Failsafe 68 July - September 2011
The Food Intolerance Network provides information and support for people worldwide using a low-chemical elimination diet free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers (FAILSAFE) for health, behaviour and learning problems.
Additive-free school trial
New website www.fedup.com.au
Research: Vitamins 'lower risk of autism'
In brief: Is the world's top tennis ace doing better because he gave up gluten?; Low-calorie diet reverses type 2 diabetes; Vaccine for coeliacs; FSANZ has released a new nutrition database for consumers; FSANZ is starting a Food Standard Code interpretation service; Spam Food Intolerance Network site; Book review: “Alex – what happens when your life is in tatters then you meet a mysterious stranger”
Now targeting: Are you fed up with your school canteen or tuckshop?; Any South Australian volunteers for lobbying letter writing?
Success stories: - including three COURAGE AWARDS
Shopping list: new products, warnings
Questions: detailed help and information
Around the groups: meet our members, Fedup Roadshow program for August: book now!
Cooks Corner: Garlic and chive chips, Failsafe tzatziki dip, Failsafe sushi , Semolina pudding
Bronwyn Pollnitz’s recent successful additive-free school trial has put school canteens in the spotlight, see lead article. The good news is that a list of nasty additives is now included in the National Heathy School Canteens Guidelines, the bad news is what some schools are still selling. As one reader commented “It has made me realise that a lot of the time we really don't know what we're eating!” Have your say in Now Targeting below.
Thanks to all for the many positive comments about our new website www.fedup.com.au:’I love the new website- I think that will help in my efforts’ (teacher, Dandenong), and ‘ it looks great! And a lot easier to manoeuvre around too’ (Sydney dietitian).
I’m looking forward to catching up with failsafers on the Fed Up Roadshow 2011 at 15 locations in August – pre-pay tickets are now on sale – and thanks to all the failsafers who are helping to make this tour happen. Roadshow details below.
Happy failsafeing - Sue Dengate
Additive-free school trial
Congratulations to our Adelaide contact Bronwyn Pollnitz whose "Eating for Success" additive-free school trial made headlines. The two week trial was featured on Channel 7’s Today Tonight (www.todaytonightadelaide.com.au and look for the video "Additive free school").
Additive free food 'should be seriously considered by all Aussie families' according to Principal Chris Reimann of the Hills Christian Community School in Adelaide. Mr Reimann was commenting on improvements in students during the school's recent additive free program. Teacher Liz Nicholls described how students were happier, more focused, more respectful, less impulsive and 'willing and eager to try new things more readily'.
See previous successful school trials at http://www.fedup.com.au/factsheets/support-factsheets/schools-eating-for-success and videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fs-N0Gjf4C8 (viewed by 16,648 people) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qjubDIipbs.
New website www.fedup.com.au
Our completely revamped website after many months of work is getting rave reviews for ease of use:
- The new website is fantastic. I'll be sure to bookmark it to my facebook as soon as it's officially launched - Margaret
- Woah! More arresting, clear and convincing than ever before. Totally love it. - Paula
- The new website is looking awesome. Lots of hard work there. – Sue H
- Checked out the new website- fabulous! - so user friendly and colourful. Congratulations! – Ruth from Sydney
- Your new website looks AMAZING and is so much easier to use! Good on you guys! - Anna from NZ
All members of the Failsafe Newsletter should have received an invitation to join the Failsafe forum on the new website. If you are having difficulty logging in with the details sent to you, there is now a help button on the login at http://www.fedup.com.au/information/support/help-with-login-problems
Books, DVD and Failsafe magnifying card now available through www.fedup.com.au
You can buy Sue’s books and DVD individually or as “the set” (Fed Up, the Failsafe Cookbook & the DVD Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour) at competitive prices. The new magnifying failsafe card with names and numbers of all 50 additives to avoid is also available.
