Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Special K is exactly that; a special little girl. The vast majority of the time she is sweet and loving. She smiles and laughs and generally enjoys life. If we could change one thing about her, it would be her frequent emotional outbursts that show no signs of diminishing with age. At 7 years old she spends many hours sitting on her bed, doing extra chores, and running laps due to her lack of emotional self-control. She's a screecher and whiner and her behavior sends this household into an uproar at least once a week. We've tried charts, reward systems, and every other disciplinary device to no avail. Yesterday I was completely at my wits end, when I began to think maybe it could be a dietary thing. I've read about the Feingold diet, and while I don't feel our problem is that extreme, there is a lot of truth to the idea that additives and highly processed foods can lead to some behavior problems. I've resolved to get to the bottom of this. I began asking Special K what she had eaten during the morning and then pulled packages and boxes from the pantry shelves and checked for ingredients that may be the culprit. Everything she had eaten thus far had had artificial colors, flavors and or preservatives such as BHT, BHA or TBHQ. I always thought I did pretty well making healthy, whole foods for our family, as I perused the shelves, it was surprising how many processed foods with those ingredients I have on hand to feed the kids. Special K is especially susceptible as she is a grazer by nature and the pantry has all the great on-the-go food she loves. As of today, I am eliminating artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from her diet. We can expect to see results within a few days (hands folded in prayer). If this elimination diet does not help, I will need to add more things to our list of "no-no" foods. Oh, if it could be so simple for our sweet little girl.