Today is Halloween. I would ask that you watch your child’s behavior and complaints over the next 3-4 days. If you observe something, don’t just blame it on “sugar.” What is sugar often accompanied by? Red food dye. Blue food dye. Yellow food dye. Dairy. Wheat. Nuts. High fructose corn syrup. Preservatives. Artificial flavors like vanillin.
In our family I expect to see some of the following in my children, and I know what to expect from each child for the next several days:
- Over-excitability and fidgeting (temporary ADHD-like symptoms)
- Most out of the ordinary anger outbursts
- Stuffy nose
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Stomach aches
So if I know it’s coming why do I allow it? I don’t know. They like to eat the candy?
And if I know the red food dye or artificial flavoring does that, does the child get a free ticket for anger and meanness? No.
Do I understand all of this food stuff? No, but I’m now convinced that it makes a huge difference.
I am glad for all the food diaries we kept, the food exclusion/food inclusion/food exclusion/food inclusion/food exclusion/food inclusion we persevered in, and all the information becoming available which allowed us to pinpoint so many things we took to be a part of our and our kids’ personalities and physicalities–which were related to food. Today, many of these symptoms are a choice in our family. Why we’d still choose to inflict them on ourselves with food on special occasions where we want to feel tip-top is beyond me. So as a mom, as a former working doctor who saw all this stuff and prescribed Zyrtec and Allegra and Flonase and Singulaire and Miralax and lactulose and Tylenol and Ritalin and Adderall and Concerta and Zoloft and Paxil and Prozac and more–perhaps for constant food exposure rather than an intrinsic problem–I ask you to consider food. Be diligent. To truly test the theory will require a bulldog nature because labels are so confusing and food is everywhere.
Happy Halloween. Go eat your candy–with awareness.
(My party is over. Back to resistant starch, fiber, short chain fatty acids, butyrate, and improper physiology.)