Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dye Free Food Choices

If you want to feed your kids dye free or if, like us...it is a necessity, here is what we do.

Vitamins (We use either, depending on sale, coupons, availability, etc...

Breakfast

Lunch/Dinner Normal lunch/dinner items! Just be careful of items like...

Snacks/Treats The Hardest by far!

Josh drinks Milk or Water! Rarely, we give him juice but it is a treat and he often refuses!

MISC...

  • Store bought frostings contain dye!
  • Marshmallows and many white foods contain blue dye!
  • Read labels! Dye is added to so many everyday items that you would not expect.

Good Luck! Feel free to share items you have found and ask any questions about our journey!

26 comments:

Joanne said...

Wow! Great list. I know you have done this for quite a while, but when did you find out Joshua couldn't have dye and how did you know? Hope all is well. Miss you guys!

Shannon said...

When Josh was 2 he began having mysterious rashes. Our Ped. sent us to an Allergist who did a blood test. The results came back negative on everything. We had been convinced he was having trouble with Strawberries. He was really into strawberry nutrigrain bars at the time. Anyway, we stopped giving those to him anyway. Now jump forward several months to almost a year. Josh is now 3 and we are starting Preschool together. The first letter we worked on was J. We painted with Jello and I made Jello for a snack that night. Somehow he had never had it before. We have always tried to feed him healthy ya know. Anyway, we had been having some behavioral difficulties with him. Oops, I was right in the middle...anyway...that night we put him to bed normally and he seemed to be having trouble going to sleep, not too unusual...but he NEVER did go to sleep that night. And he was bouncing off the walls. I was up with him all night. The next day I started researching and found a ton of information about food dye and how it sometimes affects children. He fit EVERYTHING they said. We started a food diary that day and confirmed our suspicions...and I guess that is the simplified but very long answer.

Koko's mama said...

Very informative :)

Anonymous said...

Have you found any dye free marshmallows? My son cannot have food dye and for most things we have found dye free alternatives but not for marshmallows.

Shannon said...

Anon..

I have not found any in the store but http://www.education.com/activity/article/marshmallow_science/
has a kid friendly recipe to make your own.

We plan to give this a try this summer!

Anonymous said...

I can't not have any food dye OR artifactial flavoring. I somethimes makes my throw up and always makes me hyper! I feel bad for you son, just like I feel terrible for every kid that can't have a lot of the stuff out there! My cousion had the same allergy, but his parents didn't know, so they put him on medicine for ADHD, BUT THAT HAD DYE IN IT!!!! After, like, a year on different meds, he became like a zombie! Then they took him to a different doctor, and he digonised him with the alleregy. Then, when I was born, my parents saw the same signs, so they started to eat really haelthy, and now I can't eat most foods! :)
I wish your son the best of luck! I will never be easy, but I gets to feel normal.
P.S. Have you found and GOOD marshmallows? I can't find any!

Shannon said...

I have not found any marshmallows without dye. My neighbor found some at The Dollar Tree but when I went they did not have any. I have seen recipes to make them but we have not tried any yet!

jazztiggers02@aol.com said...

I came upon your post---online- my daughter is allergic to food dyes too- she is 5- you had mentioned not finding marshmallows- my daughter loved them when potty training- the dollar tree sells them- mostly during summer (bbq's) and winter for cocoa- if one store out- check another one- I stock up and get them by the case- so I never run out :)

Shannon said...

Thanks! We did eventually find some at Walmart! But I will definitely check those out too!

Anonymous said...

You are so lucky that you found out your son's sensitivity to dyes at such an early age. It took me 50 years to finally figure out that mainly dye 40 was causing my migraines. I never had them until I went to college and started eating all types of processed foods. The reason it took so long for me to figure it out is that it takes at least 36 hours from point of ingestion to my migraine. I kept looking back to the previous day and blamed things that were not at fault. It takes a vasoconstrictor type expensive med to make it go away. It depends on how much was in the food how bad my migraine and intestinal problems get. Over the counter meds will not touch it.

I find that Red Dye 40 is in so much stuff, even in pain meds, allergy meds and even my thyroid med. Wendy's chili, baby aspirin, vit. and some chocolate candy and all hard colored candy has it. There is no need to add it to any pill that can be stamped to identify it.

How do we stop the manufactures from putting dyes in so much of our foods. We have far too many "problems" cropping up in our young people with autism, ADD and so much cancer in really young children. I have become an ardent label reader but eating out is still a problem.

By the way, about those marshmallows from Dollar Tree, most stuff at Dollar Tree comes from China or Mexico. I would always check the label. If it just says "distributed by" instead of "Made in USA" I would not buy it. My husband can't find any hard candy not made in Mexico. Seems all garlic comes from China.

Shannon said...

