Tag Archive: ADHD


Thirty-Seven M&Ms

One day last week I picked Luke up from school. The moment he got in the car I knew something was drastically wrong. The poor kid was practically vibrated with with energy. He was all but crawling out of his skin. All the behaviors that had diminished under the new diet were suddenly horribly back. Homework took two hours before I finally gave up. He absolutel COULD NOT FOCUS . I was convinced that I was wrong, maybe he did need to see a doctor. I finally asked if he’d eaten anything at school other than the lunch I packed. Apparently as an award in a contest the kids were given M&Ms. I quickly goggled the ingredients list. OH MY GOD.

INGREDIENTS: , Milk Chocolate (, SUGAR, CHOCOLATE, COCOA BUTTER, SKIM MILK, MILKFAT, LACTOSE, SOY LECITHIN, SALT, ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS) , SUGAR, CORNSTARTCH, LESS THAN 1%- , CORN SYRUP, DEXTRIN, Coloring (, INCLUDES , BLUE 1 LAKE, RED 40 LAKE, YELLOW 6, YELLOW 5, RED 40, BLUE 1, BLUE 2 LAKE, YELLOW 6 LAKE, YELLOW 5 LAKE, BLUE 2) , GUM ACACIA, M&M\’S© CANDIES MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS

Yeah, they’re a veritable chemical soup of artificial coloring. They even put Red 40 in the chocolate to make it look “more chocolatey.” Far from the far more calm and relaxed kid we’d been seeing, it was nearly ten before he finally fell into a fitful slumber. Even worse he reminded me of kids I saw when I was a social worker. Kids with ADHD so bad they were practically uneducable. They were in constant motion, their eyes moving from side to side so much I called them my “little snipers.” How many of those kids simply needed to be taken off these godawful petrochemicals the food industry is putting in this so-called food? Instead they were drugged to the gills with another alphabet soup of chemicals. I told Luke he is to eat nothing unless I give it to him. He can read labels, and he doesn’t like feeling crazy either, so I think he will listen. Yesterday in Target I found this Unjunked Candy. No artificial ingredients of any kind. Pricey, but as an occasional treat it is so worth it.

I’m so frustrated with the food industry in this country. It’s not like there are no studies showing the link. Nestle stopped putting artificial color in its candy in the UK, why not here?

A couple weeks ago I was just about at the end of my rope. Luke was driving me absoutely insane. Getting ready for school was an ordeal that involved me spending most of the morning screaming and yelling. He’d get home from school and it would start all over again. Homework would take hours and I’d be frustrated and angry every day. Most nights he wouldn’t go to sleep before nine, and that is a problem for a kid who has always needed LOTS of sleep!

I had reluctantly concluded that maybe he had ADHD. I got the paperwork to have him assessed, but decided to change his diet first. Articles I read indicated that artificial flavors and colors might be a problem in some kids, so they had to go. Plain Lays chips and plain Fritos, while not exactly health food, are okay. I also put Smartfood popcorn in his lunch. Nitrites could be a problem as well, so I stopped feeding him deli meats. Hormel Naturals doesn’t have nitrites and neither does Boar’s Head. Both are spendy, though, so he mainly gets PBJ. We like the Smuckers natural peanut butter and the Bonne Maman jelly, especially raspberry. No more Gatorade. He only gets water, organic milk, Odwalla orange juice or Simply Lemonade. No apple juice after the arsenic situation, and I saw on 60 Minutes that most major orange juice vendors store it in tanks for a year then load it with so called natural flavors to bring it back. I’m not a big fan of juice anyway. I’d rather just give them fruit.

Surprisingly I didn’t have much of a fight. He accused me of ruining his life, of course, but hey, that’s a mama’s job. And most importantly, his behavior has changed immensely. Don’t get me wrong, he still likes to be aggravating, but he has changed so much. He will sit down to do his homework without all the usual screaming. It rarely takes more than thirty minutes, and sometimes even less. He goes to sleep no later than eight and gets up in a good loving mood. I have my sweet boy back. Still loud and obnoxious, but it’s like someone turned him down by bout 20%. Amazing.

As a parent this is so frustrating. Why would they put chemicals in our food that drive our kids crazy? The worst thing is, we never let him have a lot of this stuff to begin with. Gatorade was mainly on game days and practices. I would let him have the flavored chips with his lunch, but it never occurred to me that it could hurt him. I feel like I have to go on a major research project with each trip to the grocery store. It is absolutely exhausting. Anyway, you might want to examine your kid’s diets and eliminate this stuff too. The difference has been extraordinary.

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