Saturday, May 19, 2012

Vive la Revolucion!

Today is Food Revolution Day. I would like to say that I had planned this, since I'm a food revolutionary. But it wouldn't be true. I recently decided to try cutting artificial dyes out of my daughter's diet, since I had heard that artificial colors cause behavioral issues in many kids (enough so that they're being banned in countries across Europe - and now even China!) After a one-week semi-trial (I controlled her intake as best I could at home, but didn't regulate what she ate at preschool) I noticed the occurances of her daytime screaming fits had been greatly reduced. And she had been prompter to respond and more cooperative when getting ready to go in the mornings. So I decided to crack down and do it for reals. I'll be working on artificial flavors next, since they seem to have the same issues.
Everywhere I turned there was something new with artificial dyes in it. Macaroni and cheese. Her toothpaste. Fluoride rinse. Vitamins. Her cough and fever medicines (her allergy medicine was dye-free though!) Everywhere I turned there was some new opportunity for her to eat dyes that I was unprepared for. Like at the movie theater - yellow-sprayed-popcorn and bright-blue-and-red-ICEEs have been our staple treat at movies. And the Japanese buffet - her favorite food, and the reason we keep going back: the fish eggs on the sushi. Even at t-ball! Her coach keeps bringing candy and treats to bribe motivate the kids after practice.
Anyway, last night, prompted by a recent post at Die, Food Dye! I decided to go through our pantry and pull out everything with artificial colors. Just in time for Food Revolution Day, apparently!

Today was a t-ball game, and letting her eat the after-game snacks (as well as watching what the parents are feeding their other kids during the game) have been an exercise in politeness over sense for me. Last week's "snacks" were a packet of mini-Oreos and a Capri Sun. Since they were both dye-free (although filled with sugars and artificial flavors,) I let her eat them. The week before was a PowerAde and a packet of cookies or crackers of some kind. And before I decided to cut the dyes. Lemme tell ya. When it's my turn for snack, these kids are going to be sorely disappointed!

So here was today's "snack":

Kool-Aid Jammers Cherry-flavored drink pouch
Ingredients: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Apple Juice from Concentrate, Contains less than 2% of: Ascorbic Acid [Vitamin C,] Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid, Calcium Disodium EDTA (preserves freshness,) Red 40
Serving Size: 177ml
Calories: 80
Sodium: 15mg
Total Carbs: 20g
Sugar: 20g
Vitamin C: 100% DV

Keebler Animals Cookies Iced
Ingredients: Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [B1,] Riboflavin [B2,] Folic Acid,) Sugar, Vegetable Oil (Soybean and Palm Oil with TBHQ for freshness,) Contains 2% or less of: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Cinnamon, Salt, Baking Soda, Cornstarch, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Soy Lecithin, Color Added
Serving Size: 6 cookies (30g)
Calories: 140 (from Fat: 40)
Total Fat: 4.5g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Sodium: 100mg
Total Carbs: 22g
Dietary Fiber: Less than 1g
Sugar: 8g
Protein: 2g

Welch's Fruit Snacks - Mixed Fruit
Ingredients: Juice from Concentrates (Grape, Pear, Peach and Pineapple,) Corn Syrup, Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Fruit Purees (Strawberry, Orange, Raspberry, and Grape,) Gelatin, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Ascorbic Acid [Vitamin C,] Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Vitamin E,] Vitamin A Palmitate, Sodium Citrate, Coconut Oil, Carnauba Wax, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1
Serving Size: 0.9oz (26g)
Calories: 80
Sodium: 10mg
Total Carbs: 19g
Sugar: 11g
Protein: 1g
Vitamin A: 25% DV
Vitamin C: 100% DV
Vitamin E: 25% DV

All total: 300 calories. Since the average preschooler should get 41-45 calories per pound of weight. So my little whippet should get 1353-1485 per day - or 1419, to average that out. This "snack" constitutes 21% of her daily recommended calories!
45-65% of those calories should be from sugar. So let's average that to 55%, for a total of 780 calories from sugars per day. So the 39g of sugar all total in these foods adds up to 124 to 150 calories (high fructose corn syrup has slightly more calories per teaspoon than white sugar.) So even at the low end, this is 16% of her daily sugars.
And the 5-20% of her calories that should come from protein and 25-40% from fat are only represented by a total of 3g protein and 4.5g fat. Sugar REPRESENT!
Plus 125mg of sodium. So only 10-12% of her daily limit.

