Avoid Easter Bunny Mayhem How to Have a Calmer Easter
Creating a Calmer Easter
Every spring, your children eagerly anticipate a visit from that furry purveyor of candy, the Easter Bunny. You, on the other hand, do not look forward to the chaos that he often leaves in his wake when your kids eat all of those brightly colored candies. In fact, it might make you reach your wits’ end.
“Many parents blame sugar, but the real villains are usually the synthetic food dyes and additives in the candy,” said Jane Hersey, National Director of the nonprofit Feingold Association.
“If you look at the ingredient lists on typical Easter candies, you might think that the Easter Bunny actually works for a petrochemical corporation,” said Hersey, whose eldest daughter was helped by eliminating these additives.
Many petroleum based food dyes (like Red 40 and Yellow 6) and certain preservatives that have unpronounceable names are common ingredients in Easter candy. “These additives have no nutritional value and are added only to make the candies more colorful, and more appealing to children, or to preserve them until the next millennium,” said Hersey.
It has been known for decades that many of these chemicals can affect children’s health and behavior. In fact, one such study is a 2011 Australian trial conducted at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, which was sponsored by the Feingold Association. This study of children ages 4-12 found that a diet eliminating synthetic additives and other factors led to significant improvements in behavioral problems like oppositional behavior, ADHD and inattentiveness.
A 2012 article published in Neurotherapeutics also concluded that artificial food dyes represent a significant general public health problem. The authors recommended that parents take steps to minimize the amount of these additives in their children’s diet.
Similar studies, including a prominent one in the British medical journalLancet, resulted in the European Union’s decision to require labels on most artificially colored foods to warn that the additives “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”
In the United States, hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions to the food industry calling for the removal of these additives from their products.
So, what can parents do to make Easter less stressful?
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