Sunday, November 4, 2007

Red Food Coloring and Kids

I never actually believed people when they said that red stuff made their kids crazy. I really thought it was a cover up for the unwanted behavior. My ideas changed with my third child. When I first started noticing the tantrums or whatever you would call them, I thought he was just really tired. They begin to happen more and more often. My sweet little boy was out of control at times. Then I started thinking about what he was eating. We cut out the chocolate first then realized that it just wasn't making a huge difference. Then I began reading labels on what we ate. I found out that our chocolate drink mix had red 40 in it so we went from there. What a huge difference when we cut out all red foods. He is so sweet but when he has red, he becomes a different person. Not mean- just out of control and doing the most unusual things. The grandparents tended to think we were exaggerating and making this up. I think they had to test it to make sure we weren't crazy. Many times our theory has been proven. Just last week, his teacher let me know that he had an awful day at preschool. He couldn't be still, made noises all day and was extremely whiney. I realized that I had given him Fruit Loops that morning. I felt so bad. The next day we had pancakes and he was a new child. His teacher thanked me for whatever I fed him for breakfast because it did the trick. So now my little one will tell you that he can't have red. I think that he doesn't like feeling out of control any more than we like dealing with him when he acts that way. I love my boy and am so glad that we have pinpointed what upsets his system. If your child is experiencing tantrums or just not acting like himself, I would encourage you to take note of what he is eating. I hate that it has taken us this long to figure it out!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007


I forget how important sleep is until I don't have it! I chose to have a girls nite out this week and paid the price the next morning. Not a hangover- just staying out until 1:30am. We went to a concert that was 2 hours away and that's why I was out so late. Driving home by myself reminded me of the nights when my babies were small and they needed to nurse every few hours. How can I look back and miss that?! They were sweet nights but I am so glad that each one of my children are good sleepers. We always went with the philosophy that learning to fall asleep on their own was a much needed life skill that would benefit our whole family. We decided to put them down as they were getting sleepy and let them do the rest. There was crying at times but never for long. I could never let them cry too long without trying a rock. But for the most part, our kids knew that getting in their beds meant they had to sleep. Each one had a different comfort item that they associated with sleep. For our baby girl it is a piggy. She knows that piggy needs a nap too. She smiles as I cover them both up because we have made it a fun thing since she was small. Don't get me wrong there are days when naps just don't happen but at 8:00pm each night our kids are going to bed without much of a fuss. I am so glad we did this from the beginning because Mom and Dad can have some free time before bed each night. Some things pay off really big when you start them from the very beginning.