OLIVIA'S STORYMy interest in food additives came about quite by accident. I am not a nutritionist -although I think I would like to be - just a mum with lots of food related experience with my children.
My son Noah was thought to be autistic at about the age of two years. Out of sheer desperation I started searching for information to help him. I soon came to the understanding that certain foods and additives affected autistic children. Armed with this information and full support from my husband, I began eliminating certain food groups and additives from his diet. The results were nothing short of amazing. Within weeks I finally ‘met’ my son for the first time. Twelve months later, the paediatrician who had suggested autism, could not believe he was seeing the same child and marvelled at how far he had come during the year. Concern over autism diminished.
Noah’s story and what we have done to help him is a whole book on its own. Many other interventions were used to help achieve the results we have today.
Further down the track I decided to cut all suspect additives from my daughter’s diet. I saw things in her that I had not expected.
My daughter Maddison complained frequently about pain in her legs (growing pains) during the night and slept with a warm wheat bag every night. Two weeks after removing additives from Maddison’s diet, she attended a birthday party. That night she cried for hours about her legs aching. It only occurred to me then, that she too had problems with additives. Aching legs have not been an issue for her since avoiding food additives and only comes back when she has eaten something containing additives. Her mood has also changed. She is ‘nicer’ and has far more patience with her brother. Of course they fight; they are sister and brother, but the occurrence of this is not nearly as often. They are much more considerate of each other.
In the beginning I found it difficult to understand food labels. The first time I went additive free shopping I had only toilet paper and sultanas in my trolley! As it turned out I still had the wrong sultanas! On a serious note though, it does get easier. Hopefully by purchasing this book, many of the difficulties I had will be eased for you. This book was intended to help you cook some of your family favourites (and hopefully some new ones) in the safest, no or low additive way. I cannot stress enough how important it is to read the labels regularly as companies often change ingredients without warning.
Bridy and I decided to write this book to help people like you who are trying to eliminate dangerous additives from your child’s diet or maybe your own. Once you have a good understanding of what food additives are doing to your children, trust me you are very reluctant to knowingly let them consume them again.
I hope you find these recipes meet your family’s needs. It’s a really nice feeling to know exactly what is in the food you feed your loved ones.
I would especially like to thank Bridy for taking up the challenge to be co-author of this book. I could not have done this without her.
Wishing you and your family the very best as you take your first steps towards a ‘Low to No Additive’ life.
BRIDY'S STORYMy journey into food additives started when our son Lachlan experienced a severe allergic reaction to milk, a product I thought everyone could safely consume! Following this reaction we decided to have him tested further for allergies. He was allergic to most additives in food and, in particular, sulphites. It has been a long journey for us, but a successful one.
Eliminating additives from our son’s diet in his everyday meals was a time consuming, but worthwhile task. From this point we could easily establish what was really affecting him. The difficulty for us wasn’t eliminating additives at home, but when we were out. Children’s parties and clever advertising were our worst nightmare for a little while.
Fresh fruit for morning and afternoon tea and yummy risottos and pastas for lunch had my little man smiling from one to two years. He certainly was the perfect two year old. The terrible twos passed us by and my husband and I felt like the luckiest parents. Lachlan also communicated very early, stringing sentences together at one.
Just before the age of three many challenges set in. Lachlan stopped sleeping, became somewhat anxious and had, what I labelled, episodes of aggressive behaviour. As a mum I had difficulty admitting that my placid little boy was aggressive at all. I guess I was one of the lucky mums. It was easy to establish food as the problem because we had only just started to introduce packaged snacks. Very quickly, with the help of Lochie’s excellent diet, additive 211 became our biggest concern and was banned in our home. Within hours of consuming this additive my son would go from happy and playful to aggressive and hyperactive, with bouts of slurred speech. I often felt like I had lost my son. I never labelled him as a naughty boy; he was simply challenged by the toxic chemicals that our society calls food.
As a school teacher I feel alarmed at the products children consume from their lunchboxes. Parents are purchasing products from the shelves, honestly believing they are natural and safe. It concerns me that they too are being easily persuaded by words like ‘natural,’ ‘no MSG,’ and ‘Health Smart.’ Just because it’s fruit and dried does not make it safe!
It has been an education of a different kind for me. I am beginning to feel like an educated consumer. No longer does ‘natural ingredients’ mean for me what it used to! Little red bugs just like cockroaches (cochineal bugs) are ‘natural,’ whether I would give it to my son…seems a little unnatural! We could write a whole book on clever consumer tricking! Instead though, we’ve made it easy for you. We have stood at the supermarket and read every product label we have used in this book. Perhaps you will be where we are a little faster now!
Through this journey I have taught my three year old a lot of things. It’s never too late to start teaching your children about what is in their food. It is wonderful to know that my children will be happier and healthier people who may reach their full potential because they are not challenged by mind altering, cancer causing and mood changing substances that our society calls food!
For all those who have supported us and respected our choices for our sons, thank you. To Olivia for asking me to come on board, thank you ever so much. Our friendship has stood the test of time and I have enjoyed every challenge along the way. Thank you for your understanding and patience when working around my young children.
To our readers, I sincerely hope this book makes a difference in the lives of your little ones. I really do believe children are faced with different challenges today. The world is certainly a different place. We have moved forward in many ways and backwards in others. I hope this book will help Australia to move forward for the health of future generations.
In some part I know, Low to No Additives Family Favourites will acknowledge the care and concern that all mothers and fathers have for their little ones. To these mothers and fathers I wish you all the best and I hope it makes your job a little easier.
Happy, ‘safe’ supermarket shopping,
Is you child at risk for Autism?
- not smiling by six months of age
- not babbling, pointing or using other gestures by 12 months
- not using single words by age 16 months
- not using two word phrases by 24 months
- having a regression in development, with any loss of language or social skills
- Does not answer to his/her name?
- Unable to follow simple commands ie "give me your cup"
- Do you suspect hearing loss?
Early diagnosis provides the best chance of success.
Olivia and Bridy are available for phone consultations. For enquiries please email us here: email us for consultation enquiry
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