Avoiding Artificial Coloring in Food

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Faith Moser is the creator of eco ike {organic baby t’s + cookbooks full of yummy, healthy and quick recipes for kids and grown-ups}! If you want your kids to grow, live, eat & play green, visit ecoike.com.

Neon pink yogurt, blue shark “fruit” snacks and green sport juices! Food companies know that if you want to attract the kids (and their persuasive ways with purchases), you’ve got to make the product bright and shiny!

Food dyes are synthetic chemicals.  They provide zero nutritional value and have reportedly been linked to allergies, hyperactivity in children and, possibly, cancer.

Sometimes it’s hard for Mother Nature to compete against food coloring, such as Red Dye #3 (especially when it’s paired with Dora the Explorer). 

Here are some steps to eliminate food dyes:

1. Read the labels! If you see a color next to a number, pass on the product. 

2. Buy organic. By definition, organic food products cannot contain any synthetic dyes in order to be defined as a USDA Organic product (among other criteria that they must follow).

3. Don’t be deceived by healthy sounding names.  “Natural,” “fruit,” “pure.” Products can be very tricky with their product description. Be sure to read the labels and know exactly what you are buying.

4. Seek natural food coloring. Not expecting to see “beet juice” in children’s cereal? There are lots of natural and unusual ingredients that can safely give a food product color.

5. Eat real food. Buying and preparing dishes from fresh ingredients and avoiding processed foods allows you to have control over what is going in your family’s bodies.  

Photo Courtesy SlashFood.com

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