Monday, January 11, 2010

how do food dyes affect your child?

The new year seems to be a good time for a refresher on why I started this blog. In case you are new, food dyes can cause behavioral and emotional problems in children. This is so true that I am inviting other mom's to share their experiences in the comments section so readers can see it's not just me that sees this.

I am trying to get this simple truth out to more families. Doctors, teachers, mental health providers and other professionals may still be oblivious to this information, but there is research out there to back it up.

I also have my own trials and tribulations watching the reactions of my 3 children and their reaction to dyes. Read through my blog to see what I mean about this. My own children are so drastically different when they eat anything with food dyes, it is hard to describe. We see everything from anger, irritability, defiance, aggression, hyperactivity, frustration, yelling, hitting, spitting, etc. Most of these behaviors all come out in my 4 year old, but to some degree all three show something worse when they eat dyes, so we avoid them.

So, in short, if you want to see better behavior in your kids, better self control, and less moodiness, watch the foods and get rid of additives. It's worth the effort.


STC said...

My 6yo son and 40yo husband will both react to food dyes with red being the worst. They get very hyper and talkative and antagonistic. We have had similar problems with other dyes but to a lesser degree than with red. I think my 6yo may have problems with vanillin as well as some fat substitutes (BVO, BHT, BHA, and/or TBHQ). We're eliminating all.

Casey said...

Both of my kids react so poorly to food dyes. They have trouble focusing, are moving nonstop, aggressive, violent, all around angry and have sleep problems. We've been dye free for almost two months with drastic results.

I recently blogged about our experiences with going dye free and also posted a list of dye free products we've found. I've been spreading the word to everyone and anyone who will listen! Below are links to my posts and the food list in case you're interested:

and here:

K said...

My 7yo daughter and 4yo son both react to food dye. We've been red & yellow dye free since Valentine's day last year. My son broke out in hives that day so I started researching red food dye as that was the only thing different from his normal diet that he'd been eating. I was astounded at all I found on behavior and artificial dye. At that point we were considering seeking help for our daughter because her moods swung so erratically that I thought she might be bipolar.
Within a week of being dye-free we had our sweet daughter back. As a bonus to the attitude improvement she started sleeping through the night on a consistent basis. She had always woken up once or twice a night at least 4 nights a week since she was a toddler. We also noticed that our son's behavior (along with his periodic hives) improved. He's more prone to aggressiveness and hyperactivity when he has dye.
All of this was reinforced this weekend when I caved to family pressure and allowed them to eat birthday cake at a party this weekend. My son only had a few bites and hasn't reacted all that badly to it, my daughter however has been back on the emotional roller coaster again with outbursts and attitude. I'm just counting the hours until it's out of her system.

Violets said...

My oldest gets a "scary looking" migraine with blue dye. She turns pale and gets shaky, her head hurts and she's nauseous.
My youngest is new to the dye free diet. But she has told me that when she eats dye in secret she feels like I "start hating her for no good reason", she acts anxious, has meltdowns and tantrums.

David Wallinga, MD said...

See IATP's Smart Guide to Food Dyes fact sheet. Plus, use the Brain Food Selector to find foods that can help your child learn better without food dyes