A Warning to Moms!

United States
August 26, 2008 1:38pm CST
I'm not sure if this topic has been posted on Mylot yet but I thought I would share it with all the moms out there, particularly those with children that have hyperactivity issues and/or ADHD. I have 2 children, ages 7 and 3. My son and daughter seem to be in constant motion which can be typical of kids their ages. The thing is, it almost seems to be too much. Neither child has been diagnosed by a Physician as being hyper but I really feel they are. My daughter who is 7 has trouble focusing and keeping thoughts at times and this really concerns me because I don't want her to suffer in school since last year she did so well. I don't feed my kids a ton of sugar or let them have Coke of course. I always try to pick out what I feel are healthy snacks and keeping them exercising but nothing seems to curb this constant motion, even a little bit. My kids also never seem to get tired, they could probably stay up all night if someone let them. I was recently talking to a relative who was having the same problems with her 5 year old. She did some research online and through her doctor and she came up with some interesting findings. There is some debate but the American Academy of Pediatrics has recognized that food colorings in American products have a tendancy to cause hyperactivity and focus problems in children. It also has been shown to make symptoms of ADHD worse in children. So this relative decided to pull all the colored foods and juices out of her daughters diet and Voila, she was like a new kid. She still had the spunk and energy of a beautiful 5 year old but she was much more mellow. She even told her mom that her brain can slow down now. In my opinion, that's a very powerful statement for a 5 year old to make. So I thought about doing the same for my children. All you have to do is eliminate artificial food colorings which was an easy at home remedy for me. In the grocery store, I would just check labels on everything and was shocked at how many products have artificial colorings. Of course, it's just about everything a kid would eat. But I managed and so did my kids and they are better now and have slowed down a bit without any medical intervention. I was thinking for sure that my daughter would be diagnosed with ADHD at her next appointment but she wasn't. Her focus is much better and so is the hyperactivity. So here is what to watch for: Sodium Benzoate which is a perservative Red #40 Blue #2 Yellow #5- (Tartrazine)- They say this one is the worst. Yellow #6- Sunset Yellow These colors are in everything from cereal to Mac and Cheese, toothpaste and just about anything with color, even cake mixes. (The cake mixes killed me!!!) So here is what I did about my kids favorites that were loaded with color: Popsicles, I switched to fruit bars. I always use 100% juice Cheerios, Raisin Bran, and Kix are good cereal options. For Mac and Cheese, I use Annie's white cheddar Mac and Cheese. I use Organic Vitamins and toothpaste. Any medicine, such as Tylenol or Motion, I just use the dye free options. You don't have to go to an Organic store, though it is easier to get these products there. There are plenty of options at your regular grocery store. This has worked for my kids and those close to me but as with anything it may not work for everyone. It can't hurt to try especially if your kid has ADHD or has been diagnosed with hyperactivity. As a mom, we know when our kids aren't right and I think that if we can use this instead of powerful medications, our kids will be happier and healthier in the long run. As a sidenote, the UK has been working on banning these artificial colors for a long time. I think maybe the US should consider as well. There is much more research to be done with this but it can hurt to try it. Sorry this was so longwinded but I just wanted to get the information out there. But I'm curious to ask: Has anyone else tried this "diet" and have seen a difference??? Would you consider putting your child on this diet if they have hyperactivity or focus problems? Thanks for stopping by and reading. Please pass this infomation on to other moms out there especially ones dealing with kids such as mine.
3 people like this
11 responses
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
26 Aug 08
I say this carefully and not to detere anyone from helping their child but I do actually SEE mothers using ADHD as their "reason" for unruly kids. I have seen them use it as the "reason" to not have patience and just be a lazy mom. The kids are totally fine, it is just that the mom is lazy and just not wanting to give up part of her life to be the mother her children need. Children are active. THey dont have stress and burdens to hold them down or wear them out. They don't have the stresses of life to make them crazy and deligate their attentions to. THey only have themselves to be concernec about instead of many others, and the list goes on. I think that is forgotten many times as just the reason the kids are so active is cause the mom is so stressed out or over extended and things like that. THE MOM can't keep up with the kids, simply cause of LIFE!! Kids little brains are empty and like sponges. They absorb constantly and when not absorbing, they are looking for something to do. Ergo, lots of activity and movement. They have all this brain power to put toward one thing - we use all our brain power to put towards many many things. Let them spend an hour at the playground and then go home, you'll (not you inparticular, just anyone) see them more calm once you go home. THey have energy, boundless energy cause that is all they have! I have a 2 year old grand daughter - she keeps me running and when she leaves I am exhausted! We do crafts, playground, games, she helps me clean house - always going, but she walks out bright eyed and bushy tailed, and I am dropping onto the couch for a nap! Reason? Mainly my age over hers. I was a fulltime working mom of 2 - both in different schools and day care -( took me an hour to get to work and work was only 15 minutes away, but I had to ge thte kids to school) came home and without microwave or frozen food help, made meals from scratch, did al the house work, helped the kids with homework and special projects, library, grocery shopping and all the other Mom/Wife things and still did my crafts at least every other day - and went to bed completely calm and not exhausted. But now, one little girl wears me out - is she hyper? No, I'm just alot older than she is! I see my daughter get on her daugher 8 yo, cause her attention span isn't what mom thinks is should be but that kid can take a roll or tape, a pencil, paper and her imageniation and build a mall in the jungle! Her imagenation is fantastic and I let her use it! She stays focused on this for the longest time - dont see any attention deficit here! Off my soap box. Just miss taking care of the kids!
