This is not your usual book on parenting. It does not look at psychological factors; instead, it looks in your grocery cart.
Parents of hard-to-raise children are often at a loss to understand why their best efforts at parenting don’t seem to be working. Love, consistency, empathy, time-out, natural consequences and all of the approaches that work well for most children seem to have no effect on these youngsters.
It’s even more puzzling when a child behaves appropriately some of the time and is out-of-control at other times. If he is afflicted with some sort of disorder, why would it appear only on occasion? Can a child be mentally disturbed on Monday and normal on Tuesday? Teachers don’t understand why they can’t get through to the student who is failing despite a high IQ.
Not many years ago, youngsters with behavior problems, learning problems, and chronic health issues were the exception, but today they are becoming the norm. “Hyperactivity” was once a footnote in medical textbooks but it has morphed into what is now the well-known “ADHD.” Childhood asthma used to be rare, as was childhood diabetes. Another formerly rare health issue – ear infections – are now seen by many as a normal part of growing up.
These issues, which appear to be very different, might have a common denominator – the proliferation of untested chemicals that seem to be all around us. Take a close look at the products in a typical shopping cart and see how many of these things could be contributing to Johnny’s behavior problems, ADHD, dyslexia, asthma, or ear infections: Kool-Aid, Jello, Sunny Delight, Flintstone’s Vitamins, Froot Loops, Campbell’s Soup, Diet Coke, Kraft Mac & Cheese Mix, Skittles, Tylenol liquid, Colgate Total Toothpaste, Glade PlugIn, Gain scented laundry detergent, Bounce Fabric Softening Strips.
The correct answer is: all of them. What do these items have in common? Most contain chemicals that have been synthesized from petroleum – this includes dyes, artificial flavors and some preservatives. And the products with fragrance rely on petroleum as a lowcost additive. The fake sweeteners and hidden MSG are not petrochemicals but have a long history of problems. One researcher found that food dyes, aspartame and MSG all cause damage to the nerves and interfere with the ability of the nerves to send signals – in other words, the ability to think. (Karen Lau, 2005)
Why Can’t My Child Behave?: The Feingold Diet updated for today’s busy families looks into our nation’s shopping carts and shows how to make simple changes that will eliminate the unwanted additives. Shoppers can find all the foods they enjoy, but in a better tasting and healthier version – often at a lower cost! This book guides the reader through the supermarket jungle and shows how to enjoy better food, better health and happier families.
Read more of Jane’s articles and find more information on the effect of food additives – dyes and chemicals – in Can Food Impact…?
Jane Hersey has been helping families of hard-to-raise children ever since she discovered that certain food additives were causing her daughter’s puzzling behaviors. She became a volunteer with the non-profit Feingold Association of the United States in 1976 and has served as its President and Director, testifying before the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Agriculture and Congress and giving seminars. Appearing on radio and TV, she is also the author of Healthier Food for Busy People: 20 Little Rules to Help You Navigate the Supermarket.
The fifth edition of Why Can’t My Child Behave?:The Feingold Diet updated for today’s busy families includes the newest information on how to successfully use diet to improve behavior.
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