Vitamins 'lower risk of autism' Women who reported not taking a daily prenatal vitamin immediately before and during the first month of pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder as women who did take the supplements -- and the associated risk rose to seven times as great when combined with a high-risk genetic make-up, a study by researchers at the University of California has found. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525112109.htm
Last year, researchers from the University of Colorado reported that seven out of every ten pregnant women in the United States were not getting enough Vitamin D and that while prenatal vitamins do raise Vitamin D levels during pregnancy, higher doses may be needed for many women. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100511173821.htm
At the same time, a Canadian study of nearly 500 pregnant women assigned 3 different doses of vitamin A supplements found lower rates of preterm labor and preterm birth, and lower rates of infection in women taking supplements. The greatest effects were seen among women taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100501013417.htm
Diet not working as well as you'd hoped?
Is the world's top tennis ace doing better because he gave up gluten? After tennis star Novak Djokovic's nutritionist discovered he was allergic to gluten, he switched to a gluten-free diet. Since then he's now been ranked as the number one tennis player in the world and just won Wimbledon for the first time. http://sports.yahoo.com/tennis/blog/busted_racquet/post/Is-Novak-Djokovic-s-new-gluten-free-diet-behind?urn=ten-wp706
Low-calorie diet reverses type 2 diabetes: a British study from Newcastle University in the UK has found that a two-month extreme diet can reverse type 2 diabetes and has overturned 'lifelong condition’ assumptions, read more http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jun/24/low-calorie-diet-hope-cure-diabetes study abstract http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21656330
Vaccine for coeliacs: the world’s first potential vaccine for coeliac disease has shown promising results for treating coeliac disease in a Phase I clinical trial. http://www.wehi.edu.au/site/latest_news/coeliac_disease_vaccine_shows_promising_results_in_phase_i_trial
FSANZ has released a new nutrition database for consumers which contains nutrient data for 2668 foods available in Australia and up to 245 nutrients per food. Lots of interesting stuff. http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumerinformation/nuttab2010/
FSANZ is starting a Food Standard Code interpretation service because “the food industry in Australia operates in a complex, layered regulatory environment, with many agencies involved and varied circumstances in each state and territory,” according to the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Ms King. Consumers can only agree and hope to access the service rather than being shunted off to under-resourced State and local governments. All advice will be published and will be adopted and applied by all state and territory food regulatory agencies.
Book review: “Alex – what happens when your life is in tatters then you meet a mysterious stranger” by Alan Warburton and Pamela Jones ISBN 978-0-9871446-0-7 MediaCom Education Inc 2011 www.mediacom.org.au This book speaks to young people in a simple, moving and convincing story of Alex with her health and family problems, addressing the gap between those who understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle and those who choose to ignore how vital it is to their wellbeing. Food additives are well-covered. It contains references to spiritual beliefs which might turn some people off but would be a great health education resource for many. (HD)
Are you fed up with your school canteen or tuckshop? How many artificially coloured products are offered to your children? Parents are invited to send us the number of artificially coloured products sold in their school canteen, see responses to date.
Any South Australian volunteers for lobbying letter writing? South Australia has chosen to stay with the Right Bite Canteen strategy as it has tighter guidelines, but unfortunately this means that our children are not protected by the RPAH list of nasty food additives on page 43 of the National Guidelines http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/E957A2FD2F25C36BCA2574830007BAF2/$File/Guidelines%20for%20healthy%20foods%20and%20drinks%20supplied%20in%20school%20canteens.pdf
(And do take a look at page 42, where you’ll see a mention of salicylates etc.) The Right Bite strategy is being (or about to be) reviewed at the moment, so now is an opportune time to write to Hon Jay Weatherill (Minister for Education) and Keith Bartley (CEO of DECS) and let them know why the information needs to be included. Happy letter writing! - Bronwyn Pollnitz
Hon Jay Weatherill (MP) (most important letter!), SA Minister for Education and Minister for Early Childhood Development, GPO Box 778, Adelaide SA 5001
Mr Keith Bartley (second most important letter; he takes advice from Mr Weatherill), Chief Executive Officer (CEO) DECS, 31 Flinders Street, Adelaide SA 5001
- Handwritten is best.
- Write a first draft.
- Let them know who else you are writing to.
- Introduce yourself.
- Give details about the changes you have seen with yourself; this is your story!
- Maybe talk about overall changes you’ve seen with your class.
- Explain what you’d like to see happen in other schools, and why.
