Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 13:14:00 MST
From: Nancy Goren <nancy.TUX.MUSIC.ASU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Feingold Diet
Years ago when my son was in preschool (he's 25 today) we had an awful time with him, day and night. He would wake up at night and be unable to get back to sleep. He was irritable during the day and could not be comforted if he got it into his head that he wanted something which simply was not available. Feingold had just written his book and was still practicing at Kaiser Hospital, where we were members. We went to see him and talked about our son and he recommended that we try the diet. Within three days of eliminating all artificial colors and flavors from our son's diet he slept through the night and was a normal cheerful child during the day. To our chagrin we discovered that such things as his prescribed vitamins and Cheerios were artificially colored. It is amazing how many foods are altered in this way. Dr. Feingold explained to us that these are coal tar derivative compounds which mimic certain brain stimulants, which accounts for their effect on children.
Our son didn't like the feelings he got when he consumed these substances and after we explained to him how we were changing his diet he became his own best watchdog about what he ate. At birthday parties he would ask the hostess, "Is this artificial?", and usually they wouldn't know. When in doubt he would simply refuse to eat cake. I think the best persuasion you can offer to children going on this diet is to help them associate their own discomforts with what they are eating.