My son is 3 and has always been on the go. Crawling at 5 months, walking unaided at 10 months. He never slept, at most when he was a new born he would sleep for about 20 minutes during the day. Even now i could count on one hand how GA_googleFillSlot("minti_advice_island_logged_out_300x250"); many times he has slept through the night.
When i was pregnant with Joshua my doctor told me that he would probably have the same allergies to food colouring that i do. If i have green food colouring i get very hyperactive to the point where i don't know what i am doing. (i describe it like being very drunk without drinking alcohol)
So we have been very careful with everything that we have ever fed Joshua. He has never had any cordial of any sort and has never had green food colouring until a few weeks ago when he was given some cake that was covered in green icing while at childcare. To say the least the poor child went NUTS!!!!!!! It took two days to get our son back to normal.
We started thinking about all the artifical colours and preservatives that are in foods and whether they were are factor in Joshua's behaviour. Don't get me wrong, Joshua isn't a naughty boy. He is just on the go, sometimes he doesn't think before he does something and sometimes he thinks that it is ok to ride his 11 month old sister like a horse. So we decided to start a food diary for Joshua. Everyday we would write down everything he ate and what his behaviour was like. To make it easier to understand we ruled 2 columns into an exercise book and had 3 sections. One for morning, one for afternoon and one for dinner. The rest of the page was left for an overall view of the day. Each morning, afternoon and dinner we also wrote what his behaviour was like in the other column. We found by writing in a food diary Joshua ate less as he wasn't snacking during the day so he wasn't getting all the easy packaged stuff like chips, chocolate and muslie bars.
Once we started the diary we also removed artifical colours and preservatives out of Joshua's diet. By day 3 we found a complete change in Joshua's behaviour, we actually thought he was getting sick because he was so quiet and calm. By day 5 we noticed Joshua was sleeping better, waking up happier and playing with one toy for longer.
We are currently on day 8 of the diary and Joshua is a different child, not in a bad way. He is so much more loving and has even stopped riding his sister like a horse. He now knows when to stop and he is eating much better. We have noticed in the last week how much Joshua loves fruit. We would always offer him fruit before but with everything else that was on offer the fruit usually stayed in the fruit bowl.
I wouldn't say that removing artifical colours and preservatives has really been that hard, sure it takes longer at the moment to do the shopping because we have to read all the packaging but we have found some treats that Joshua really loves. Wiggles ABC or 123 biscuits. They are available from most supermarkets, they are simular to tiny teddies and they come in packs of 10. The best thing about them is the price, about $3.00
I am never going to go back and feed my children artifical colours and preservatives. I'm sure there are going to be times when i am not going to be able to stop them eating this food (when they go to parties) but while i can i will teach them the importance of these types of foods as being 'sometimes' foods.
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