- Write that you’d like the list of nasty additives included with the SA Right Bite strategy so that other children have a chance to benefit.
- Draw a picture if you like.
There are three COURAGE AWARDS in this newsletter. For every story we report, there are probably another 10 which cover similar issues. And these are just the ones we get to hear about.
See all stories and search them. Names have been changed to protect privacy.
 One-liners (July 2011)
- Congratulations on the Aldi win. And thanks for all your good work.- Margaret
- Well done and thank you for your hard work. It has been great to see the changes over the years! After over 5 years we still reap benefits in our family of being failsafe. Unfortunately Aldi is not preservative and additive free. We got caught out recently, presuming that they would automatically cut out preservatives as well! So we still need to read labels even at Aldi! - Joy
- Thank you to you for all you have done Sue!!!!!.- Camille
- As a heads-up for those still "lost" and wondering if there is a cure, I strongly urge you to give up what I call the "trifecta" (i.e. artificial colours, flavours and preservatives). This covers most of the main culprits which cause most peoples' asthmatic conditions (in my opinion). - Mark
- We've all been hit by the dreaded flu and only our 8 yo son who is fully failsafe has escaped it's grasp, healthy and happy - Kate
- We are finding quite a significant difference with the a2 milk (as well as failsafe) - even in my husband who is asthmatic, his 'wheeze' is almost gone (until he decides to get take away food for lunch - you can't help some!!!!) I stumbled onto your site one night while I was researching a2 milk, and I love it - Cindy
 Grandmother’s night terrors, anxiety, paranoia, depression and brain fog helped by diet (July 2011) COURAGE AWARD
My daughter bought the Fed Up book to help her son, my one year old grandson who was cranky, unable to sleep, hyperactive and constantly cleared his throat. After reading the book, I saw myself in the symptoms of night terrors, anxiety, depression and brain fogginess. So I joined him on the diet (we all live together) and I haven't had one night terror since. (Prior to this I was having at least 5 night terrors a week and hated going to bed.) I have had the occasional bad dream when eating off the diet, but nothing like they were. My anxiety lifted, the depression went away and for the first semester since returning to university I understood what they were saying, I participated in class and starting talking and laughing like a 'normal' person.
Before that I was constantly anxious, paranoid, stressed and felt 'stupid.' I thought people didn't like me, I wasn't good enough, and I was unmotivated to reach my goals.
My husband didn't believe in food affecting people, and was critical of our changes, however has seen remarkable changes in the baby and in me. He said to me recently 'what's the matter with you?' as I was sullen and quiet. I admitted I ate something off the diet (but I used to be like that most of the time). Now he cooks me failsafe meals at night and reads labels before buying foods.
I stay away from additives, salicylates, amines, glutamates and dairy. It can be difficult to eat a limited diet, but the world is so much more fun, it's worth it!
Thank you for writing the books and creating the DVD. It's given me back the opportunity to experience the wonderful life I have. - Monica
 160b: Annatto tantrums due to soy yoghurt (July 2011)
We are currently doing the elimination diet and are about to reintroduce foods. My son is 2 and has been a handful being constantly irritable, huge tantrums that are inconsolable lasting 30 mins or more 4-5 times a day, speech delay, no concentration, runny poos. He has been an angel since starting the elimination diet however took a backwards step at about 2.5 weeks. We discovered we had been giving him soy yoghurt with 160b in it. We took him off it and his symptoms cleared again. It was mostly behavioural issues such as tantrums. His poos weren't noticeably worse. – by email
 Anniversary: 12 months failsafe for severe eczema (July 2011) COURAGE AWARD
Sleepless nights... what an understatement! We were averaging 2/3 hrs sleep a night when the kids’ problems hit a peak. This went on for months.
We were at a loss as to what had taken over our family and was slowly breaking us all down to a point of no return. As parents, feeling helpless, exhausted, and desperate was quickly becoming our normal. For our children it was far worse, they were struggling constantly with scratching, bleeding and screaming in pain, day and night. Finding our 4 month old son bleeding in his cot was a regular occurrence. Then there were the times holding our 6 year old daughter while she screamed, thrashed, and clawed at her flesh causing it to bleed. All too often they were in unison and my husband held our baby trying to comfort him as he suffered the same way while I held our daughter.
