So an interesting thing happened the other day. My eight-year-old daughter, who’s pretty much been raised without artificial food dyes–except for the occasional birthday cupcake or Halloween candy–was given a party bag that contained a single-serve packet of Kool Aid. Now, I grew up on Kool Aid, having spent summers with my grandparents in Nebraska, where fruit punch was considered juice. Remember that commercial where the kids yell, “Hey Kool Aid!” and a giant walking pitcher crashes through the wall? I lived for it. There was nothing better than gulping down a big glass of Kool Aid after riding my bike for hours in ninety-percent humidity. But after learning about the…
Great news! Kraft just announced they would cut out food dyes in their beloved mac ‘n cheese. This means American kids can get their cheesy noodles without artificial food dyes that have been linked to hyperactivity in children. They can eat cheesy noodles just like children in Europe, where mandatory food dye front-of-pack labeling forced manufacturers to phase out artificial food dyes years ago.
Ever since I started writing as Mommy Greenest, I’ve noticed people avoiding me. Not my close friends, obviously. But the casual friendships—those afternoon coffee invitations that turn into weekend playdates with wine? I’m getting less and less of them. I’ve heard, “Oh, don’t let Rachel see that,” as a plastic water bottle is shoved into a purse, and “She had fries—don’t kill me!” as my daughter is returned home from a playdate. They think I’m the eco police.
It’s an oldie but goodie, but Kids in the House recently shared this video—part of a series on eco parenting—and I thought I would share with you. Because despite the fact that we made this a while back—hence the super long lashes, thank you Mr. Makeup Artist—I’m still royally pissed about food dyes. The fact is, American kids eat snacks tainted with food dyes linked to hyperactivity, while in Europe—where food dyes are required to be labeled—the same food is manufactured without them. Does that seem fair to you? Here’s a link to the original video on Kids in the House, an amazing resource of expert videos for parents!
In years past, I’d wait until October 30th before I hit the market for Halloween candy. But I now know that’s a sad trick, because conventional candy is full of food dyes: Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, have all been linked to allergic reactions and behavioral problems in children. The only way to avoid these artificial food dyes is to buy USDA certified organic foods, which are guaranteed by our government not to contain synthetic ingredients. But organic Halloween candy has traditionally been hard to find—especially the night before the big day. Not anymore!