If you are looking for more helpful information on food dyes, make sure you tune in every Friday for Dye Free Fridays @ B in Real Life!
You can see previous Dye Free Friday posts by clicking on the link above.
On with the show…
Trust me, I know it’s overwhelming to consider removing artificial colors from your food. When we realized that Q was highly sensitive to dyes and that we were going to need to quickly become a dye-free family, I freaked out.
How are we going to afford to buy organic foods?
Am I going to have to stop wearing make-up and start churning my own butter?!
Please God, NO!!!
I was totally uncomfortable in my new-found role of “crunchy mom.” However, I was and am willing to do whatever it takes to help Q with her behavior issues. So, who cares if I get funny looks at birthday parties when I whip out a dye free cupcake for my girls? My job is to be a good mom to Q and CeCe. and right now that looks like playing crazy food police.2sx31
Another aspect of going dye-free that freaked me out a bit was the financial cost of buying more natural foods. I thought that I was going to have to do most of my shopping at organic grocery stores and my $100 a week grocery budget wasn’t going to go very far at Natural Grocers.
THANKFULLY, more and more mainstream brands are providing dye-free options and I can do a majority of my grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. In fact, within the past couple months I have found several new items that are now dye-free. Yopliat for example, has removed artificial colors from their Dora and Mickey Mouse Kid’s yogurt. YAY!
The truth is, I’m probably not near as healthy and crunchy as many of you. I do better with baby steps, so my first priority is that our food is dye-free. Then I do my best to keep preservatives out of our foods. It currently isn’t feasible for us to eat 100% organic, but I do hope that we can eventually make the switch to organic milk and meats.
My goal today is to show you that removing food dyes from your diet can be done without breaking the bank and loosing your mind.
Below I have made a list of dye-free foods that are available at your local grocery store. I will do my best to add on to the list as I find more dye-free foods.
Dye Free Breakfast:
- Cheerios (Multi Grain, Honey Nut, and Original)
- Special K
Eggs (we keep those chickens busy! We love eggs!)
Pancakes ( Bisquick mix is typically dye free. Check your mix, some contain yellow 5! Also, most syrups have caramel color, so we buy natural syrup that is available at Walmart.)
- Yoplait Kids
- Danon Kids
- Greek Yogurts (Fage, Oikos, Chiobani)
Lunch and Dinner:
Hot Dogs (Oscar Meyer Turkey Dogs are *nitrite and dye free)
Mac and Cheese (Annie’s brand is our favorite. Kraft has a white cheddar that is yummy too)
Chicken Nuggets (Tyson 100% all natural chicken nuggets rock! Some brand’s batter has Yellow 5, so check the ingredients! )
Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches
Minis Pizzas (Boboli crust with pizza toppings is a fun/easy meal!)
Applesauce (beware, the “cherry” applesauce isn’t red from the cherries, the red tint is courtesy of red dye. gag.)
Sweet Potato fries
Veggies (we LOVE steamer bags! So easy!)
Fruit (we eat A LOT of grapes, bananas, and apples in our house!)
Orville Redenbacher Natural White Pop Corn and Kettle Corn.
Cheetos Natural White Puffs (I ate the whole bag before Q could have some. Shhh!)
Fruit Snacks (Motts and Ocean Spray have dye free options)
Teddy Grahams (original)
Sliced Cucumbers and Baby Carrots (I always have veggies waiting for the girls when I pick them up from preschool. They will eat anything when they are HUNGRY!)
Golden Oreos (they do have artificial flavor, so if you are sensitive to MSG you might steer clear)
Goldfish Crackers (I am 99% sure that ALL flavors of Goldfish are dye free! They use natural dyes! Yay!)
Here are some surprising foods that contain artificial colors:
vanilla ice cream (French Vanilla almost always has yellow 5, some regular vanilla flavors are safe)
White cake mix (yellow 5)
Pickles (you didn’t think that pickles were naturally green did you?! Yellow 5 and blue)
Juices and lemonade
Medications (that pink Benadryl or Tylenol could be making things worse!)
A few observations:
*Sadly, generic brands typically use more dyes and artificial fillers in their foods. Aldi brand Cheerios have Caramel Color while name brand Cheerios do not.
*After you have eliminated dyes, you might notice that some dyes don’t effect your child as much as others. For example, Caramel Color makes Q very hyper but I have heard from others that their child is totally fine with Caramel Color. Also, blue dye doesn’t seem to effect Q as much as yellow and red. We still stay away from it, but if she has a marshmallow (blue dye) I don’t freak out.
*Hot Dogs. My girls LOVE hot dogs, but I DO NOT love nitrites. Did you know that children who ate more than 12 hot dogs a month had NINE times the normal risk of developing childhood leukemia NINE TIMES! Thankfully, Oscar Meyer sells nitrate free hot dogs that can befound at most grocery stores. You can read more about this here: www.preventcancer.com
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to e-mail me or leave a comment. I will be doing a FAQ post soon!