A vicious cycle of skin infections, constant discomfort, and numerous trips to doctors who assured us it was just eczema only added to our desperation.
We knew the kids had allergies and avoided all the allergens as directed by specialists but unknowingly we were contributing daily to their severe discomfort by what we were feeding them - and it wasn’t even a bad diet … or so we thought!
Our life line came the day we saw Sue on the local news, she mentioned itchy skin rashes and I took notice! Life changed that day. Slowly but surely we eliminated the foods and personal care products that were causing this chaos.
It is our anniversary this month …12 months failsafe and our gift is 2 beautiful children with silky smooth skin (we regularly run our hands over it amazed at the difference), no more rashes, itching or screaming through the night & guess what?… they are both calmer & more engaged … behaviour was not our original motivation to become failsafe but we have noticed the changes in them in this area as well and what an absolute bonus that is.
Thanks Sue and Howard for your many years of research and hard work and also for giving us a place to turn when there seemed no where else to go, we are forever grateful – Deb (Deb is organising the Fedup Roadshow talk in Taree 2011)
 220: Sulphites and eczema – “it pays to be persistent” (July 2011)
Feb 2011: I live in the UK. Since childhood I have suffered from sporadic, mild eczema, but for the past 8 months I have had a severe rash, starting on my arms and legs and then spreading to my scalp and stomach. It has been unbearably itchy. In this time I have been prescribed Betnovate ointment and anti-histamines and been treated twice for scabies! The rash has eased several times and then come back again.
After reading about “ribo rash” I realised that I had been using instant gravy granules regularly during the past year and that these contain E635. I am also allergic to (British) chocolate and have to be careful not to eat too much, too often. I can, for some reason, tolerate Belgian chocolate though.
Thank you for the information on your site, it could be a turning point for me.
May 2011: I've cut additives out of my diet altogether but wine seems to be the culprit. Since I stopped drinking it the rash is very slowly clearing. I'm also mainly dairy free at the moment. When I'm clear I'll start to introduce these things back slowly and see what happens. Now that I've narrowed it down I need to pinpoint exactly what the cause is. It has made me realise though that a lot of the time we really don't know what we're eating!
June 2011: I'm able to let you know that sulphites would seem to be the problem. I'm managing to cut them out of my diet, although it's difficult as they masquerade under different names and are in most manufactured foods. Unfortunately they're in most wines too in fairly large amounts and so I've also had to give up my favourite tipple. My rash has virtually disappeared, with just a few stubborn patches remaining, and it has left red marks which I'm sure will fade in time. A year of hell, really.
I hope my story might encourage other sufferers to 'turn detective'. It certainly hasn't been easy because my symptoms don't show straight away but it pays to be persistent – Lynn, UK
(There’s no need to give up your favourite drink, SO2GO removes sulphites from wine - Sue)
 Salicylates: “they said he couldn't come back to preschool unless I did something about his behaviour” (July 2011)
I just wanted to say thank you so much for the website and books! My son has been on failsafe for 8 weeks now and it's like a cloud has been lifted from our family. We have our little boy back!!
Riley’s physical problems started at about 2. His face was constantly covered in a horrible red rash. This rash moved to his bottom and his nappy area was full of blisters and skin so raw it would bleed. Sometimes it got so bad he couldn't walk properly because he was in so much pain.
At 3 the behavior problems started. Riley had little energy. He didn't play with toys much and preferred to be in front of the TV. He had a lot of fears and anxiety and most of all he was angry. Most of his anger was directed at me and he would hit, pick and slap me often. I would spend days in tears not knowing how to help him. At preschool it was pretty much the same, Riley had a very short fuse and the kids were all scared of him because of his outbursts. Eventually they asked me to get him assessed because they believed something was wrong with him. I was told they couldn't handle him anymore and said he couldn't come back unless I did something about his behaviour. I tried lots of different things but nothing worked until I was told about failsafe.
