Food Coloring Dangers are REAL
Read about how some kids have something entirely different going on than their ADHD diagnosis makes it seem…
I can’t wait to share this story with you, sent to me from my friend, Jane, at the Feingold Association. (Who agreed to let me interview her for my Real Food for Rookies Class!) I just wonder how many are suffering with these issues right now and have no idea how quickly their symptoms could go away?! Please pass this along if this story sounds like anyone you know…
Before our family was on the Feingold Diet, the stress level in our home was very high.
Our 2 1/2-year-old son, Michael, would undoubtedly be diagnosed with ADHD when he hit school age. He could not sit down for longer than 2-10 seconds. He was constantly hitting his older sister and me, kicking, yelling, crying, taking toys from his sister, hitting the dog, climbing up the entertainment center or fish tank, throwing toys, jumping off the couch, throwing 45+ minute tantrums where he was inconsolable and uncontrollable, having night terrors 3-4 times per week, a constant runny nose, and rarely saying he loved anyone.
When I would try to put him in his car seat, he would pitch such a tantrum that, at almost 30 years of age, I could barely hold him in his seat to buckle him in. I would pick him up numerous times and hug him and tell him it's OK before finally getting him buckled into his seat.
He could not sit down long enough to listen to a bedtime story.
I did not have any of his “artwork” on my refrigerator because to him, “coloring” consisted of scribbling for 1 second, hitting the dog, taking Katie's crayons and dumping them on the ground, scribbling for 2 seconds, telling me that he hated me, climbing the entertainment center, scribbling for 1 second, hitting his sister and pulling her hair, scribbling…etc.
We had his speech tested last November because we felt he was developmentally behind where he should be. His speech was often slurred, and members outside of our family could rarely decipher what he was saying.
Our daughter, Kaitlyn, acted like a 15-year-old in a 5 1/2-year-old body. She was very “mouthy,” disrespectful, and would have 30-plus minute melt-downs complete with screaming, crying, and kicking over things that didn't warrant that kind of reaction.
When my friend told me about how the Feingold Diet helped her family, especially her son, I began to think that this would be something Michael could benefit from. After our first 48 hours without the artificial dyes, flavors and preservatives, I noticed significant changes in not only our children, but myself as well.
My daughter was transformed into a polite, thankful, happy little girl.
I was becoming more patient with the children; my temper wasn't so quick. My feelings of depression and anxiety slowly started to dissipate.
After the first two weeks, I was overjoyed. Michael's speech and vocabulary were improving at a rapid rate.
He was now able to sit still and cuddle with me for a 30-minute period. He actually sat down and colored his first picture. At the end of the first two weeks, Michael ran up to me, full force, and threw his arms and legs around me. He hugged me so tightly that it hurt, looked up at me with the biggest smile I've ever seen, and said, “Mommy, I'm so happy!” I couldn't believe what he was saying. I had never heard this from him before.
As time goes on, I frequently hear, “I love you SOOOO much.”
Our children's behavior continued to improve over the next 8 weeks. My kids were indulging in pretend play, sharing with each other, helping out around the house, being polite to each other and us, and now making an average of only 2 trips per day to the “naughty corner.” I received many compliments on how my children's behavior had improved. I noticed changes in myself. I was remembering things without a list and was more productive at work and with my schoolwork, and my kids said I was the “best mommy ever!”
We took a trip to Disney World in March. Despite riding in the truck for two days, our children were so content and quiet — much different from our trip to North Dakota last year. I had a huge bag full of Feingold-approved snacks that the kids just loved!
At Disney World, I made a special diet request, so the chef took me around the entire buffet, and we discussed what foods were suitable for our family. The chef said not to get a cupcake, but the ice cream was OK. Right after the children ate their dinner of chicken, baked potato and vegetables, I gave them a big bowl of ice cream! Not 30 minutes later, they transformed into whiny, aggressive children who turned a deaf ear to any instruction from my husband or me.
The next day at Disney was horrible — they were pulling, kicking, crying, and fighting — completely uncharacteristic of my quieter, gentler, petroleum-free children! That night we were at a different restaurant with a different chef. He said that all Disney restaurants use the same brand of soft-serve ice cream. He checked the label and told me it has yellow dye and artificial flavor!
This confirmed for me that the Feingold Diet is the right thing for our family. In the four months since then, we have had only 3 other “mistakes” as we call them. One of the most severe reactions came when we failed to read the label and bought a jelly that contained Red 40. Our children were inconsolable when upset, were very aggressive towards each other as well as my husband and me, and had night terrors frequently for a week and a half until the chemicals started to exit their systems.
I have no doubt that the artificial ingredients have harmful effects on our behavior and thought processes. It is such a blessing to see my REAL children, who they are without all of the chemicals in the way.
By Jennifer Spacht
Reprinted from Pure Facts, the newsletter of the Feingold Association of the United States, www.feingold.org.