Since Every. Single. Stinking. Thing. had fake colors, I had to offer to trade her when we got home, as I was woefully unprepared (I now keep some all-natural GLEE Gum, peppermints, and lollipops in my bag to trade for offered treats on the fly.) I had some dye-free Emergen-C Kidz Vitamin C packets to add to a mini water bottle (she thinks it's like soda, so it's a fun treat - I now keep both the packets and mini bottled waters on-hand for her to drink at restaurants and parties,) but she wanted her fake cherry pouch, and would accept nothing less than a substitute pink drink.

Our substitute snack (after she ate her peanut-butter-jelly sandwich, carrots, and raspberries to re-fill her body with nutrients burned while exercising at the game):

Instead of the "cherry-flavored" drink, she had raspberry lemonade.
Instead of the animal cookies, she chose a Trader Joe's cookie.
Instead of the "fruit" snacks, she had some fruit gel candies (we're out of my home-made fruit juice gummies, which would have been my first choice.)

Langers Raspberry Lemonade

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Sugar, Lemon and Raspberry Juice Concentrates, Natural Flavors, Ascorbic Acid [Vitamin C]
per 4-ounces (roughly 120ml)
Calories: 60
Sodium: 0
Total Carbs: 14.5
Sugar: 13
Vitamin C: 100% DV

Trader Joe's Spring Cookies
Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Barley Malt Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid,) Sugar, Unsalted Butter (Milk,) Palm Oil, Egg Whites, Contains 2% or less of: Vanilla Bean Paste (Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract [Fine Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans, Alcohol, Water,] Sugar, Vanilla Beans, Xanthan Gum, Water,) Salt, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cornstarch, Monocalcium Phosphate,) Vegetable Colors (Red Cabbage Extract, Alfalfa Extract, Red Beet Juice, Caramel Color, Turmeric, Beta Carotene,) Vegetable Glycerine, Soy Lecithin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Powdered Sugar (Sugar, Cornstarch,) Sugar, Water
per cookie
Calories: 85 (From fat: 40)
Total Fat: 4.5g
Saturated Fat: 2.5g
Cholesterol: 7.5mg
Sodium: 15mg
Total Carbs: 10.5g
Dietary Fiber: less than 1g
Sugar: 4.5g
Protein: 0.5g
Vitamin A: 1% DV
Iron: 1% DV

Trader Joe's All-Natural Fruit Jellies
Ingredients: Beet Sugar, Corn Syrup, Water, Pectin, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors (Orange, Lemon, Grape, Raspberry, Blueberry, Mandarin,) Sodium Citrate, Vegetable Colors (Carotene, Curcumin, Anthocyanin,) Ascorbic Acid [Vitamin C,] Cornstarch
per 3
Calories: 84
Sodium: 6mg
Total Carbs:
Dietary Fiber: less than 1g
Sugar: 17.4g
Vitamin C: 12%

DV/Daily Value based on a 2000 calorie diet

Only 229 calories, but still pretty close. Same amount of sugar - 39.4g, but only 21g sodium. Same amount of fat, and less protein, but I'm much happier with the ingredients she ingested. And I got to control the portions. I could have watered down her raspberry lemonade to reduce the sugars as well, and skipped the fruit jellies entirely (she would have been happy with just the cookie.) But I wanted to make this "snack" as close to the original as I could. My own fruit-juice gummies would have been better too. Normally I would only offer her one or the other with her lunch, not both.
And while my snack had fewer vitamins and such, she more than made up for it by filling up on healthy foods first.

1 comment:

  1. Will be blog-stalking you as well my dear! Very interesting. I'm a nursing student, and we have recently learned of the toxins in so many household items, like...wait for it....toothpaste!
    Love your blog header too...the little girl (presumably yours!) eating the cupcake doesn't hurt either :)


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