We knew from experience that my kids were affected by Red40. It had pretty much not been allowed in our home for around 6 years. Occasionally, I would wonder every now and then if it was just in my head and let them eat something red. HA! For two days I would wonder why on EARTH I had doubted myself!
I will admit, I had heard of the Feingold diet before, but every time I had, I mentally stuck my fingers in my ears, closed my eyes, and went "LALALALALALALALA!" It was just TOO foreign. No way could food be that closesly related to behavior. Artificial colors, sure, but enough foods that you have to purchase a special list? No way could we afford that anyway. So it had always been dismissed quickly.
Remember, though, we had hit bottom. It was time for me to face the facts and to look at more options. I spent hours reading stories of other people who had started the program and had kids just like mine, but they improved with food. After much prayer, much study, much more prayer, and lots of conversation, we decided to give it a go. It helped that it was tax return season, so if we needed to a big shopping trip (we did), we could.
When you purchase the Feingold program, they send you a handbook. It includes facts, stories, recipes, letters to give to grandparents, menus, and extra resources. You also receive access to the foodlists- 4 times a year, the people at Feingold release a list of companies and products whose ingredients are considered "safe." This means it does not include any artificial color or flavor, no vanillin, no petroleum based preservatives (BHA, BHT, and TbHQ). These are all things that affect those with neurological issues. You also get access to a search feature so you can quickly find approved brands. My favorite perk of being a member, access to the Facebook page. The people on this board are AMAZING! So much help, people who have kids JUST LIKE MINE. People struggling fighting the same fight I'm fighting.
Within days of starting the new program (I hate calling it a diet), we noticed a change with ALL of the kids! They played together. They got along. They still had fits, but the fits didn't last for 20 minutes at a time. I only had to ask twice instead of ten times. We had new lives! Granted, we did have a week of detox, but that's totally normal. A couple months in, I had to go dairy free to try to keep the Captain from getting constant ear infections. We knew Puppy needed something besides basic Feingold and decided to go that route since he was already Lactose intolerant. It was what he needed. Our first Saturday (Big Chore Day), Puppy did everything he was asked the FIRST time and without complaining. This had literally NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. Anyway, things are going really well on Feingold!!
Now, one thing about ADHD is that if I fail at something more than a few times, I give up entirely. I have no desire to even TRY that particular activity again. Cooking was one of these things I had no desire to try. But I had to choose to learn to cook or to more than double my food budget. With lots of prayer (and new yeast- there's a story there) and serious necessity, I decided that I needed some kitchen skills.
This is where we stand right now. It's been a few months now and I have learned a TON about substituting foods to make things Feingold approved and Dairy Free. I need a place to put all these revised recipes. My cute niece, Sara, suggested that I put them here, to share with everyone!