Food Dyes = Hyper Kids?

April 01,2011
Erin Dower( )

I know at least a few moms who have sorted out their kids' M&Ms to ditch the red ones because they believe they make their child hyper.

Do you think food dyes affect your child? Apparently there was just recently enough concern about the possible artificial food coloring/hyperactivity link that the FDA decided to hold a panel discussion this week to look into the long-rumored theory.

Guess what? The panel ruled 8-6 against putting a warning label on foods with artificial coloring because the majority said more research is needed. The panel agreed it's tough to know the true physiological effects of food dyes on kids. One panelist (maybe a mom herself?), Lisa Lefferts, summed up her take on food dyes: "There's something going on. Parents know that. But it's hard to measure," the LA Times reported.

For now, parents will just have to pay attention to their kids and know what foods affect them and what to avoid. That's no easy task! There are artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives in so many foods these days, and countless theories about the potential side effects of all of them.

Some foods you would never guess are on this list of 20 Surprisingly Artificially Colored Foods -- frozen blueberry waffles, fast food dill pickles, "real" strawberry ice cream.

I'm don't always read food labels with a fine-tooth comb, but sometimes I think I should. All I can do is follow some advice I recently read in this great (and short but sweet) nutrition book by Michael Pollan -- Food Rules: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

This new food website geared toward busy families can help you whip up healthy meals with mostly whole ingredients -- enjoy!