Thursday, February 4, 2016
Artificial Food Dyes Ugh!
The DH and I will admit we don't always eat as we should. However, we are voracious in our quest to feed our children healthy foods that will nourish their little bodies and minds.
After a few behavioral issues a year and a half ago the DH and I cut artificial food dyes from Stinky and Blinky's diet completely, and did our best to eliminate as many preservatives as we could. (Incredible where all preservatives end up, but I digress.) Naturally as we learned more about healthy eating and its positive impact on brain health, we made some other changes such as switching to whole grain breads and brown rice, and incorporating supplements such as Omega 3s and St. John's Wort, etc.Now, this did not solve all of the behavioral issues, but it did reduce the frequency and certainly helped the kids not to be so hyper.
Yesterday, Stinky's school had an ice cream party for its second grade honor roll students. I knew they were having the party and felt confident Stinky would stick with his plain vanilla ice cream. So I forgot to remind him to politely refuse all the "extras." Sure enough, Stinky gorged himself on sprinkles, M&Ms and "red juice." (Blinky's honor roll ice cream party was Monday. She had sprinkles but is not quite as affected by dyes as her big brother.)
All evening, Stinky was quite literally climbing the walls. And doing cartwheels. And jumping in, on and around the sofa. Several times he would hold his head and say, "I just don't know what to do with myself!" Twice, he giggled at nothing in particular so hard that it lead to intense crying. I was livid! Not with Stinky, well partially with Stinky because his excuse for not sticking with plain vanilla ice cream was that he would have missed out on his reward for making the honor roll, but with the school in general. Why are they feeding our kids this crap! Especially when at the start of the school year I wrote a nice note to Stinky's teacher letting her know that he is not allowed to eat dyes. In an ideal world Stinky would have stuck with his guns, appreciating that Mom and Dad would have rewarded him at home, but he's seven.
Well, increased grocery bill be damned, I am convinced that artificial dyes in children do negatively affect their behavior. We've had episodes before but nothing like last night. If I wasn't so scared, I would have thought to videotape the disaster. Thankfully it ended well. I made Stinky drink his body weight in water and do Cosmic Kids Yoga for about 40 minutes before bedtime. He seemed to have slept well although he woke up incredibly tired. Nothing a little more yoga didn't fix.
We've heard it before that "you are what you eat." Perhaps its time we gave this serious consideration. Especially for the sake of our children.