MOST HELPFUL POSTS
We have been a Feingold family for almost 4 years. My son's story...
We started Feingold just after he turned 3. At 3, his body did not process artificial colors (blue color= blue poop= not normal) or tomatoes or grapes. I had mentioned this to a friend whose son was on the diet for ADHD and she was like-- that is all eliminated on my son's diet.
Needless to say, after a massive asthma attack, we started the diet. The diareah went away immediately. After 6 months, my son's pulminologist took him off the daily asthma medications.
We have been off all daily asthma medications for 3 years. We use xopenex when a cold just won't get out of his system.
What I have learned since in relation to my son...
--artificial colors will cause an asthma attack that night. It may also show up as behavior issues.
--artificial flavors result in uncontroled diareah 3 hours after ingestion. My son often can taste these on first bite or sip at this point. The first symptom is often behavioral.
--preservatives-- a build up of these can cause diareah or asthma.
--natural salicilates are diareah or asthma. He can do apples and peached but not apple juice.
Because my husband and I are turned into the behavioral reactions, we often know he is having a reaction and can take some steps to minimize reactions (usually just pulling him back to a very "clean diet"). I can now trace things like bed wetting, aggressiveness, bad hand writing, lack of attention, every cold, lack of gross motor skills, etc etc etc back to an exposure of some type-- some as simple as smelling a scratch n sniff sticker or getting marker on himself when he is coloring.
Yes, the first few months were hard but we now have lots of coping mechanism and are very aware of what is going on. It also helps that my son has a great personality for "not having what everyone else is having". Truthfully, the bullitin board where the experieneced members wll help you through stuff was worth the $80 to me times ten.
This diet was a huge success for me and my son (now 11). He had ADHD symptoms and behavior issues that experts and parents alike were at a loss to understand or resolve. He also had exczyma and "pre-asthma". We began this diet 2 years ago and the symptoms are now gone. Well, let me clarify, he is a child. So every now and then he is tempted to eat some bright shiny colored candy with tons of high-fructose corn syrup in it. And when he does give in to temptation, he acts out and the rash comes back. I can't describe how different our life is now. We are all healthier for the food choices as well as have a much more peaceful life without the irrational behavior and acting out. My son was miserable and was starting to hate himself. Now he's happy. So learning the Feingold diet was worth it.
During the time that we started this diet, we also discovered (to the Allergists and my surprise) that he has a couple of food allergies - Corn, Soy and peas. We only discovered this because I insisted on a blood test (these food allergies did not show in his scratch test indicators). I have since learned that there are many children allergic to corn, soy and peanuts and in much greater percentages than in the past due to genetically modified plants. I can tell you at first I was really worried how difficult (or expensive) doing a Fiengold diet PLUS no corn or soy would be on me as a singlemom. And corn syrup is the worst - let me say that again. Corn syrup is the worst as far as making him break out or acting out in irrational behavior.
You don't have to become a member if you don't want. It does make it easier to learn it and shop etc to join. I joined only to get the books and the lists etc. Once I learned the idea behind the diet, I just go it on my own now. And it's not hard at all.
If you're interested, I would be glad to share my experiences ... from thinking we had to buy only the Feingold sanctioned brands, or having to go completely organic, or thinking I would never see convenience foods again. I've since learned how to get cheaper foods, have fun snacks around as well as healthy snacks, throw holiday dinners or summer BBQs for the entire family that fits the diet yet everyone loves, etc.
Browse around the Feingold site - feingold.org. You can learn the diet for free. The membership gets you a couple of books that explain the diet connection and really convenient shopping guides which is great for a beginner.
Phoebe - posted on 03/07/2009
I am a big advocate of the Feingold Diet. (and no you don't have to join to use the diet) I grew up on this diet and now use it for my son. I greatly helps his behavior and self control. A great place to shop is Trader Joe's. If you have one anywhere nearby it is a huge help. Most of the food they carry is free of unnatural additives. You do still need to check lables but when you check you are most likely going to get to put the item in your cart rather than back on the shelf.
Lisa - posted on 11/09/2008
"Natural Flavor" generally means MSG. It is Not Ok. Same with "spices"
The Feingold Program eliminates these additives:
* Artificial (synthetic) coloring
* Artificial (synthetic) flavoring
* Aspartame (Nutrasweet, an artificial sweetener)
* Artificial (synthetic) preservatives BHA, BHT, TBHQ
The biggest preservatives to stay away from in addition to that are:
sodium Benzoate, MSG, EDTA.
Feingold also eliminates a group of chemicals called salicylates. THese are usually found in asprin and apples.
You don't have to join it to follow it.
Louise - posted on 11/07/2008
The Feingold diet requires a membership right? I'm not sure how much it is, but was thinking that really...just staying away from preservatives would do the trick. Of course, I really don't know much about that stuff. What are ingredients I should be watching out for? Is "Natural Flavor" really natural and Ok?
Lisa - posted on 11/07/2008
I have heard of it and followed it for a while. It is a GREAT way to start looking at possible allergy/sensitivities with a kiddo. The best rule of thumb is to simple steer away from ALL preservatives. That's the first place to start. Most children will respond positively to this diet just because of this alone.
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