Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and emerged relatively unscathed! We had a close encounter with a pumpkin pie that was purchased from Walmart that had dyes in it, but other than that, we had a great holiday!
I had so many people reach out to me privately 🙁 to my last real life dye free story. I wish you guys would share with others, it’s SO helpful to hear everyone’s stories!
This dye free story comes from Kelly in Wisconsin, she’s a mom of 2 and they’ve been dye free for about 4 years.
1. How many kids do you have that are dye free? One right now- my son is just 5 months.
2. How long have you been dye free? Almost 4 years now.
3. Have you or your child ever been diagnosed with a food allergy? No
4. Where do you live? Southern Wisconsin
5. How do you shop? Specialty stores? Online? Everyday grocery stores? What’s your favorite place to find dye free items? We as a family generally are a fruit, vegetable, lean protein/grain family therefore just a general grocery store. However, for snacks/treats I will order from Amazon or go to Whole Foods. Within the past year Targets in our area are starting to carry more options (such as Annie’s).
6. How do you handle special events like Halloween or birthdays? My daughter has been at in home daycare her whole life until this year when she started part time 4k. This was extremely stressful as my in home care provider would always let me know ahead of time and I would send a different treat for my daughter, Autymn. I involve Autymn in making/picking out her special treat so that she feels like she has a decision/help with the feeling of not getting what the others are. School has been easier than I thought. We send in Autymn’s food and have a doctor’s note that states she is not to eat any food that isn’t brought from home or pre approved by me. We have been dye free since she was a little over 1 therefore to her it is normal. She never has a problem not having what the other kids have. She now at almost 5 has started educating her friends and their parents about the dangers of food dye.
7. Do you find friends and family members supportive? Some yes. Some think that we are overboard or exaggerating her symptoms.
8. If your kids are school age, how do you handle school parties,etc? School has been easier than I thought. We send in Autymn’s food and have a doctor’s note that states she is not to eat any food that isn’t brought from home or pre approved by me. We have been dye free since she was a little over 1 therefore to her it is normal. She never has a problem not having what the other kids have. She now at almost 5 has started educating her friends and their parents about the dangers of food dye.
9. What health/behavior issues were your children experiencing? Inability to control emotions, extreme headache, complete loss of focus
10. Have these issues gone away? As long as we do not have any slip ups, completely.
11. What’s the one thing you wish people knew about taking the plunge and going dye free? It really isn’t that hard and the benefits outweigh any of the extra effort.
12. Her story:
Autymn was always an easy going well behaved infant/toddler. When Autymn- (now almost 5) was a little over a year a friend brought down a Popsicle for her to have at a cook out. This was the first time she had ever had anything with food dye in it. That night maybe 30 minutes to an hour later she had a complete melt down. Kicking and screaming on the ground, slapping at her head, etc. We are a pretty healthy eating/crunch/organic family and thought maybe the sugar from the Popsicle or maybe just a 1.5 year old having a temper tantrum. Well a few weeks passed and the same thing happened after having strawberry ice cream (literally one bite off of a spoon). My husband and I both immediately started researching the effects of food dye.
We were astonished that the United States government allows something so harmful to be added to our food and medications. We decided to go dye free. We have since made a few slip ups and it has been completely evident each time. Once she was given a smoothie from a restaurant and of course I didn’t think of it and she had the worst meltdown and headache. We called the company that made it and it indeed it had food dye. She can now tell us I am pretty sure I had something with food dye in it and then within minutes she is crying and begging us to make it stop. It is horrible to watch because nothing will help it. She doesn’t want us to hold her, she can’t rationalize so she will go in her room and kick and scream on her mattress until the feeling starts to go away. She then will call me in to lay with her and hold her tightly until she is recovered. This process can take up to a few hours.
Like I said before we really eat mostly organic and from scratch or fresh produce so it really isn’t that big of an issue on a daily basis at home. However, it takes a lot of planning on my part as I send her with meals and snacks wherever she is. So many people don’t realize the amount of items that contain food dye such as pickles, bagels, etc. and I can not risk her getting something. We spend a lot of time educating friends, families, teachers on the effects of artificial dyes and have had some luck in families changing their own diet.
Thank you Heather for allowing me to share our story with you. I also am glad you posted so I can now follow your blog. From one dye free mom to another I truly appreciate you sharing your experiences.
Thank you SO much Kelly for opening up and sharing your story! If more people were vocal and brave like you, our dye free journey would be a lot easier!
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