Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
2 years, 3 months.
It’s that time of year again, when I as a your parent have this constant worry in the back of my mind that your daycare is about to call me to say I need to come pick you up because you have a fever.
Mommy and I both save our own sick days from work for the days you will have a fever and one of us will need to stay home with you.
On top of wanting to know I can help restore you back to health, I also want to be able to have confidence that the medicine I give you is as natural and healthy as possible.
You know how passionate I am about our family not consuming products that contain red food dye. I’ve mentioned several times now that the popular food dye Red 40 is made from petroleum while Crimson Lake is derived from the powdered and boiled bodies of insects including the cochineal scale and the Polish cochineal.
In fact, back when you were only 13 months old, I wrote “Why This Dad Despises Red 40 And Crimson Lake Food Dyes” here on The Dadabase.
As a parent blogger, I have a solid track record of denouncing illegitimate food and medicine ingredients in my writings. One of my goals is to actually help make it taboo for any food or medicine companies to have Red Lake or Red 40 as one of their ingredients.
I want every parent to understand where those dyes come from; they’re simply not fit for human consumption.
Companies can legally be vague when it comes to listing their ingredients. That’s why, and I’ve said this before, if I see “artificial flavor” or “natural flavor” on the ingredients list, I won’t buy it; because any ingredients generically listed as “artificial” or “natural” could be… anything.
Because after all, anything is definitely “natural” and/or “artificial.” That’s always a red flag for me. (Pun intended.)
In addition to my skepticism of artificial colors and flavors in regards to what I allow you to consume, I have to be honest, my conscience isn’t clear when it comes to giving you medicine with alcohol, either.
It goes without saying that as your parent, I have incredibly high standards when it comes to what food and medicine I let you consume. I wish I could say there are several brands of medicine that gain my approval, and therefore, that I have actually given you. Unfortunately, there are very few.
As far as a brand that is very forth-coming about being both dye-free and alcohol-free for all their products, Little Remedies is the only one I’ve come across so far.
Mommy and I actually used their Gripe Water (to relieve discomfort from hiccups and gas) when you were an infant. Sure enough, it was the very first medicine we ever gave you.
Even if as an “extreme ingredients-aware parent,” I only represent a minority of the market, I’m just glad to know there are options I can give you.
I will never stop being mindful of the ingredients that go into your medicine, because medicine that has unnatural and questionable ingredients in it isn’t really medicine, if you ask me.
P.S. I invite any other readers of this letter to share your additional pointers, personal stories and struggles regarding the avoidance of artificial colors, artificial flavors, and alcohol in children’s medicine; feel free to leave a comment.
This post is sponsored by Little Remedies— makers of children’s medication without artificial colors, artificial flavors, or alcohol.
Photo: Child receiving medication, via Shutterstock.
Add a Comment
Thursday, December 20th, 2012
This post is sponsored by Little Remedies — makers of children’s medication without artificial colors, artificial flavors, or alcohol.
2 years, 1 month.
I often wonder what you will think of all the seemingly obscure limitations that Mommy and I put on our family’s food choices.
There’s actually a decent chance you will think our lifestyle of avoiding processed foods is normal, since it’s mainly what you’ve been exposed to your entire life.
To avoid all processed foods completely would mean to only eat from the food we grow and prepare ourselves. Right now as at stands, Mommy and I still have full-time jobs on top of taking care of you, so I don’t see a full family garden happening anytime soon.
So for us, we make a highly concentrated effort to avoid foods with fillers, which largely refers to processed foods.
This is both extremely easy and extremely difficult to do, but Mommy and I have some pointers to help keep us on track.
1. If we can’t recognize (or pronounce) the name of any ingredient on the back of the package, it doesn’t earn the right to enter our bodies. How do we know it’s not some harmful chemical or strange animal by-product? Mystery ingredients are fillers.
2. If the food contains artificial flavors or colors, that’s a dead giveaway the product contains “non-food” ingredients. Artificial flavors and colors are often derived from petroleum (like in Red 40 dye) or random animal by-products (like in Crimson Lake dye, which is made from the powdered and boiled bodies of insects including the cochineal scale and the Polish cochineal).
3. Food in the form of nuggets, patties, and sticks is highly likely to contain fillers. These foods by their very nature (or should I say lack of nature?) must contain fillers, otherwise they would be actual slices of meat.
4. High-fructose corn syrup is a bad influence on food. It can turn a normally healthy food into a junk food. Typically, high-fructose corn syrup, as opposed to actual sugar or evaporated cane juice, has a way of associating itself with other cheap and processed ingredients. It’s like a magnet for other mystery fillers.
5. Drinks other than water and whole milk are typically filled with unnecessary extras. The name whole milk itself should be a clue that low-fat milks have been processed and replaced with extra ingredients to a higher degree than whole milk. Even 100% juice removes the fiber from the fruit, and therefore from our diets, yet gives us 100% of the sugar. It only gets worse from there in the beverage world, like with regular soda and diet soda.
I know at times these dietary restrictions on you may seem extreme, but they are restrictions that we as your parents abide by alongside you.
After all, Mommy and I drank skim milk our entire lives until I agreed to participate in an experiment where I switched to whole milk for a month. Despite doubling my intake of milk that month, I didn’t even gain one pound. So we switched to whole milk.
As for the “no juice rule,” we’ve learned to incorporate more actual fresh fruits and vegetables into our daily diets.
I can’t always promise that you can have the “fun” food the other kids at school have, but I can promise you that we will make sure you are well fed…with healthy food without fillers.
P.S. I invite any other readers of this letter to share your additional pointers, personal stories and struggles regarding the avoidance of fillers in foods, or even voice your disagreements; feel free to leave a comment.
Photo credit: Photostock, Little Boy Biting Big Carrot.
Add a Comment