As a teacher, I have noticed a huge increase, over the past 15 years, in kids who are diagnosed with ADHD or who are simply hyperactive. We've always had hyperactive kids in our classrooms. After all, they ARE classrooms filled with children, and children are active. Not only have I seen an increase in children with these conditions, but I have also seen an increase in the severity. Don't get me wrong. I have not done clinical research or taken data over the past 15 years. I have simply noticed an increase.
As you know, I have a kindergartner at home. When we were no longer concerned about choking, my daughter started eating fruit chews at snack time. We would buy the giant box of pretty red fruit snacks from Costco. She loved these snacks, but each time she ate some we noticed a remarkable change in her behavior. The behaviors we saw were immediate, and concerned us enough that we stopped buying them altogether. I was convinced that something in those snacks caused her to go crazy. I didn't know if it was the dye, chemicals, flavorings, or all of the above, but life was better without fruit snacks in the house. We haven't made too many other changes with her diet, but it's always been at the back of my mind. She is a challenging child, at times, and I often wonder what life would be like if I made the jump to an all natural diet.
Here's a clip from the Today Show this morning. There are new hearings, beginning today, to review dyes and the affects they have on children. My awareness is raised once again. Are dyes in our food contributing to the increase in ADHD and hyperactivity we are seeing in our children?
I'm very interested and hope you are too!
Also, here is a book on the topic, recommended by one of our kindergarten parents. It is available at Barnes and Noble