The change in these short 8 weeks had astounded everyone. His teachers at preschool asked me who was this boy? he now is friends with everyone, hardly had outburst and often says I love you to his teachers followed with lots of cuddles and kisses. He has energy now. He doesn't want to watch tv, he wants to dance and run in the backyard and play games with me. He no longer hits me and our relationships is closer than ever. No more rashes either or anxiety!
He is affected by salicylates and we are soon going to test amines but I suspect he won't pass that challenge as he seems really grumpy the day after I have given him a banana or cheese.
I have been telling everyone about this diet and I will continue to share my story. Thanks so much. I can't even imagine how you have changed so many families. –Jodie, by email
 Another soy intolerance story: “Wow, wow, wow – a different boy” (July 2011)
My son is eight and daughter six years old respectively. We have been failsafe for approximately 7 years of that time. I thought I had it pretty much down what they could and couldn’t have.
Last week however I stopped buying soy milk as my son was using so much of it, it wasn’t funny. I have always tried to steer them to rice milk, which my daughter loves! thank goodness. The soy milk was for others in the home but our son loves it and stopped having the rice milk when soy was around.
I cut this out last week. I seem to have a different boy. We have always just thought that removing what we did know was causing problems was as good as it got. That he would always be a LOUD ACTIVE HYPER BOY. It was much worse if he ate things he shouldn’t. He reacts quite badly to amines, salicylates, colours are atrocious for him etc.
Can it really be the soy? Can it really be this simple? My son is now receptive, loving, easy to talk to, to explain things to, has stopped whinging, being aggressive, doing annoying things to his sister and to us. Even stopped all the repetitive things as well.
As I write this he is sitting watching some tv, his room is clean, he is dressed for school, his jobs are done ie take the dog for a walk, feed the chickens etc. He is not ‘in my face’, he is not running around annoying his sister (she doesn’t know what to do with this as she is so used to it, she is even trying to get his attention to be how he always is with her)
Wow, wow, wow. If it is not the soy milk then I am at a loss as to what it could have been. I now have a son that is sooooo easy to love and cuddle AND it has been a quiet house too, not just from him, but I don’t feel the urge to yell to get my point across for the 15th time. The lesson here is - never give up trying to find what may be happening with your child. It probably is not normal, and you may be missing something. - Cathryn (see more about soy intolerance in ,  and )
 Elimination process “the best thing we ever did for our daughter” (July 2011)
We've been the through the elimination process quite some years ago now. Best thing we ever did for our daughter (previously a tantrum throwing, oppositional monster) and our family as a whole. We are lucky in that we can get away with a lot. We actively avoid artificial additives but do let our children indulge at other people's birthday parties. We allow all of the natural foods but keep an eye on just how much salicylates are going in so as not to hit the threshold. Many thanks to you and Sue for all the work that you do. Without your books, website and forums - well, it makes me teary just thinking about what life would've been like. I am constantly referring other people to the website and the books, and regularly loan my copies out. I think I've helped a few people in doing so. – Tammy by email
 Salicylates: Migraines due to salicylates (July 2011)
I moved to Australia from India ten years ago. With a change in diet following different food produce/products/ cleaning products/fragrances/toiletries - everything - I started showing all sorts of allergic type reactions. After three years I had to visit a GP who sent me to allergy specialist, who diagnosed the problem as salicylate intolerance. Since then I went on the elimination diet and reintroduced foods gradually from low to higher levels of salicylates/amines. Though a long painstaking process, it was definitely beneficial. I understand now the symptoms had started in India, but were not too frequent, and guess what, took aspirin in those days not realising it made me worse!
Bread was causing me major headaches. Now I always buy the white bap from Bakers delight, and avoid bread altogether on weekends. Am more a rice eater for dinner, so that's helped me in some ways. Itchiness and other minor things I can handle, (and believe me I think I have shown all symptoms from eye tics to not sleeping well and having nightmares). Migraines cause the most problems, and more so as I will definitely have nausea and vomit and will have to lie down in a quiet dark room till I feel better. I cannot take ibuprofen at all, makes it worse.
