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Where to start - additives, colouring, food intolerances?

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  • Where to start - additives, colouring, food intolerances?

    I need some advice on where is the best place to begin if I want to cut food additives and the like out of our diets in particular that of my daughter?

    She is 22 months old and since she was born we have had a few little issues - reflux and colic as a new bub, eczema for a while and now behaviour issues. I have often said to people that we started the terrible 2's at about 10 months old and it hasn't stopped since. We do have good days, but on the bad days it can be crazy - major tantrums and I really mean meltdowns, no attention span at all, no impulse control, etc etc. Now I know a lot of this is normal for this age but a lot of it seems above and beyond.

    Anyway I was talking about it individually with 2 friends who suggested food intolerances could be an issue, my CHN then suggested the same thing and I have a parent helper come to give me some help and the first thing she said was I should look into food intolerances or even consider ADHD! As she is still very young I've been doing a bit of research into the diet aspect of it all and read the book Fed Up as well as doing a bit of googling and it is certainly very interesting reading.

    Anyway what I am wanting to know is - is it best to start cutting out these things under the guidance of a dietician or paediatrician/GP or is it much a muchness doing it myself? Is it best to do the whole elimination diet from the word go? Or just start cutting the baddies out? Anything else I should know before beginning?

  • #2
    google sue dengate and failsafe diet

    great website, can get cook books etc.

    we followed it for years. My advice, commit to following the diet for 3 weeks. If you don't notice a huge change, then go seek medical advice. If the change is huge (as it was for us)...then you'll know it is right for you.

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    • #3
      Also buy the book Additive Alert by Julie Eady , it will tell you which products you can use!
      Honestly I would cut them all out cold turkey, we ate quite healthily and when I found out I was pregnant I read that book and literally went through my pantry/fridge and threw out anything with colours/preservatives in it
      The only packet food I have is organic or additive free ( rice cakes/pasta/flours/tomato paste/coconut palm sugar /bread /rice etc)
      Our naturopath was very happy! She believes a huge percentage of people's health problems stems from food and she deals with a lot of kids and finds almost immediately their behavior/health problems disappear when they totally eliminate all the nasties from the food they eat
      Yes when we entertain or for birthdays etc I do buy snacks/cheeses/drinks etc but as long as our diets are 80% healthy you will be fine!

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      • #4
        Thanks Smileygirl! Well I've just finished her book already and have been having a good surf around the website. Think I will go and buy the cookbook this week. When you say commit to following the diet - is that the entire elimination diet - as in cutting it all out? And then adding back in depending on what the effects are?

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        • #5
          Thanks for the reply Elijah's Mum - I'll have a look for that book too

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          • #6
            Hi, i dont eat any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. i could go on about it forever and is something i am super passionate about. Search for Cyndi O'meara from changing habits, she is exactly what you are looking for.

            I saw cyndi at a confernce 1 1/2 years ago and she changed my life. At first it seemed hard to avoid "bad" food and drinks but now its just second nature for me. I dont even need to read labels any more. I can usually tell just by looking at a product. Im sure you will have success if you follow her teachings.

            Cyndi has a 21 day plan which is useful to get you started or just go straight for her book. I have both and use both on a regular basis. My DP and i followed the 21 day plan at first then i read the book and we basically went cold turkey. It has been a huge improvement for me - my migraines stopped (i was on daily mind altering meds), my health improved, my life improved, my weight stabalised, i got pregnant easily etc etc.
            Last edited by Taiyed; 09-04-2012, 22:19.

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            • #7
              im iust starting down this road too. we were fairly healthy but am trying even more so now. I have some questions... what do you do when out? The thought of never eating out again at a cafe, or taking the kids to mcd once every 3 months or so really saddens me. Also, since meat is full of this stuff too, where to buy the meat? the cost is high isn't it? I have the failsafe cookbook hear and plan to use it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pianolady View Post
                im iust starting down this road too. we were fairly healthy but am trying even more so now. I have some questions... what do you do when out? The thought of never eating out again at a cafe, or taking the kids to mcd once every 3 months or so really saddens me. Also, since meat is full of this stuff too, where to buy the meat? the cost is high isn't it? I have the failsafe cookbook hear and plan to use it.
                The rule we try and stick too is 80/20 , 80% of the time ( which is at home) we eat additive free mainly organic

                we go out for lunch maybe 2-3 times a week and dinner at least once a week, for DS I still don't buy any fried food or anything with processed meat, I never buy kids meals at restaurants ( usually always nuggets/snitzel and chips!) he just eats what we do or we get him
                Entree size and we eat at cafes all the time!

                Worst case scenario most cafes always have wholemeal bread so I would get him a tuna and avocado toasted sandwich no butter

                We don't do fast food or McDonald's , mainly because we hate it and in my opinion there is better tasting food elsewhere! DS loves Thai, Italian , Japanese etc and there are always healthier options

                Organic meat is a bit more expensive , or at least try and get certified free range if you can ( my organic butcher today had organic beef mince at $9 a kilo and lamb cutlets were $2.50 each which is pretty good )

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                • #9
                  Well thought I would post back and say we are into the third week of cutting out the additives and we are 1 week into some absolutely awesome behaviour from my daughter. This last week has been the best behaviour week by far - I think I had 2 tantrums this whole week compared to she was having 6+ per day, she sat through a dawn service on Anzac Day with about 4 hours of the march and the memorial with only a little whinge (last year's was a huge struggle and she was only 10 months old) and for the first time ever cleared away all her toys when I asked instead of tantrumming, ignoring me or getting distracted. Coincidence on the timing with removing food additives or related? I'm not sure - intending on keeping it up though.

