I've recently started doing some research about dyes in foods and the way they affect children's behavior. Malayna has been having meltdowns at least three times a week lately, and though it could be her age (4 1/2), I suspect that's not the entire cause. Most of the food she eats has no dye in it, but I realized the other day that the toothpaste she uses does. We went to the market on Monday and I let her choose a new toothbrush to go along with the new toothpaste we'll all be using. I was an interesting trip - most of the toothpaste out there is colored or sparkly. Even the so-called "grown-up" stuff. I found a natural toothpaste that looked like it might work, until I realized that even the natural stuff isn't so natural! After checking the labels of at least 5 different packages, we got Colgate original. Why do toothpastes have to be colored? Was your toothpaste colored when you were a kid? Mine wasn't, and I still brushed my teeth!

She and I had a very brief talk the other day about food that is good for your body and food that is not so good {and sometimes makes your behavior not so good, too}. I've been wanting to change the way she eats for a while now, but this gives me the push I needed. Today is the third day without the dyed toothpaste and with me checking the ingredients of what she eats. I don't want to get crazy, but I do want to be aware of what's going into her body {and my own, too!}.

On the one hand, I think this kind of thing sounds a little wacky, but on the other hand, it makes perfect sense to me. One of the articles I read {that I can't find now} talked about how in the past, kid's school lunches contained things like homemade meatloaf, mashed potatoes and a made-from-scratch cupcake. If they wanted a drink, they'd have a little carton of milk or get a drink from the water fountain. Today, instead of homemade food, kids have Lunchables, a juice box and a packaged cookie. The article stated that this was one of the reasons we are seeing so many behavior problems, like ADD. Makes sense to me!

I'm getting a lot of information from this site, but, like I said, I'm not going crazy with it. I just want to be more aware of what we're eating and how it affects us.


daisy janie said...

Hope you find a way to indoctrinate these changes and the label-reading into your life. It is absolutely, positively the one thing as parents that you have to do. I believe in the "crap in, crap out" philosophy - there is a direct relationship btw the fuel we eat and what our behavior will be like (just as you suggested). We eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible - no processed stuff. I've read a lot about the FDA and the Big Biz lobbyists who have forced regulations through so that our food supply is not necessarily what we need, but what's best for their bottom line. It's no coincidence that high fructose corn syrup is so pervasive in our food, and that MSG has a hundred different nicknames so they can keep dropping it into everything. Good luck!!!!!!! I hope you start to see some positive changes for Malayna and you, too.

Jules said...

It is absolutely not whacky. My niece CAN NOT handle any color at all. If she does, she misbehaves, gets hyper, and then has a major melt down. And she is 8! She is the sweetest little girl in the world, but you put color in that child and it makes her physically ill--and ill-tempered to boot!

Thanks for the great link. I already know several people who I will forward it to. :)