My youngest daughter will be 2 years old in August. This past year we have discovered a severe red food dye allergy. foods, medicines & snacks have been a challenge...She's allergic to red dye # 40 and other names for red dye. anyone with any information or websites of how to avoid? please help!!!
Hi, my son had some similar issues along with a preservative we couldn't ever really define .. we had to have his meds made up by a compounding pharmacy (like cold meds, etc.) because he got strapping stomach pains when taking otc meds .. even certain flavors of Tylenol!
Understand your predicament. Only meticulous monitoring can help detect products which contain the allergen. It may help to maintain a food dairy and keep monitoring his symptoms. This way you can make a list of all the products which contain the allergen and avoid the same. Allergic testing too may be worth looking into. Discuss this with your treating doctor.
One thing that can help is something called a whole foods diet. The reason this is helpful is that it eliminates processed and packaged foods from the diet. You can look this up online for more specifics. The funny thing is, I started doing it for other allergies, such as preservatives, and didn't know what it was called 'til my doctor called it whole foods. Essentially, you only eat foods your great grandparents and generations further back would recognize as food. If you're all fine with certain cheeses and such, that's still fine, so long as you're careful with that, too. I would avoid yellow cheddar cheeses for several reasons, but mainly because the coloration comes from adding a lot of annatto seed powder to get that yellow or orange coloration. I've also heard that there are other things added to the cheap colored cheddar cheeses that you want to avoid. I know they trigger migraines something fierce in me. I get nauseous right away if I even so much as taste the colored stuff. Anyway, if you think about it, milk isn't this color, so why is the cheese this color? I did some research and found out that a lot of people are actually allergic to the annatto seed powder used as a dye. There is significantly less added to butter, and usually butter is just butter, so long as I get the unsalted kind and I don't get sick with that.
So, I would avoid the colored cheddar cheeses and look for the natural white cheddar cheeses if you still want cheddar cheese. I know annatto isn't the dye you were specifically talking about here, but it is another common food dye that people do seem to have problems with.
I'm glad someone already mentioned dyes in medications. So, it seems that on the whole foods diet that the only thing left to be concerned about when it comes to food dyes is medications.
But, at least the whole foods diet simplifies a lot of other issues. It's even more budget friendly.
Crock pot recipes are great for busy families when using the whole foods diet.
If you do still buy a handful of packaged foods, look for ones with the fewest ingredients. One example would be rice cakes. Most brands only list rice and water as their ingredients. When you do buy canned foods, buy only single ingredients. You want chili? Then buy just the canned beans when you're in a hurry to make the family dinner. The reason is simple: Even though there might be a couple of other things besides the beans in the canned beans, there are usually so few listed. Look for the ones that have the fewest preservatives listed. Trader Joe's brand is actually good for this. Eden's organics is a top brand for this kind of thing. They're also listed as one of the brands that doesn't line their cans with the BPA. Of course, it's still better to try to plan ahead and cook the beans yourself, but we all know that this just doesn't always happen with busy families.
Anyway, the reason I used chili as an example is that if you read the labels on most prepared chili, you'll see why I leave that stuff on the shelf. The stuff makes me so sick. Yet, if I make it myself, I'm fine. So, the lesson here is to buy single or non-complex foods. When you want something with multiple ingredients, it's so much healthier anyway to just make it yourself.
If there is an allergic history, carefully read ingredient lists. It is always best to strictly avoid food allergens. Many people with food allergens also need to avoid eating at restaurants or at least certain types of restaurants. Antihistamines may help to relieve the symptoms.
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