The first thing that I changed to help change my son’s behavior problems was to eliminate red 40. You have to really pay attention to labels because it shows up sometimes in places you don’t expect.
My mom was actually the one to suggest it. She had parents over the years of teaching tell her about it affecting their kids. I had thought my son had some sort of allergy or reaction to something he would eat but could never pin point it. He would be fine and then all of a sudden jumping from couch to couch which really doesn’t go over well at Grandma’s!
It has been two years since we removed red 40 out of his diet. I admit it was hard at first so I would let it slide and for something special or a party…oh, a little won’t hurt. They have a lot of birthday celebrations in Kindergarten! It got to the point with in five minutes of getting off the bus I would ask “Who’s birthday was it?” The absolute worst day VALENTINE’S DAY! We should just rename it to RED 40 day. [It is not the sugar that make kids crazy…it is the food dyes!]
Last spring, the end of Kinder, he kept coming down with these ear infections. We could not figure it out…it was constant ear infection but nothing the doctor’s would treat. The treatment was Sudafed which has red 40, aahh! It was the second Ninja Turtle birthday party that solved the mystery. Blue 1 and Blue 2 is worse than red 40…it was actually causing ear infections. We had been in this vicious cycle of blue dyes causing infections which needed meds to clear that make him feel yucky and have out of control behaviors.
This was pretty much the breaking point where my family would become a dye free home. We still have those lingering Marshmallows I don’t want to just throw away but I do not support the food dye industry anymore! We have also notice after about two weeks of being off all food dyes we feel better and don’t even want the nasty foods we believe have addicting dyes in them. The final boot on the food dyes came at the Autism convention this summer; every speaker touched on eliminating food dyes.
It takes some training your kids especially when they are out at parties but they can learn. Once you eliminate it they wont even complain because they feel better without the chemicals. Even my 2 1/2 year old gets it makes him feel yucky. The six year old informed the dentist that he could not have the toothpaste and requested an alternative without dyes. Now that is something for a mamma to be proud off!