Most of us who have decided to give up artificial colors are getting pretty savvy about it. Most of us manage to check the labels of everything and are living our lives virtually artificial-coloring-free. We do this because we know that artificial colors lead to hyperactive, unruly children. Most of us know that red is the worst culprit.
When I was pregnant after my first pregnancy loss, my OB told me that when I was afraid that my child wasn’t moving, I should drink something red, like red Kool-Aide. He said that that would get that baby moving, and boy was he right!
I have three children. They all respond differently to artificial colors. My oldest begins crying over nothing about a half hour after ingesting artificial coloring. My middle one throws things, becomes enraged, and screams at the top of his lungs with anger when he eats something with fake food-dye. My youngest, well, she turns into a spoiled brat. She gets bossy and refuses instructions. She climbs things and yells “No” with more perseverance than I’ve ever witnessed in a toddler. I get that toddlers are supposed to assert their independence and that tantrums are a part of it. Her tantrums however take on a whole new degree of intensity…
I can liken the intensity of her “food coloring tantrums” verses her “normal tantrums” to the difference of color intensity between these candy canes:
and these candy canes:
I will gladly settle for less intensely red candy canes if the end result is less intense temper tantrums, violent outbursts, and depression.
You see, the second photo is a picture of candy canes made by Tru Sweets, and they are made with natural colors. I know that I am not willing to give up candy canes for Christmas. It just doesn’t seem OK. Thankfully, I know that there are naturally colored candy cane options.
How your candy canes are colored can mean the difference between this kind of Christmas:
and this kind of Christmas: