It’s a topic worthy of it’s own post one day, but we are a Red Dye 40 FREE household. That stuff is evil. G has a sensitivity to it that causes hyperactivity, mood swings, uncontrollable rage that usually ends with an epic crash and uncontrollable sobbing. I know, it sounds crazy, right? I wouldn’t have believed it either if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.
Valentine’s Day is the WORST because EVERYTHING IS RED. Cookies, cupcakes, suckers, candy. UGH.
So here are some ideas for avoiding Red 40 – which I highly recommend trying to do. Even if you’re kids don’t have a noticeable reaction to it, I PROMISE it’s NOT GOOD for them.
1. Avoid Red or Pink Treats
This includes Red Velvet Cake, cookies and cupcakes with red or pink frosting or red or pink sprinkles, candy with red or pink coatings, etc, etc.
I know, this sounds nearly impossible but as an alternative you can:
- Choose CHOCOLATE! Skip red candy. Just eat chocolate (that sounds like a solid plan to me!)
- Opt for cupcakes frosted with vanilla frosting without dye. Adorn them with non-edible Valentine decorations (like heart rings or these PRINTABLE cupcake picks)
2. Opt for healthy treats for a punch of color!
- If you want red, serve strawberries, cherries, raspberries and apples! We could all use more fruit and less candy anyway!
- You could make a new tradition of strawberry shortcakes for Valentine’s day! I have the perfect recipe here!
3. Make your own dye-free treats.
- Make Red Velvet Cake without the food dye (it will not affect the taste!)
- Make Chocolate Chip Cookies or Brownies – no dye needed!
- Use natural food dyes to color treats. This is how I made pink heart cinnamon rolls for Valentine breakfast!
Using McCormick Nature’s Inspiration Food Colors , I was able to color the icing pink. I’ve since discovered that you can get natural food dyes in a liquid form so I’m excited to check those out soon.
Have you looked into the effects of RED40 on children? Do you check labels and avoid it? It’s hard because it’s sometimes in places you wouldn’t expect. But it’s not good for anyone, especially our children!