Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Our new challenge to eating dye free food: scouts

All 3 of my kids jumped into scouts this fall and we've had a flurry of camp-outs, den meetings, and misc. activities. It seems each new gathering presents both opportunities and challenges. The challenge is the same since a started blogging a few years ago: what to eat, what to bring, how to plan food. The opportunity is huge to educate a lot more families about how they can help their own kids enjoy healthy eating with fewer problems in the mood, behavior, impulsivity department.

And with all of this comes the mishaps. It figures we were due for something to sneak in. It's been a very long time. I had almost forgotten how hard it was to be around my kids when they were "high on dye." This time it was all 3 at once (triple ouch). They had a great family scout camp-out with lots of fun activities. I thought I had played it really well since DH took the kids out in the tent and I got to stay home to "let the dog out" and go out to dinner with my girlfriend. I met up with my family the next day to go through the games and help with dinner. when I saw the fruit cocktail, I explained my kids wouldn't be eating it (Red cherries). I told several interested Moms our story about food dyes.

Later I noticed they were also serving canned peaches so I gave some to my kids. It was a few minutes later I realized the peaches had been dumped into the container that originally had the fruit cocktail and there were still red cherries floating around in all the syrup. Uhg! Who likes canned fruit anyway?

Well, that did it. We were fine that night, but the next 3 days I had a hyper hyper boy who couldn't stop drumming all day, a grumpy arguing kid who wanted to pick a fight, and a little miss with a huge attitude who started hitting and kicking and screaming all the time. Figures we had an extra day off school in the midst of that so I got to "enjoy" my children even more intensely for a dye exposed day. We survived, somehow, and I gave repeated thanks that this is not how my children usually are. Once again, it seemed to last 3 full days. Then it was like a magic switch was flipped. I had a compliant agreeable 10 year old who said "please" and "thank you" and "OK" again. My little drummer boy could sit still and focus on homework again. The screamer stopped fussing and peace returned to our household.

If you have not gone dye free yet, you have no idea what you might be missing: the joy of pleasant, well controlled children.

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