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
27 Aug 08
That's great. You have to keep them busy or they get bored and don't need a nap! I keep telling my son - he can't get his 2 yo to take a nap but when I have her it is like clock work - noon-3 - for 2 hours in there, she sleeps. THing is, he doesn't keep her busy enough for her to get tired and want to take a nap! I keep telling him to let her "help" with everything he does (to a point of course) and she'll get tired, but he doesn't get it. I told him to go wash his truck and let her wipe the tires - when I do this, she says she is doing my cars "nails" and just loves it and if I go to even touch the tires, she pushes me away and says "I do it, not you!". If I start to dust the house, she beggs to do it and she does a great job! And that Swifer Sweeper thing - she takes that from me and does it herself! Keep them busy and they won't get bored, they will take naps and help you get lots of work done!
• United States
3 Sep 08
I absolutely agree with both of you. But my kids weren't stopping even with keeping them constantly busy. They couldn't even unwind enough to go to bed. There was a problem with my kids. I needed to nip it before it affected my daughters school work. Kids are perpetual motion but there also comes a point where they need to be able to stop and relax. As a mother, I knew and felt something was wrong. The doctor agreed with me as to a plan and it has helped my kids. But I do agree many out there may not do as much with their children and claim hyperactivity.
@aseretdd (13712)
• Philippines
28 Aug 08
It is a good thing i keep my baby away from food that has tartrazine... more and more snack manufacturers are omitting this artificial coloring from the food they produce... and that is a good thing... i just hope a lot will just use the natural stuff... I just do not understand why some countries are not yet banning these artificial food coloring... research has already proven that they are not good for the health... they still make it the option of the manufacturers... which i think is not enough...
• United States
3 Sep 08
Nope it isn't enough but I have seen that more and more foods don't have stuff like this in them. Thanks for the response.
@mtdewgurl74 (18122)
• United States
28 Aug 08
Hey thanks I knew we were told to stay away from the red dyes but I had no clue about the others. Thanks for this information It will help alot of my family. My little sister is hyper,4 nephews,6 nieces. So this will totally come on handy and maybe get these kids off medication that they are on. Well, my little sister isn't on it yet but my mom was concidering it so I will print this info off and give it to them..better doing it the right way them medicating the kids and the side effects of some of that medication they take is worse for their body and liver then it helps..half helps one thing but destroys another is what I am trying ot say.
• United States
3 Sep 08
Studies have shown the yellows are the worst for hyperactivity. Thanks for stopping by and I hope I have helped.
• United States
27 Aug 08
I think the U.S. is considering it or already has. Lots of foods are now starting to use more natural things to dye their food. So might start to notice a change in how you kids snacks are starting to look.
• United States
3 Sep 08
I have heard the same thing and I hope it does happen. Thanks for the response.
@seabeauty (1481)
• United States
26 Aug 08
Thanks for the info skinny. None of my kids are hyper but it doesn't hurt to keep them away from these dyes. Where do you purchase the Annies Mac and Cheese at the health food store?
• United States
26 Aug 08
You can get it at Trader Joes or Whole Foods. My regular grocery store sells it too. That Michelina's brand in the frozen section of the grocery store doesn't have it either and that is the cheapest option. And your right, it doesn't hurt to keep kids away from it. :) Thanks for stopping by!
@shelley2 (55)
• Germany
26 Aug 08
This is wonderful information and I appreciate all the effort you put into writting this article. I wanted to ask does this work for children who dont have the hyperactivity just the attention part of it as my daughter does. We have struggled alot with this. Thanks again.
• United States
26 Aug 08
My daughter is mostly having the focus issues too. It has been working for her on that note. Give it a shot, it can't hurt but I bet you may be surprised and what happens.
@ellie333 (21029)
26 Aug 08
Hi Skinnychick, This information is very informaive and I am sure would really help many mums. My friend has a child with ADHD and she did in fact find that by changing his diet did in fact help, there are so many things hat can be helped by good nutrition and avoiding certain products I agree. Thank you for posting this to make others aware. Ellie :D
• United States
26 Aug 08
Thanks Ellie! Your part of the world is trying to ban these colorings but I haven't heard if it has happened or not! :)
@Rosekitty (19500)
• San Marcos, Texas
26 Aug 08
Alot of great info..ms chick..and even though i knew food colorings are bad for anyone, its always good to remind the new moms with their children..love how you told what to look out for and what you use instead...you are a very helpful Mama today for all Mama's!! you deserve a gold star
• United States
26 Aug 08
Awww thanks Kitty! :)
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
26 Aug 08
What great information! I wish I had had it 20 years ago when one of my daughters was struggling with ADHD and on medication for a while. I've read some articles in the past about food allergies and reactions to additives and artificial coloring. I'm going to save this post for future reference in case any of my grandkids show signs of possible ADD/ADHD.
• United States
26 Aug 08
Glad I could give you some information. Thanks for coming by my post! :)
@4my1nonly (352)
• Philippines
27 Aug 08
Thanks for the information, this is a big help for me as a new mom.
• United States
27 Aug 08
Most small children are full of energy and especially boys will be boucing off the walls sometimes. It's more then just being hyper. Usually the hyper active kids appear as the "bad kids" in class because they can't still to the point the teacher is getting on the non-stop. Her teachers will let you know if they think she has a problem b/c she will be disturbing the class alot.