This is part 1 of our food journey. I had always noticed a connection to our daughter with food and behavior. I look back and remember behavior getting worse at 6 months (starting cereal and fruit) and progressively worse and then even worse at 1 year (solids and dairy milk). Miss Sensory often had an upset stomach and the doctor had us frequently go lactose free, thinking she may have had lactose intolerance. We had tests done several times and everything came back normal.
So we carried on…I was not an organic, make my own baby food kind of Mom. Back then I was a business owning, how do I survive kind of Mom. (I am still the business owning, survival mom only new and improved with organic food!) I was feeding her whatever you bought in the store, in a package or jar and all you had to do was heat it up. She loved it, so I thought it was fine!
When Miss Sensory was 3 (as I was begging my personal doctor for any kind of help with her) she suggested we take out the following because she insisted our daughter had ADHD. Remove preservatives (especially any benzoates (BHT and TBHQ), remove all artificial flavors and artificial colors. I was overwhelmed at the thought of doing this, but I was desperate to try anything. I thought were eating pretty good. I was feeding her fruits and veggies. Although, they were usually fruit cups and veggies in cheese sauce. I was shocked when I started reading labels.
How’d we cut it all out?!?
I started with one thing a week.
First I removed all artificial colors. Dyes in macaroni and cheese, fish crackers, fruit snacks, fruit cups, etc.
The second week I removed all artificial flavors. Anything that says natural flavor, I learned really isn’t natural flavor. See this article on Food Babe for more info here.
The third week, I went above and beyond and removed ALL preservatives. Remember the one’s my doctor recommend, guess where I found a whole lot of those, the cereal isle! And another big one fish crackers!
So after we got thru the 3rd week was when we noticed the first major change in Miss Sensory. We knew this was doing something because one weekend when we were traveling I didn’t pack a meal and we had to stop to eat. We stopped at a local fast food chain, she had a corn dog, French fries and a milk shake. We noticed a huge change in behavior after she ate that meal. She was hyped up and when we got home she started running in circles for an extended period of time. We thought we’d finally found something that helped!! YAY!
We noticed her making eye contact more often and we noticed her being able to focus more. We also noticed a decrease in her hyperactivity. We have been dye free, flavor free and preservative free for over a year and know that IT IS WORTH IT!