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Swings with Daddy

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Isaiah holding foot Sept-2003

Isaiah holding foot Sept-2003

More On The Food Dye Front Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 March 2011

I blogged last year about the rising concerns over the links between artificial dyes in our food and hyperactivity – or worse – in our kids. I saw for myself the effects of artificial dyes when Cora began eating store-bought birthday cakes laden with blue “ocean” frosting or purple “flower” frosting; after one such party I found her an hour later literally climbing the curtains. Between Cora’s incredible bouts of turning into Hyperactive, Uncontrollable Girl and her four-day-long blue poop (yep, it stains your intestines for several days afterwards) I was convinced enough to actively work to rid our diet of artificial dyes.

Since we eat relatively healthily to begin with, the task hasn’t been that overwhelming. We switched to the organic, naturally-colored kids’ multivitamins (bye-bye, Flinstones) and use chocolate or naturally-colored Good Earth lollipops as rewards rather than Skittles or Starburst. I’m not a fanatic, of course – I’m not going to tell my kids no when they find the sprinkles at a sundae bar – but I do control it much more strictly. And since Cora wants an over-the-top fancy cake for her birthday party again, this year we’ll be buying it from artificial-dye-free Whole Foods’ bakery department.

A recent article on Healthy Child, Healthy World’s website reports that the concern over artificial dyes has become much more mainstream. The European Union recently ruled that any foods with artificial dyes must now carry a warning label that says “consumption may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children”. And the US FDA will hold hearings next month on whether or not dyes negatively impact our children’s health. And FDA studies have already shown that Yellow Dye #5 – that bright yellow in Kraft Mac N Cheese – is tainted with low levels of cancer-causing compounds.

The article at Healthy Child, Healthy World is short and easy to read – and contains tips on easy ways to start removing artificial dyes from your family’s table. Just some food for thought.

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