Houston, We have a Food Dye Allergy

This is still pretty new to me, but I’m pretty positive that Georgie is allergic to Red Dye #40.

Anything that is red or pink probably has Red 40, but not exclusively. Red 40 is one of the most common dye additives to many common foods such as chips, crackers, beverages, cheese, chocolate cake mix, even meats and vegetables!

Although we have yet to confirm this with her doctor, and allergy testing for food dyes is very difficult, her behavior after consuming red fruit punch is astonishing. I had started noticing it in the past few months, and without thinking, filled a cup with 1/2 water and 1/2 red punch. First thing she did when she sat down at the table to eat was guzzle about 1/4 of what was in the cup. Within just a couple of minutes – she was OFF. THE. HOOK.

She couldn’t sit still, she was spinning & dancing, she was yelling and jumping, and she acted as if she couldn’t even hear us. She didn’t eat a bite, even though she hadn’t eaten for hours. While it could be attributed somewhat to sugar, it is the same kind of behavior that occurs while drinking ANYTHING red – sugar free or not.

So I’m going to do an experiment – at the risk of our sanity – by offering her some sugar free Grape drink mix. Yep, it contains Red 40.

Anybody out there have any experience with food dye allergies / intolerances? I’ve just started researching and found a few websites that offer some explanations of other children who experience the same kind of disconnect in behavior after consuming food containing a dye they are allergic to!

Red Dye Free



Oh, and by the way, according to THIS article, Red 40 has been approved for use by the FDA, but when sprayed on weeds is effective as a PESTICIDE.


So, at our next well visit – we’re going to be discussing this in as much detail as we can, and I’ll be reading labels a LOT in the near future.

Any advice or recommendations you can offer is surely welcome!!!

2 thoughts on “Houston, We have a Food Dye Allergy

  1. Narelle says:

    635 is a hassle in this house… can’t remember what it’s name is… it multiplies the effect of msg (621) by 10

    Within an hour the kids are off the wall (Aussie version of you ‘off the hook’ LOL)

    I totally avoid it

    We actually avoid most ‘numbers’ as I call them… if they can’t put it as a straight ingredient and it needs a chemical number to identify it, then it can’t be good!

    It’s been a part of our whole food journey over the last few years and since working with nourishing traditions I am a whole lot more vigilant on it.

    Let us know how that sugar free grape drink goes!

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