Do you ever struggle with temper tantrums from your kids? How about erratic mood swings from your teenager? Or better yet, moodiness and irritability within your self or your spouse?
Did you know that this can be a result of the synthetic food dyes that are often hidden in our foods? Everyone is affected differently, so to become aware of the impact on you or your family, ask yourself the following:
- Does my child’s behaviour ever change after consuming a candy bar, lollipop, or piece of gum?
- How about after eating a bag of chips, in particular, the barbecue or bright red ketchup flavours?
- How do I feel after consuming foods such as store bought jam, packaged sauces or salad dressings?
We often think about how our stomachs feel, but rarely relate our moods and emotions to what we have just eaten. The reality is, most foods we find on our grocery shelves today are loaded with added food dyes, even though it may not be apparent.
So why do they use it?
Synthetic colour is used to make food enticing to the eye, resulting in more attractive and fresh looking snacks or meals. According to industry experts, these added chemicals can cause changes in behaviour within an hour of consumption: including hyperactivity, irritability, aggressiveness, and learning impairment. Consuming these over a long period of time can increase allergies and cause other health concerns.
So what about special occasions…Like birthday parties, school events and holidays?
In most households, parties and special events are fun and exciting times. The kids can’t wait to eat treats, and are not happy with just a bit, they want to eat as much as they can, often skipping over the healthy options laid out and eating far more treats than us parents realize!
The reality though, is that many traditional treats contain large amounts of the common synthetic food dyes: Blue 1 & 2, Citrus Red 2, Green 3, Red 3 & 40, Yellow 5 & 6. The most widely used, Red 40 and Yellow 5 & 6, have been shown to contribute to core ADHD symptoms shortly after eating. Including difficulty sitting still, excessive movement or “jitters” and interrupting conversations. These behaviours even reveal themselves in children who have not been diagnosed with ADHD. Check out this study on the affects of food dyes on behaviour.
Today there are 15 million pounds of synthetic food dyes added to products annually, giving us very little choice in the grocery store.
So how do we make good choices?
- Firstly, we can incorporate whole foods into our lifestyles as much as possible, opting for nutritious, home made snacks free of chemicals and dyes.
- Try swapping out the refined sugar with pure maple syrup, whole cane sugar, coconut sugar, honey or stevia.
- Change white flour to whole grain options such as buckwheat, oat flour, or brown rice flour.
- Look for awesome whole food based treat recipes for the kids, there are so many creative options available now!
There are always healthy alternatives and easy ways to avoid chemical additives, and as a result, avoid cranky, out of control kids during the those ever increasing special parties and events!
E-mail us anytime for amazing recipes to complete your birthday parties and special events!