The Crew - Miss Fabulous, Lil Bro, Big Sis and Mr. Man

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Q and A time

Struggling To Stand and GB's Mom asked me a question the other day and I thought they were worth (the questions :-) answering/journaling about via the blog.

On food dyes - how did we figure out what bothered the kids?

Two Words, LIFE Cereal.  Food dye is NOT the be all end all problem for either of the two kids but it aggravates what they already have going on, badly.  Mr. loves LIFE cereal but I did not get it often for some reason.  Back a few years ago he was having a particularly good morning, so much so that we all kind of noticed it.  THEN he at a bowl of LIFE and wham-o with in 20 minutes he was hyper as all get out like someone had pushed the go button, can't hold still, can't stop touching everything, etc. and he became aggressive about any little thing that he did not particularly like.

As a baby he had been allergic to wheat and dairy, we knew because as soon as he ate those things the eczema on his cheeks turned bright red.  It was like a little STOP feeding me that sign.  But around age 2 he clearly started to out grow those allergies and we slowly introduced those things again.

Our first thought with the cereal was is it the wheat?  No because he was eating other things with wheat and not reacting.  I thought preservatives but didn't really know where to begin on that and then I saw yellow # 5 and #6.  What's that all about? 

And so the process of elimination began.  We cut out food with dye in it and his behavior improved and he did not have the dark circles popping up.  When we got sloppy and let something with dye in it slide we got those consistent reactions.

With Miss M we have determined that red dye #40 is a problem for her if consumed in a large amount.  Meaning sprinkles on a cookie is not going to set her off, but it will set off Mr.  However, drinking a cup of drink with red dye in it is going to cause her to be hyper and aggressive and likely go into a tantrum.

Avoiding food with dye is NOT easy, it's everywhere and in everything that kids gravitate toward.  But slowly progress is being made and more products are available with out dye.  We don't get the cute yogurt like Dora and what not we get the good stuff with no dye and we eat it in our little cups.  I sprinkle cinnamon or a few of the tiny chocolate chips on there because the real sprinkles have dye.  They have all become used to it and it's just our normal now.  At first they no likey not having sprinkles on the yogurt.

The question GB's Mom asked was if the other kids felt jealous because Miss M goes to camp and they don't? 

When Miss M is here she is an attention seeker.  She works hard to monopolize my attention because she does not want the other kids to have my attention.  It's a work in progress but it is what it is.  So the reality seems to be that 1. the kids have accepted that Miss M goes to camp.  We have explained the reasons why and they have come to accept it.  In the past Mr. has expressed a lot of 'it's not fair' regarding the matter but not so much lately.  2.  The other 3 kids are getting to go and do things just not at a camp.  We go to the library and to parks and they are still into the pool at this point.

Thanks for the questions!

So far today has been challenging regarding the attachment challenge.  Miss is out of sorts and has already had a big tantrum, no assaulting others however.


Tammy said...

Just wanted to tell you that the picture of your kids just make me smile :o)

Every time I come to your blog it brightens my day.

Diana said...

Hmmm....I'll have to look into food alergies with my youngest. I've known for a long time that candy, especially when it comes from unknown or unexpected sources (which is pretty much every store, doctor's office, bank, school, etc), it a trauma trigger. I'll have to see if I can narrow it down further.

GB's Mom said...

Thanks for the answer! I will have to check GB out. I know caffeine sets her off, but I haven't tracked dyes.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

I don't notice much change with Genea, but with Teena I can pretty much walk into the room and tell you what kind of cereal she had. I first started noticing it when she was less than a year old, and a friend pointed out the potential connection. Massive food dyes in some cereals. So now we just avoid it or keep it to a minimum.