even have dye free COTTON CANDY. Do you know how long it's been since my kids have eaten cotton candy?!

My 4 year old probably does not remember eating candy canes since we banned red #40 from the house 3 years ago. I haven't had a candy cane in years. I have to say, it was nice to enjoy a normal holiday treat without the mood problems (mine or my kids'). Maybe the "dye free" choice is finally catching on. It's about time it got a little easier. Feel free to comment on your own dye free discoveries this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

food dye from the funeral

Well, that about says it all... sort of. I have not posted much because of my parents' health problems, among other difficulties. I'm sorry to say my dad passed away about a week ago. As if that were not all hard enough, my son's birthday was the day of the funeral. Then we went to a lunch afterward only to have banana peppers in both the sandwiches and the pasta salad. In case you have not seen my previous posts about banana peppers, they soak them in yellow dye. I've seen some of our worst reactions come from banana peppers. Too bad, because I really like them. Normally, I would just send all the "contaminated" food back, but when 3 kids had already waited an hour at the restaurant (until 2 pm) for lunch, I didn't care any more and we all ate it. Well you can imagine how that turned out.

Now I messed up again and got green gum instead of the white gum for St. Nick's day. My 4 year old has been back to the spitting, yelling, defiance, you name it. Uhhg. Hopefully only 1 more day of that until the effects wear off. You would not think a little stick of Trident would make a difference, but it does for my kids. I try to stick to Freedent, or other white gums, but I have been distracted and less careful lately.

On a more positive note, I found dye free candy canes at the health food store. Well, actually, my friend asked if they would order them back in November and they called her Saturday to say they were in. My friend had ordered some online, so I ran over and got her box. Good thing I went right away, it looked like the last box. If I get my act together I'll dig the box back out an post the brand name.

Here's hoping everyone else is more successful in their pursuit of dye free foods this holiday season. We did avoid problems on Thanksgiving. Still sad that Crescent rolls have red and yellow in them, but we somehow survived without them.