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The 1 additive to nix from your child’s diet immediately

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With Easter coming, it’s a good time to look for some replacements.

When someone asks me what foods they should avoid, I try to turn that question into a positive thought. I like to focus on what you can have, not what you can’t. There’s a little psychology at work behind that: If you think you’re not missing out, you’re not. That feeling is crucial to sticking to a healthy lifestyle, and increasing your chance of success achieving your overall well-being goals.

Read more: Simple nutrition tips for healthier digestion

With that being said, there are some additives I suggest removing from your diet immediately, if you haven’t already, and one of them is artificial colors.

Even my kids know to avoid these colors like the plague. They hesitate at birthday parties when cake is offered because next to candy, baked goods are one of the biggest culprits of having these unhealthy color additives. Though, I will say that friends birthday parties are the 1 percent of time they’re allowed to have this kind of junk. I’m not the type of mom who thinks that any little thing is going to kill them. I just let my kids know that these are unhealthy and can hurt us. Our oldest daughter, who’s seven, feels out of control when she has this kind of treat. She doesn’t like the way it makes her feel, which is a good indication that it’s not real food. So you can start to see why this is the number one ingredient I encourage my clients to remove from their child’s diet right away, but especially if they have already had any metabolic health issues.

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Easter is coming up, which I believe ranks the highest in candy (after Halloween) as far as holidays go, so now is a good time to start finding some replacements for your typical treats!

Food dyes can be so dangerous to our health that other countries have warning labels against them on the foods containing the added colors. Beware of our labels here in the U.S. They will trick you! For instance, if there’s a trace of real, natural food colors, it may say, “flavored naturally with some artificial.” But with a phrase like that, you can bet that most of what you’re eating is fake.

Avoid these 8 colors when possible:

Blue #1
Blue #2
Citrus Red #2
Green #3
Red #3
Red #40
Yellow #5
Yellow #6

These colors, according to private research, have been linked to cancer, tumors, hyperactivity, hypersensitivity and other behavior effects in children.

Delfi de la rua | Unsplash

The good news is, many of the major food companies are making a huge shift toward natural food dyes. The better news? About 99 percent of the time, with a little effort on your end, avoiding food dyes is very easy. If you shop at health foods stores like Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Mother’s Market or your local health store, you will be able to find natural dye alternatives for your kids’ favorite treats. Or, check Amazon for dye-free Easter candy if you don’t have access to a great health foods market. You’ll be amazed at the options you can find that are so much better suited for your sweet little ones—and yourself!

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