Happy St. Patrick’s Day! According to Wikapedia.com, St. Paddy’s day is a annual “feast day’ to celebrate St. Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland. This celebration falls within Holy week for those that are Catholic but this won’t happen again until 2160! If you aren’t Catholic you might just like to drink green beer, wear funny green hats and pinch everyone that doesn’t wear green. If you live in Chicago you know that the Chicago River is dyed green each year for this holiday. I wonder how safe that is? There are all sorts of funny traditions and stories that accompany this annual “feast day”.

My mom would dye our milk green and we always had green sugar cookies. This got me thinking about food coloring and just how safe these dyes are. It’s hard to avoid them because they’re in yogurt, cereals, puddings, breads, ice cream and everything children tend to link. My son acts goofy every time he eats anything blue. According to the FDA all food coloring additives are closing regulated. I’m not so sure I believe this with what I read and hear about the FDA but that’s what they report. The BBC News reported an artificial food coloring warning with reports of behavior change in children when exposed to artificial food coloring. Some of these reports include hyperactivity, temper tantrums, poor concentration and allergic reactions.

With this being said, I’m pretty sure I’ll forgo my mom’s traditions. They didn’t hurt me necessarily because I’m here but maybe I’ll just celebrate this green day with my children a little more naturally. Maybe we’ll eat things that are naturally green such as, celery, green peppers, lettuce, and cucumbers. It doesn’t sound as fun but we can still wear green clothes and read stories about leprechauns! So before you use food coloring with your children or buy something loaded with the stuff consider your child’s behavior. Maybe pay attention to the green popsicle they just ate and the bouncing off the wall behavior. Is it the sugar or the color…both? Whatever you decide, natural is always better but moderation is the key.

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