July 3, 2009

Feingold Friday! Part ONE....what IS that diet you have your kids on anyway?!?!

Q. What is this diet you have Ethan, and the other children, on and why?

A. Ethan is high energy, high needs, has trouble sleeping, staying asleep, and has night terrors. When I investigated the possible cause of these troubles (especially the night terrors which are frightening to ME!) a thought crossed my mind. I thought, "I do my best to buy organic produce....but what about the additives and preservatives in the other foods we eat?!!?

I ran into the Feingold diet. The Feingold Diet is not new. It's been around for a long time. I do my own version of Feingold, but it's the same principle. Nature (God) knows best, stick to foods that are closest to the original version of that food.

Stay away from additives and preservatives. Children that are sensitive to these ingredients can react to even a very, VERY small amount. Ethan is sensitive especially to preservatives.

Elimination includes:
Artificial (synthetic) coloring
Artificial (synthetic) flavoring
Aspartame (Nutrasweet, an artificial sweetener)
Artificial (synthetic) preservatives BHA, BHT, TBHQ
In the beginning (Stage One) of the Feingold Program, aspirin and some foods containing salicylate (Suh-LIH-Suh-Late) are eliminated. Salicylate is a group of chemicals related to aspirin. There are several kinds of salicylate, which plants make as a natural pesticide to protect themselves. Those that are eliminated are listed in the salicylate list which is included also in the Program Handbook. Most people can eventually tolerate at least some of these salicylates.

You will notice this dietary program is often referred to as a program because fragrances and non-food items which contain the chemicals listed above are also eliminated.

So, how to start? It's a easy as reading lables. If you don't know what it says....don't buy it. Companies that don't use additives or preservatives are usually PROUD of that fact and go out of their way to explain every ingredient on the lable.

Some of these may be obvious. Instead of the sugary packets of oatmeal, switch to the old style oatmeal with real brown sugar.

Some are more difficult. Condiments. This was one of the last things I realized actually. Katsup, mustard, it all has many additives (Corn Syrup) and preservatives.

I will be doing a Feingold series, with tips on food every Friday. Hope you will join me. :)

Tip of the Week: Cereal! Most kids (sans Reagan) love cereal. It's easy and yummy...but 99.9% of the mainstream cereals are made with additives and preservatives. We were happy to find Kashi's Honey Sunshine cereal. It is truly delicious, and does not taste like "alternative" food. My kids LOVE it (all 5 of them!). Like most responsible companies, they go out of their way to show you on the lable that all ingredients are "real".