Eating out is a major problem, though we do tend to eat home most of the time. Family and friends have been most supportive, and cook what I can eat. At work I am always asked what I can have when we have the morning teas or lunches out, so feel quite special. - Mita, by email
 'Crohns disease' due to salicylates (May 2011) (July 2011) COURAGE AWARD
I have two girls aged 4 and 2 years and recently my two-year-old daughter Isabella had very bad tummy pain, bleeding gums, bad breath, a fissure on her bottom and blood in her stools. The first sign was the bleeding gums. They just kept getting worse and worse as we brushed and it hurt her to eat anything. Then there was her tummy pain which was also getting worse. She was not gaining any weight (actually losing weight the year before but thought she was a fussy eater!) and is still very little for her age. I saw various doctors about her fissure and tummy pain and also mentioned her gums and no-one would help me. One doctor did say it was a fissure but didn't address the other issues.
She also had bad breath and was very whingy and clingy most of the time.
Anyway I decided to take her to our local University dentist as it is free and they are fantastic with kids. They ended up referring us to the Dentistry section at Westmead Childrens' Hospital. To cut a long story short they kept bringing people into the room until they reached the highest person in the place and he said he thought it was either Crohn's Disease or Leukaemia. After months of testing including a gum biopsy and an endoscopy and colonoscopy the Gastroenterologist confirmed it was Crohn's. They then got us back and said they want to trial her on a preservative free/additive free/antioxidant free diet. So off we went on the challenge to stop all these nasty foods.
They gave me a list of foods I could give her and a list to avoid. They said she could have milk, all fruit, vegetables, pasta etc as long as there are no additives. Anyway while researching one day I stumbled across something on your website. I knew of your website and it was helping me greatly but this day I was reading about Salicylates and Amines. I had NO IDEA what they were before that moment.
It suddenly occurred to me that I had been giving Isabella her favourite juice every morning, sometimes two cups. It was V8 Tropical juice which says it has no preservatives etc but I didn't realise about the salicylates. I stopped it that day and told her I had run out and had to go to the shop to buy more! (Saying that helps to avoid an argument!!) To my amazement her bad tummy pain stopped that day! I haven't given her the juice since and it's been about 3 months. Her gums got better, her fissure got better and her bad breath went away. She has had tummy pain now and then but I am fine-tuning her diet and think she could be totally sensitive to salicylates. I make my own washing detergent and wash her with Alpha Keri fragrance free but haven't gone as far as stopping my perfumed products like hairspray etc.
The purpose of this email is to send you a HUUUUUUGGGGGGEEE thank you for putting out the website and your books! I haven't come across anything on your site (maybe I've missed it) about the diet helping people with Crohn's Disease so maybe Isabella 's experience will help someone else. .
If we had not have found your article about Salicylates then Isabella would have been put onto steroids at two years of age. The diet itself has changed our family greatly as well. My 4 year-old daughter is concentrating better, doesn't argue with me like she used to and isn't as emotional. Her learning ability has increased as well. I don't have restless leg syndrome anymore and I feel much better in myself.
The months before Isabella was diagnosed with Crohn's were unbearable and it was just horrible seeing my little girl go through all of that pain and not be able to fix it. Now, thanks to you, she is bouncing out of her skin and is a happy little two-year-old (with the occasional tummy pain).
It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about the past 6 months and what we've all been through. Everyone I run into I tell about it as there's probably someone else out there suffering but thinking they are eating healthy with all that fruit.
Update: Isabella has been getting through the capsule challenges very slowly. She didn't react to 'A' (I have no idea what they are) and 'B' she had a MAJOR reaction to so I'm looking forward to finding out what that was! She had all the symptoms of Crohn's back (except bleeding gums (although I think if we had of kept giving her whatever it was for a period of time that her gums would soon start to bleed again). Her behaviour was also just terrible. Words can't explain how defiant, grumpy, emotional etc she was. She also started to wet the bed! I felt really sorry for her that I gave her that on purpose. With all the ones she has reacted to (every one of them except 'A') it has taken a good week or so for all symptoms to disappear. I have noticed with everything she has like additives she develops a sore on the outside corner of her mouth. It gets really bad and then when she is back on the plain diet it heals. Very strange but I'll be able to tell when she's lying when she's older if she's had something she shouldn't! - Shelley, NSW
 4 yo behaviour - the biggest shock was the fruit and veg (July 2011)
I am new to failsafe and have discovered that we didn't have a lot to change but what we have has made an enormous difference!.
