Bright pinks, neon greens, bold blues! That's what my eyes see when we walk into a gas station looking for a drink to quench our thirst, or when we walk through the bakery at the grocery store. The colors aren't just limited to the drinks and bakery, though. I see yellow-oranges that are brighter than the sun by the macaroni, purples in the cereal aisle, even items that you wouldn't think about often times have artificial dye. Thirsty? How about some lemonade? That ought to be safe, right? It's a dull yellow similar to what you make at home- from scratch. Nope! It has DYE in it! I learned that the hard way after telling the kids nothing with dyes, but then allowing my son to have some lemonade.
Country Time Lemonade contains "artificial colors" and "yellow lake 5". Why? I don't really know. I prefer lemonade made from scratch. Lemon juice, water, and your choice of sweetener. Mine taste better and doesn't have anything "artificial".
So what's the big deal?
Personally speaking, artificial colors alter behavior. Sure, there are a slew of other problems that they cause, but I speak from experience here. My brother grew up not being able to have anything artificial because when he did it took him from "rough and rowdy boy" to "uncontrollable mess". This was 20+ years ago! Now as a mother, I can see differences in my children when they've been allowed to have red kool-aid compared to eating a healthier, whole food diet! Their attitudes shift, they go from being happy children to fighting, arguing, bickering, and often times, more uncontrollable. There is a big difference between having an active child and one that you constantly have to fight just so they'll listen to you! Do you have a child who has been labeled ADD or ADHD? Have you done a food elimination diet with them or did you go straight for the medicine? Food alters behavior in many different ways, but from what I've seen, artificial colors alter the behavior, making it difficult for a child to sit and to concentrate. Please don't just jump to a medicine approach without exploring all options!
It isn't any wonder that some countries have banned food dyes! Why aren't we stepping up and taking more of a stand for our children's health? We are sitting back and letting portion sizes grow, exercise dwindle, and artificial junk be added to our foods! Stand up for what is right! Be the bad guy, save your children's health!
I'm not perfect, I've already admitted to that before. It's all about a journey though. Set guidelines and follow them. We will be traveling soon and I guarantee you I won't make all the right decisions, but it's my goal to stay away from as much of the food dye while traveling as possible. Every little bit will count and all the small changes will soon add up.
For more reading:
FDA Probes Link Between Food Dyes, Kids' Behavior
Artificial Food Coloring: Good or Bad?
Die, Food Dye!
I've linked up with:
Women Living Well Wednesdays
Wise Woman Linkup