Anonymous,

Really it is a shame that so many things have dye in them. It is often unnecessary and ridiculous.
Shannon

Anonymous said...

shannon thanks for putting this list together..we think my 6yr old has adhd and i dont wanna put him on meds so im trying to go natural. i went to an organic supermarket and spent 50 bucks on almost nothing. this list helps alot. if u can think of anything else please let me know. also should i worry abt all dyes? my son loves the flavored waters that are blueberry that crayola makes and they have the blue dye

Shannon said...

We avoid all dyes. I have heard some people say they just avoid red but I figure if one is bad then it is unlikely that the others are good...ya know?

We still struggle with beverages. You can find juice box type drinks without dye but we do not encourage juice drinking for the most part. Josh is generally offered either milk or water and occasionally we do have diet 7 up. I have also found a white blueberry iced tea from crystal light. If you have any specific questions about certain food please let me know. We have been on this road for 3 years now and remember how difficult it was in the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Food Lion store brand marshmallows do not have any food dye.

Anonymous said...

Oops... sorry, I just checked and they are "Great Value" marshmallows from Walmart. Not Food Lion.

Anonymous said...

Hi Neighbor - Just got the new "simply fruit" roll-ups at Costco. I think I ws more excited than Eli about his first fruit roll-up :)
A few other favorites for anyone starting the dye-free journey: Veggie straws (or chips), gogurt simple (although it only has l.acidophilus, not all of the cultures like Kefir. I'm sticking with Kefir, but the gogurt is great for freezing in the summer).

Shannon said...

Sarah,
We buy the costco stuff now too! If anyone lives near a Trader joe's we found tons of dye free available. Including vanilla pudding, cake mix, and gum drop candy!

Also, Aldi had dye free suckers a few weeks ago!!! And they were pretty cheap!

Dye Free Living said...

Thank you for sharing this awesome list of dye free foods. Please be sure to check out our new website www.dyefreeliving.com and add your product recommendations. We have a new forum for not just dye free, but other food concerns such as gluten free, preservative free, etc.

As always, continue spreading the word about living dye free and choosing a healthier lifestyle! Thanks, Paula

mstone said...

I was wondering if anyone knew of any good books about dye free living? I really need information about everyday things, food, house hold items ....I have bad reactions to hair dye and dyes in shampoo and other products. I am trying to change my whole life style but am having a hard time learning more about it.

Corinn said...

I am starting this dye free living with my family as much as we can without pulling it out too fast. I am making almost everything from scratch and staying away from a lot of extra's.. one thing I would like to point out. I noticed a few people talking about Diet pop, crystal light etc.. that has aspertame and that is so dangerous for you and can cause a lot of issues that are linked to ADHD.. just some more info for you. check it out..

sara said...

Absolutely love this site. I have two boys but my 8 year old is hyper. One day is perfect and another he if very unruley. the school wants to diagnose him ADHD, but my doctor isnt sure. I've heard a lot about the food dye allergy through our local news and through a fellow parent of a student in my sons class who's child has a food dye allergy. Due to behavior problems if she has any. I am wanting to do this but I know this is going to be a very hard beginning. Besides the basic Red dye,blue dye,and yellow dye, spelled out,is there another way of knowing on labels that these dyes are in foods? I also give my children a powdered green tea drink that I make that i read the ingredients that does not show any dyes in it at all and it's sweetened with splenda. Thank you for your help!

Shannon said...

Sara,
I mostly just look for the color words and hope they are being honest. It also is helpful to know what the safer/natural dyes are...things like annatto. It helps to know that it is colored with something safer. In the past few months I have noticed a LARGE amount of foods available with out dye. If you are going to take the plunge it is definitely a good time to do it. I wish you luck!

casey said...

I just recently discovered I am allergic to red dye #40, which is in almost everthing I enjoyed eating. I break out in hives ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE on my body. I cannot tell you how frustrating this is. I was so afraid to eat/drink because it was hard to tell what triggered the reaction until I started pay close attention to all food labels. Your list in very informative. Thank you! I am still trying to figure this whole thing out.I am currently in my 40's and NEVER had issues with allergies. I am still looking for recipes to prepare for my family. The options are limited since I am the only family member that has to deal with the reaction to dyes, but I am making sure I can do what I can to protect my family and pray they never have to deal with this. Thank you again for the valuble information.

Belinda Szeleski said...

My 5 year old son has just started to have a sensitivity to red dye. I was wondering if anybody knows of a dye free ice pop similar to the Flavor Ice that is loaded with dye.

Belinda Szeleski said...

Does anyone know of dye free ice pops similar to the Flavor Ice?

Shannon said...

There are several brands that we buy. 2 from costco but might be available other places are Mott's and Welch's Ice pops. Just recently I came across Snapple's new dye free ice pops as well but have not bought them myself. (friend gave me one)
Finally, Popsicle brand has a variety that contains no dye. It says on the box natural colors. Good luck!