Snacks for kids; creating calm or chaos?

Do you ever struggle with temper tantrums from your kids? How about erratic mood swings from your teenager? Or better yet, moodiness and irritability within your self or your spouse? 

Did you know that this can be a result of the synthetic food dyes that are often hidden in our foods? Everyone is affected differently, so to become aware of the impact on you or your family, ask yourself the following:

  • Does my child’s behaviour ever change after consuming a candy bar, lollipop, or piece of gum?
  • How about after eating a bag of chips, in particular, the barbecue or bright red ketchup flavours?
  • How do I feel after consuming foods such as store bought jam, packaged sauces or salad dressings?So why do they use it?So what about special occasions…Like Halloween?The reality though, is that traditional Halloween treats contain large amounts of the common synthetic food dyes: Blue 1 & 2, Citrus Red 2, Green 3, Red 3 & 40, Yellow 5 & 6. The most widely used, Red 40 and Yellow 5 & 6, have been shown to contribute to core ADHD symptoms shortly after eating.  Including difficulty sitting still, excessive movement or “jitters” and interrupting conversations. These behaviours even reveal themselves in children who have not been diagnosed with ADHD. Check out this study on the affects of food dyes on behaviour.So how do we make good choices?
  • Today there are 15 million pounds of synthetic food dyes added to products annually, giving us very little choice in the grocery store.
  • In most households, Halloween is a fun and exciting time of year. The kids can’t wait to trick or treat, and are not happy with a small bag of treats- they dig out the pillow cases and work very hard to fill them to the brim! 
  • Synthetic colour is used to make food enticing to the eye, resulting in more attractive and fresh looking snacks or meals. According to industry experts, these added chemicals can cause changes in behaviour within an hour of consumption: including hyperactivity, irritability, aggressiveness, and learning impairment. Consuming these over a long period of time can increase  allergies and cause other health concerns.
  • We often think about how our stomachs feel, but rarely relate our moods and emotions to what we have just eaten. The reality is,  most foods we find on our grocery shelves today are loaded with added food dyes, even though it may not be apparent.
  • Firstly, we can incorporate whole foods into our lifestyles as much as possible, opting for nutritious, home made snacks free of chemicals and dyes.
  • Try swapping out the refined sugar with maple syrup, sucanat or palm (coconut) sugar.
  • Change white flour to whole grain options such as buckwheat, oat flour, or brown rice flour.
  • Look for awesome Halloween treat recipes for the kids such as Creepy Cupcakes (Coming Soon!)
  • There are always healthy alternatives and easy ways to avoid chemical additives, and as a result, avoid cranky, out of control kids during the Halloween week!


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