Friday, September 12, 2008

Learning and Behavior Problems Caused by Diet


Any comments on the new header for the blog, I'd love to hear from you. Hit the purple COMMENT link at the bottom of this post. Thank you for your thoughts.

Graphic credit Feingold.org

Do you have a child who often has unexplained, sudden hyperactivity or an inability to sit still and focus on a task(ADHD or ADD)? Years ago I discovered a sensitivity to food coloring was causing significant problems for one of my children. Removing the food coloring corrected the problem, but created a new one. How was I to find all the foods I needed for a balanced diet, when so many foods include artificial additives that are written in "Greek" on the ingredients label.

Enter the Feingold Program. My pediatrician steered me here when we figured out what was going on with my child. Their program provides food lists of acceptable foods, educational materials, recipes, symptoms lists, mail order resources, and much more to help those who need to avoid certain artificial ingredients that affect their child.

You may be asking just what food additives could affect your child's behavior or ability to learn. The Feingold Program eliminates these additives: synthetic coloring, artificial flavoring, Nutrasweet (artificial sweetener), and artificial preservatives (BHA, BHT, TBHQ). In addition, the Feingold Program guides you through an initial phase of testing to see if your child reacts to salicylates (naturally occurring chemicals in some foods, which are known to cause problems for some children).

In my case, food coloring was the issue. I learned that food coloring is made from crude oil (like gasoline) and that it is a carcinogen (causes cancer), so we were eager to make the change. I also learned that, in time, many children grow out of these sensitivities and can begin eating at least some of the offending substances again. Fortunately, this has been the case for my child, but for years, we eliminated food coloring from his diet to avoid problems. The Feingold Program offered much help in locating foods that were acceptable, and in blending his diet into our family's without a problem. This solution, for us, was far superior to the drugs being given for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Studies have found that many of these children can be helped by diet changes such as those in the Feingold Program.

I suppose by now you know where I am going with this. If you eat organic, you are already eliminating all but the salicylates from your child's diet. You're almost there. If you are one of the thousands of families who have a child with behavior or learning problems, isn't it worth the effort to try a diet which might help? Visit Feingold's website. You will find an abundance of information on symptoms caused by artificial food additives. You can decide for yourself whether it is possible that your child could be helped, just by reading the list of symptoms. Comments are welcome. I'd love to hear your experiences with this. Click the purple COMMENT link in the line below. Thanks!

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