Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Food Coloring and ADHD

When Skittles was in preschool, I remember his teacher telling me there was something wrong with him and he needed to be medicated. I am sure she did not word it like that but that was what I took away from that conversation. I knew he was ADHD. I had known it since he was born, before he was born probably. I also knew I did not want to medicate him for various reasons. Primarily because rather than masking symptoms of ADHD, I wanted to find the cause. 

I joined an online group of moms of ADHD kids. Some of these moms shared with me this radical idea that the cause of ADHD is what we eat. I looked into it further. Like all moms I weighed the pros and cons of trying out a new diet. Pros where that this diet is harmless because it does not remove any essential foods from the child's diet. All the food groups are still met daily. They can still have candy. It does not cost any extra money to try. The cons were, I would have to start reading ingredient labels. 

I learned the things that I need to avoid using the Feingold diet. If you can afford to buy the kit, do it, it will save you a lot of hassle. I could not afford to buy the book and I did not want to spend money on something that might not work so I wrote down the ingredients to look for and I started reading labels. Here is what I look for, 

FD&C colors; red 40, red lake, yellow 5, yellow 6, yellow lake, etc
Artificial flavors

 The first month was the hardest. Here is a tip, if you can get away with NOT bringing the kids, leave them at home. It is hard enough to shop when you are not reading every label. You have to check EVERYTHING unless it is organic. You would NOT believe the things that have dye in them!!! WHITE ICING has red and blue dye!!!! WHY?!?! I spent an hour longer in the store on my first trip than I usually would. That is why as a time saver, I do recommend getting the Feingold program if you can spare the money. 

I know there are skeptics out there. I know that you may be one of them. All I can tell you is that since I put my own child on the diet 6 years ago, he has been a changed child. When he does eat something with dye or preservatives in them, HOLD ONTO YOUR HATS because he looses all control. After being on the diet about 2 months, I let him have a purple lollipop given to him by a sweet bank teller. He literally ran around in circles in the yard for hours talking 1000 WPM. The last time he had dye, he literally started running across the living room head first into the couch repeatedly. I thought he was going to break his neck. 

Skittles is not the only person on the diet. Although I do not deny my other children candy and food off the diet, our home is dye and preservative free. This is Skittles home and he should be able to eat anything in his own kitchen. Also if you have an older child who is missing out on the foods they grew up with and are now suddenly denied, it is not fair to keep them around or eat them in front of him. Honestly after being on this diet for just a few months, I can TASTE the difference in dyed foods. It is pretty gross. Lots of red dye tastes like metal. When they use juices and natural flavorings, food just tastes better. Trust me or if you don't want to take my word for it, try it out. It is worth it.  

  • Twizzler is still working on his copywork for language. Skittles had to write a narration about a painting.
  • Twizzler is still earning about using coins in math. Skittles started a lesson on money today also. Hershey sorted out little and big leaves. Then he watched a Leap Frog video about big, medium, and little. 
  • We read about Chinese family values and the boys drew descriptive pictures of what they read. 
  • Our science assignment was to look up the definition of the words undergrowth and crevice. It helped to look up pictures in Google images as examples. 

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