We started with my daughter on our typical American diet when the time was right. Meat, starches and a veggie in the mix, often the combo would be a processed-box-can-frozen-mix-mash of some kind to speed up the dinner making process with some meat and veggies, rice or pasta combined for fast serving.
Every once in a while a more extravagant meal would appear.
If we were really pressed for time or energy, it was fast and made somewhere else…
This had worked pre-child, but post-child, it really was obvious how poor our diet was.
Now you might think that my ensuing search for food knowledge over the course of the year that followed would have led me to say that sugar or HFCS or GMO’s or processed food is the elusive factor I am referring to?
No, it’s food dyes. The former are important, but dyes are one that parents generally disregard and they immediately affect our child’s behavior. Parents of children with behavioral disorders eventually come to find out about this in their process of treatment, but the parent who does not have this situation might not be paying attention to the subtle effects this elusive food ingredient has on any child’s behavior.
It is as prominent in our body products as it is in our food.
In other countries, like the UK, many dyes are banned and the ones that are not require labeling. If you buy a product with Yellow #5 or #6, the package says “May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children”.
I armed myself with a list of the food dyes to watch out for and found that much of what I was buying has one or more of these ingredients, both food and body care.
So the food I was feeding my daughter was assaulting her body with chemicals that affect her behavior all day, every day. I wondered for a moment how my behavior was being affected…
Here I am with a 2 year old and food dyes. What would she act like, if I removed the dyes?
As her diet changed so did her behavior.
I had a normal 2 year old with normal 2 year old tantrums like freaking out because mommy won’t let her play in the oven or running and screaming and throwing her body across the bed, normal. All the behavior thus far seemed normal.
Then the dyes went away.
It wasn’t that I suddenly did not have a 2 year old who didn’t want to climb in the oven. But I had a 2 year old who looked at me when I explained why she couldn’t get in the oven. I had a 2 year old who hung on my leg explaining to me calmly how “getting in the oven is really a great idea really”, instead of a 2 year old screaming, falling to the ground in tears, ignoring me.
All the sudden we could see a new normal.
As her body became less exposed, her behavioral changes were much easier to see when she did have food dyes (you can’t control the world).
It is night and day.
I am no doctor, or scientist, just a mom. If you want to tame the toddler, arm yourself with real food and ditch the colored-crap-fest that we call kids food in America, your sanity might just depend on it.
Here are the dyes to watch out for:
By Tricia Davis-Payne I love life and am changing everyday to improve my health and habits. Through my experience, learn with me and let’s grow together. I am a daughter, wife, mother, student, dancer, dreamer, thinker.
Disclaimer: The techniques, strategies, and suggestions expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The author, Drew Canole, and the associated www.fitlife.tv are not rendering medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, condition, illness, or injury.
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