The biggest shock to me was the fruit and vege as the girls ate quite a lot of these, mainly grapes, strawberries, blueberries, apples and bananas with oranges and mandarins more recently (they are 5, 4 and 2 years old), and carrots, broccoli and zucchini with pumpkin and potato. I will be switching the 'bad' ones to the ones you have listed (not sure how I am going to go with this as only one girl likes pears and I can hear the protest to the cabbage now!).
We have never eaten a lot of takeaway as I have horribly sensitive skin (eczema and acne) and tend to avoid bread as it wreaks havoc with my tummy. I always believed fast foods made me (and since the children, them) feel awful the next day, not to mention the appalling behavior. There are lots of reasons for us trying failsafe, those I mentioned, then my husband has recently been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and is asthmatic (worse I have learnt on sulphites). Our 4 year old is our test in life I am sure and she is the one in particular that reacts to artificial colours and preservatives.
We have long been eating mountain flat rye wraps in place of bread, especially on weekends for lunches and now they are more frequent during the week in lunchboxes. I usually bake all our smoko stuff and am more convinced than ever to continue doing that (just this morning we made the shortbread and cupcakes from your cookbook). I am much more aware now of Lily’s reaction in particular to preservatives and salicylates and am starting to notice some reactions in our 2 year old. Funnily, the reaction does not seem as bad in the 5 year old, but I can see some things that she is sensitive too, especially since she seems to get rather nasty to her sisters after she eats those things, mostly the high salicylates.
Terrible thing when you start to look - just what I have been feeding my children and why they have been the way they have in terms of behaviour. I thought I was doing well too as we never had cordial or potato crisps and VERY rarely had lollies or other 'junk food'. I bought the organic fruit and vege and cooked most of our food myself.
Just a little story for you, we went out to dinner on Friday night for a celebration. Of course the children’s menu was awful (chicken, fish or sausages, all with chips) and I thought to myself 'this will be interesting' as I had had Lily 'safe' for almost 2 weeks. The girls chose chicken and chips (the chicken was crumbed strips) and after they had finished eating the waitress bought them a bowl of ice cream with strawberry topping each. Before we left the restaurant Lily started yelling and screaming, crying, being really rude, obnoxious and just horrible. I left with her while my husband finished up and paid for the meal because she was unbearable. The next day was quite a treat too! All this within 15-20 minutes of eating the meal. As they say, the proof is in the pudding (or in this case, the whole meal)! – Cindy, Qld
Don’t forget, you can see all current stories
Products are updated in the Failsafe Shopping List.
Here are recent updates from that list:
Woolworths baked instore bread with the following ingredients is failsafe (always read the label): wheat flour, water, yeast, iodised salt, soy flour, wheat gluten, sugar, vegetable oil (antioxidant (306 from soy)), vegetable emulsifiers 471,481,472E, malted wheat flour, vitamins (thiamine, folate) – thanks to Kath
Failsafe sausages (always check ingredients)
2077 Hornsby NSW Tender Value Meats, 12 Florence St, Hornsby (close to Westfield), in their freezer all the time (except when they run out!) two flavours of thin sausages made with rice flour: chicken and pear; beef, leek and garlic. Have also ordered sausage meat to make sausage rolls – thanks to Heather
6023 Duncraig WA Torre and Mordini Gourmet Meats, Shop 17 Carine Glades shopping centre, 473 Beach Rd, Duncraig 08 9246 2399
SUCCESS! McCain Foods quietly removed BHA 320 from all their products from December 2010. FIN has campaigned for years about their use of this antioxidant which did not have to be declared on many products like oven-fry chips because of the 5% labelling loophole – thanks to Cara and George
Golden syrup Warning Some extra sensitive people have problems with low salicylate items including golden syrup. White sugar and maple syrup are safer than golden syrup and brown sugar, which although technically low, are at the higher end of the low category.
