Food allergies are not what they used to be. Today, their severity ranges from deadly to behavior issues. Food allergies in visiting grandkids can turn a fun day with grandma into screaming, crying mess. And I know you don’t want to yell at your grandkids.
Because food plays an important part in creating a comfortable environment for our grandkids, we need to know what’s safe.
In our family, we discovered one of our grandsons’ is allergic to red dye 40 and yellow 5. He’s not alone. Which is why there are so many behavioral issues today.
Consider this: reports say that Americans are eating as much as five times as much red dye than we did in 1955. Red dye 40 is in almost everything–it’s directly linked to ADD and ADHD. Europe banned it years ago. Unfortunately, it’s happening at a much slower pace here in the U.S.
Last Christmas I spent at least 30 minutes in the jello aisle trying to find one box without Red Dye 40. Even chocolate pudding had it. I finally had to settle on clear jello. It really pays to read labels.
Who knew you had to have red food dye to make chocolate pudding?
Here are some of the worst offenders you will want out of your cabinets.
- Cereal All those brightly colored little “O”s could become the source of a tantrum an hour after eating them. Processed cereal is riddled with dye. Not to mention sugar.
- Fruit Snacks I know, they lied. They aren’t really fruit rolled out like pie dough. They are, in fact, colored globs of corn syrup with just enough fruit to add it on the label.
- Sweetened Drinks You might be thinking that you are being health conscious with your grandchildren by not giving them soda pop. Sadly, the drinks marketed for kids are just as bad if not worse than any carbonated soda on the market.
One thing to remember is that there really isn’t any such thing as “kid’s food.” There is only kid’s packaging and kid’s marketing.
The good news is that there has been a concerted effort among many manufacturers to voluntarily switch out dangerous dyes in favor of more healthy options.
However, it’s a major marketing business to design and package food to entice children to beg for it. As grandparents, it’s so easy to fall into that trap. We want nothing more than to put a smile on their chubby little faces.
When it comes to the area of food, we really can’t be too careful with our grandchildren. Maybe it’s time we brought back the time-tested, old-fashioned cookie baking. That’s never been my thing, but it’s definitely in my future.
Maybe that’s the only way we can be sure there’s no dyes and no allergens just powdered with good old fashioned grandma love.