Thursday, June 4, 2009

The evils of Red #40

I am speaking of the Red #40 food dye. The wonderful man made additive that is added to foods in order to make them look pretty and bright. Chris and I finally realized that is product causes negative side affects to our Bella.

I had phased it out the best I could about a year ago and she was doing much better with her concentration, attitude and behavior. I then purchased (because they were on sale and I had coupons) Go-gurt yogurt and Flintstones Gummie vitamins. Both of which contain Red #40. Other than what snacks she may have at school, those are the only two items I have for her (that I know of at the moment - need to do a kitchen inspection) that contain the dye. Being all money conscious, I got complacent to her needs. My bad.

Recently she's been having periods of rash behavior, being defiant and not listening, being very hyperactive and unable to focus or be still. I was thinking she was just needing some better disciplinary action or was going to great lengths for attention. Perhaps the later is still true. Last night however, Chris and I realized what the problem was right as we went to bed.

Yesterday Bella was her usual playful and pleasant self. Playing nice with her brother, watched a little TV and actually listened to us when we spoke. She then ate dinner, took her vitamins and had a bath. After her bath she emerged a COMPLETE MANIAC! Just thrashing about with her toy camera that happens to record her voice and replays it back - a feature she really likes. She was yelling, jumping off the walls, throwing things, being very loud and even after repeatedly being told to calm down...she just couldn't do it. She was actually a jittery-nervous-hyper mess!

After we finally got her down for bed and then after we went to bed. Chris asked, "Does that Gogurt strawberry yogurt have any red dye in it?" He got up out of bed and looked in the frig. "Yes it does and out it will go." He got back in bed. I then tell him that I didn't give her any yogurt with dinner so it can't be that. It gets quiet and then he says "I bet those vitamins do!" He got back up out of bed to go check the vitamins and tells me that they do have Red #40.

Here's an excerpt from just one medical and research article I have read regarding food dyes. Red #40 in particular:

"Children are most often the ones who have sensitivity to red 40, whether or not their parents have realized it or not. Reactions include temper tantrums, hyperactivity, aggressive behavior, uncontrollable crying and screaming, kicking, nervousness, dizziness, inability to concentrate and sit still among other findings. Physically you may get frequent headaches or migraines, upset stomach and feel ill after ingesting this additive. Often when red 40 is eliminated from the child's diet a remarkable change is noticed immediately."

I can control her diet at home, but school always gives snacks. I need to teach her what to look for and inform her school and daycare that she is to not eat anything with red #40. I'll supply snacks myself for her if it's an issue.

Note to self: Items to add to my grocery list for this week are dye free vitamins and vanilla yogurt.

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