                  I ended up buying the Additive Alert book, the Failsafe cookbook and another recipe book related and signed up to a few additive free cooking blogs. Have decided not to go the whole Failsafe route at this point in time but are trying to get rid of all the preservatives and colours etc from our diets.

                  So far we have changed our bread to preservative free, changed our sandwich spreads, I'm making all our sauces etc completely from scratch, took the ham and polony out of our sandwiches (which to be honest I always thought was fine - I grew up on the stuff!) stopped buying what I thought were reasonably healthy kids snacks like rice wheels or the fruit bars and am making my own, and started buying organic veges and organic or preservative free meats. In terms of cost I have found the food is more expensive but I am also saving money on making stuff from scratch rather than buying some of the stuff I was buying. I think my shopping has gone up about $50 for the fortnight, but for $25 a week and a child who is calmer I can live with that!!!

                  And I think with the going out aspect of it I think we will still do that, just start being creative with how often we do it or what we order. Eg. my daughter's second birthday is coming up in 6 weeks and I have been thinking how on earth do you hold a childs party without all the food additives but a little bit of research and I see you can get natural food colourings for cakes, some lollies are ok, I'll make food from scratch etc then I know what goes in it. And I am thinking the odd eating out wont be too bad just maybe make slightly different choices than we might have otherwise done. But its super early days here so we'll see how it goes
                  Last edited by erinn; 29-04-2012, 10:36.

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                  • #10
                    Yay!
                    Going additive-free really changed our lives too

                    I have done a few birthday parties since we ditched all that stuff, it's easy enough if you don't mind baking. My kids still have plenty of sweet treats without the colours and flavours.

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                    • #11
                      I have downloaded an app called chemical maze, very handy when shopping. It is really scary the side effects of some ingredients even the ones that the label claim has "no artificial colours or flavors". When I first started I fell for that trap.

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                      • #12
                        Exactly! Scary isnt it? I know when I was reading the Fed Up book and she was talking a bit about MSG and I said to my hubby I thought they banned MSG or something. Poor Naive me and then I see how they call it all these other names like hydrolised vegetable protein and you have no idea. Its an eye opener for sure because I always thought we ate pretty well - we dont eat a lot of takeaway and my daughter has none. We dont really eat junky food, but the colurings and additives are in everything!!!! Very scary indeed

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                        • #13
                          It IS scary how things like MSG are 'hidden'. I remember almost being in tears at the supermarket when we started. But now if I eat those type of things, I feel gross.

                          My DH and I also lost heaps of weight when we started so that's a bonus

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by erinn View Post
                            Well thought I would post back and say we are into the third week of cutting out the additives and we are 1 week into some absolutely awesome behaviour from my daughter. This last week has been the best behaviour week by far - I think I had 2 tantrums this whole week compared to she was having 6+ per day, she sat through a dawn service on Anzac Day with about 4 hours of the march and the memorial with only a little whinge (last year's was a huge struggle and she was only 10 months old) and for the first time ever cleared away all her toys when I asked instead of tantrumming, ignoring me or getting distracted. Coincidence on the timing with removing food additives or related? I'm not sure - intending on keeping it up though.

                            I ended up buying the Additive Alert book, the Failsafe cookbook and another recipe book related and signed up to a few additive free cooking blogs. Have decided not to go the whole Failsafe route at this point in time but are trying to get rid of all the preservatives and colours etc from our diets.

                            So far we have changed our bread to preservative free, changed our sandwich spreads, I'm making all our sauces etc completely from scratch, took the ham and polony out of our sandwiches (which to be honest I always thought was fine - I grew up on the stuff!) stopped buying what I thought were reasonably healthy kids snacks like rice wheels or the fruit bars and am making my own, and started buying organic veges and organic or preservative free meats. In terms of cost I have found the food is more expensive but I am also saving money on making stuff from scratch rather than buying some of the stuff I was buying. I think my shopping has gone up about $50 for the fortnight, but for $25 a week and a child who is calmer I can live with that!!!

                            And I think with the going out aspect of it I think we will still do that, just start being creative with how often we do it or what we order. Eg. my daughter's second birthday is coming up in 6 weeks and I have been thinking how on earth do you hold a childs party without all the food additives but a little bit of research and I see you can get natural food colourings for cakes, some lollies are ok, I'll make food from scratch etc then I know what goes in it. And I am thinking the odd eating out wont be too bad just maybe make slightly different choices than we might have otherwise done. But its super early days here so we'll see how it goes
                            That's fantastic! Well done

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That's good OP. There are so many nasty additives.

                              We have cut out all the bad additives out here. We sometimes get things like kettle/red rock deli plain chips and I thought DH and even DD1 understood. They came back from the shops with 2 pkts of honey soy chicken red rock deli chips grrrr. At least they didn't open them I guess. So, I have to explain it all to DH and DD1 again.

                              Just wondering though OP what the other receipe book was you got and if it's any good?

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