May 22, 2013
Today I stumbled across Adrienne Dechie’s tweet where she provided a link to an article called “Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD“. This article provides interesting comparisons between the North American and French ways of rearing children. I won’t get into this debate, but what stuck with me is the mention that a child’s diet affects behaviour. Specifically the consumption of food dye.
I raised a child who was extremely sensitive to food colouring, and whenever he ate food containing food colouring his behaviour drastically changed. He was:
- Extremely hyper-active
- rough when he played and often broke his favourite toys
- unable to sleep or very restless sleep
- an inability to focus
- short attention span
The difficult part of removing food colouring from a diet is that it is in almost every food. When Mark ingested food colouring it took 5 days to work it out of his system. On one occasion Mark was given three goldfish crackers at school. His behaviour changed so much that a family friend, who had never seen Mark’s behaviour on food colouring, commented that if he hadn’t known Mark before, he would think Mark needed to be on Ritalin.
I dreaded Halloween and allowed him this day to eat all the food he could, because that would be it! And we would bunker down for a really difficult week and wait for the numerous phone calls that would come from the school.
I really believe that what a child eats impacts behaviour and learning. We know that a healthy diet is important, but maybe we should examine the food a little more carefully. If it took a week to work through Mark’s system, imagine what his behaviour would have been like if I gave him one piece of candy every day (even a slice of cheddar cheese!) I too would consider drugs.
ABC news reported on the correlation between food colouring and ADHD in February 2013. I would like to see more research between food additives and behaviour in children, because I experienced it and I know in my heart that there is more to this topic then we realize.
Check out the Feingold Diet and see for yourself.
Food dye is actually a petroleum product containing lead, mercury, and arsenic!