Saying ‘No’ to Neon

BW has always been an interesting child, but it wasn’t until JB came along that we were able to identify just how different BW was.
As he’s grown up we have always been sensitive to his moods. Some days he’s giddy on the verge of a manic and out of control with laughter, and other times he is incredibly grumpy and even just the act of breathing by another person in the household can set him off on rages or moments of extreme withdrawal – but overall he is a sweet boy who tries very hard to be calm and focused.
When we’d talk with the doctor about it we were never able to identify a pattern – it never seemed as though there was a consistent pattern of activities that would set the stage for one mood or another.
It has been a challenging eight years.
For the last year or so a pattern began to emerge. It began once BW was old enough to be able to describe how his body felt when he was experiencing his different moods. He also met a little boy named Doug who sufferes from a sensitivity to artificial colors, preservatives and certain types of fruits and vegetables.
His family diligently follows a diet in which artificial and some natural compounds are eliminated from their food. Doug is by all measures a normal and happy boy until there is an accidental ingestion of ‘off limits’ foods and his behavior suspiciously resembles BW’s.
After paying attention to our own diet and noting BW’s behavior we began to notice that there was indeed a pattern to his behavior and it is closely related to the foods we eat. Brightly colored foods, products with really long ingredient lists that contain abstract sounding names and modified sweeteners all appear to have negative impacts on BW’s ability to control himself. Recently he’s begun asking if we to can follow the same diet as Doug’s family – even going so far as to beg to feel better.
Charles and I began to research the diet – and it seems as though there is merit to it. We already cook so many of our meals from scratch that we hope it won’t be as significant a change to what we already do. We’ll need to add the ability to interpret and identify ingredient lists more closely than we have before… and the list is impressive.
The first and perhaps most important immediate additives to eliminate are the FD&C colors. If it’s neon, it’s not an option. I do believe the year ahead is going to be an interesting one, and we all hope that BW starts to feel a little less like his skin is crawling and his mind is going bonkers.
Here are only a few of the ingredients we’ll be saying goodbye to, at least for the foreseeable future… I’ll let you know how it goes…
Artificial flavoring, aspartame, BHA, BHT, calcium propionate, FD&C Colors, MSG, synthetic colors, sodium benzoate, and vanillin are among those ingredients that we are on the lookout for… And you’d be surprised at all the places you can find them.
Here we go – hold on tight.

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