Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guest Blogger: Tiffany on Red Food Dye

I (Allie) recently saw a video on food dyes that made me instantly think of a blog post a friend had written a few years back about her daughter! Here is the original post! Anytime someone mentions food dye I think back to this post.....

"I originally planned on writing this blog to discuss snack policies in school and then the more I thought about it, I decided it was my turn to write about my personal story with an allergy kid.  As tears start to well, I am ready to really tell the story...

Last summer was the summer from you know where! My three year old was a roller coaster mess filled with all sorts of emotions. She went from happy, happy and having the best day of her life or moment at least. To completely horrible and having the worst possible moment of her life.  This emotionally filled ride went on for months and months.  I was a complete mess myself because I could not figure out how to get her off the ride. 

Just to share a bit, when she was down, she was way down.  I called these moments when she saw only RED.  My little peanut would explode with anger and violence towards the ones she loved (mostly me and the dog). She hit, spit, kicked and screamed without any reprieve.  Quite often she was throwing herself onto the floor as well.  It was as if she couldn't stand her own skin.  I could see her tense and shake and almost convulse with anger.  There was nothing I could do. I could not talk to her, hold her, interact with her at all.  These types of episodes would go on for 10-20 minutes many times throughout the day. Each one ended with her flopping down and needing hugs, lots of hugs and completely exhausted. Most often she would crash and cuddle up in my lap for a awhile afterwards.  I knew when she sobbed and asked for a hug, it was over...for the time being. 

After I could not take it any longer and was racking my brain for all options of discipline, I started researching every possibility.  I started with ADHD and the research snowballed from there.  She is not by any means ADHD and it took about one article to figure that out.  However, during my reading of multiple websites and books, I came across diet as an option. I thought no way, I am very particular about what my children eat and she consumes pretty healthy food most of time.  I do also have to credit a friend who heard my many complaints and consoled me often during these RED moments. She advised me to look further into diet as well, which I admit changed my mind toward the subject.  Many thanks to her, she knows who she is. 

Ok, so diet?! I started to realize that artificial food coloring is toxic, at least to my three year old.  Literally dyes such as, red 40, yellow 5&6, blue 1 & 2, are in A LOT of our foods and can be very hard on our systems. So I gave the no artificial coloring a try. I eliminated it in all of her foods and got my husband on board to at least give it a try...we were not fully convinced but we were willing to try. 

WOW, wow, wow!!!!!! It wasn’t but 2-3 days without coloring and she was a whole new kid. We actually went 2-3 days without any explosions, now don’t get me wrong she was a toddler and had fits, but boy were those good fits. I could talk to her and calm her down in like a half a minute. child was saved and so was I. 

We are one year dye free to this exact day and life is great, most of the time. My now, four year old is very sensitive and an emotional kid, who experiences lots of peaks throughout the day, but we are working on teaching her that not everything is black and white, there is some grey, but her highs and low are nothing compared to last summer! Phew!!!!!

Just as a heads up artificial dyes are found in some breads, crackers, and lots of the snacks out there on the grocery store shelves. Of course dyes are in fruit snacks, candy, and lots of juices. However, did you know that artificial coloring is found in marshmallows? Pickels? Cool whip? Soft serve ice cream? And many cake mixes? Most likely a chocolate cake from the grocery store bakery has red in it to make it look even darker and richer in color. Even some red meats add extra red for that real juicy look.  Yum!!!!! Remember, not all of these things do, it depends on the brands and the stores.  There are truly good and tasty things out there without the dyes, it just takes a few moments to look for them.  If this is something you are thinking of doing, good luck on your search it is quiet a tasty one!

If you have any questions about food coloring allergies (intolerances actually) feel free to contact me at and also if there is anyone who would like to share a similar story, please do."

UPDATE FROM TIFFANY: Piper is now 6 and still dye free. Life is pretty good to say the least. She battles sensory issues which we are working out as well, but in general life is GOOD!!! She knows she is allergic and has learned to deal with it as any other allergy person would.  I am very strict and the school follows all dietary restrictions as well.  Thanks for thinking of me, that article was interesting. One day, I hope to see us all healthier and dye free!!!


Thank you Tiffany so very much. This is seriously one of those things that parents would never think would happen. I mean seriously food dyes are in so much in the United States, it could be effecting your kids negatively too! At least it's worth a shot to investigate! 


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