Reader report: every time I use golden syrup (CSR) both kids react (itchy & rashy) yet they both tolerate maple. I just read on the Salicylate mistake list about the golden syrup. Wow! I don't use it often & not in large amounts. Usually just in the Big Anzacs but have seen a pattern of both of them reacting after eating the anzacs. Thanks!
Sulphur containing vegetables Warning. Some vegetables including shallots, garlic, leeks, chives, cabbage and Brussels sprouts naturally contain sulphur compounds which double after 5 minutes of cooking. To avoid this problem, you can eat these vegetables raw, or quickly steam or stir fry. (Handbook p37)
Reader report: I was finding I was developing headaches every time I ate shallots with my homemade soup. I observed my reaction each time I added shallots, and there is this definite link. As shallots may be used by many failsafers, I just thought I would pass this info on, as I always saw shallots as a safe food. – thanks to Cheryl
All questions from Food Intolerance Network members can be searched here.
Some of the information, particularly that about specific foods and what they contain, may be out of date – always check the Failsafe Shopping List for the latest information.
Q. Is it true that there are glutamates in chicken and rice? I came across the suggestion while doing some research online and wanted to see if you thought there could be any validity to this. I am very concerned by this as if it is true I am running out of things to feed my child.
A. There are two forms of natural glutamates - free and bound (also called protein-linked). We only have to avoid free glutamates. You will be pleased to know that chicken and rice are low in free glutamates, see USDA figures for free glutamate content of foods (mg per 100g):
5000 mg MSG power ( in 1 tsp, for comparison)
1431 Vegemite yeast extract (high)
1090 soy sauce (high)
200 green peas (moderate)
44 chicken (low)
Of course if you buy commercial seasoned chicken (e.g. KFC or BBQ) or seasoned rice ( flavoured rice, rice cakes or rice snacks with flavouring such as yeast extract, hydrolysed vegetable protein or tomato powder) the flavourings are very high in glutamates. Read more in our MSG factsheet.
Q. My problem now is to try and cook meals which are rice & wheat free. My daughter has been diagnosed with numerous allergies including rice, my son is sensitive to soy and my husband needs to avoid wheat.
A. Some suggestions: millet porridge (from millet flour or millet meal) or puffed millet, buckwheat pancakes, sago and tapioca puddings as snacks, and other options include amaranth or quinoa puffed or flours, arrowroot flour, cornflour made from corn not wheat, chickpea (besan) flour and Gluten Grain Free pasta (Ingredients: potato, quinoa, amaranth, bi carb and guar gum). And don’t forget mashed potato, homemade potato chips, rotmos and other vegetables as tummy fillers. See the gluten free sections of the Failsafe Cookbook and the Failsafe shopping list.
Q. Can sugar affect some children’s behaviour? I know you say it doesn’t, but I baked a cake (no additives) for my grandchildren and they were both hyperactive within half an hour.
A. Sugar has been shown not to affect children’s behaviour but salicylates can be a major problem. Are you avoiding salicylates? Fruit and fruit flavours are high in salicylates. Even the type of sugar makes a difference. White sugar, icing and caster sugars and light brown sugar are low in salicylates; raw sugar is now rated as high in salicylates; honey is very high in salicylates. If white sugar appears to be affecting children, consider salicylate-induced hypoglycaemia, see reader story below.
We're just trying to start an elimination diet but over the last few weeks my 8 year old’s behaviour just seems to have gotten worse! I’ve looked back on his food diary and nothing really sticks out. I made some home-made marshmallows from the failsafe book and he reacted badly to them (two small pieces and licking the whisk!) (crying, sad followed by hyper then on to the humming and repetitive singing, ending after three days as usual) …. My husband is convinced it's the sugar. The only possible thing I can think of that is new is that we have had the chia bread from bakers delight … Update after five days on failsafe bread: he is a totally different child, we are now on calm street. - Kate
In this case, the salicylates in the chia seeds were most likely to cause the sugar reaction. People who are failsafe 'but not 100%' and swear they react to sugar have almost certainly failed to reduce their salicylate level enough. See more about salicylate-induced hypoglycemia on page 5 of my book Fed Up.
New factsheets Factsheets are becoming our major way of making information available. On each factsheet you can print, email or make into a pdf file and save. Factsheets can be searched.
New factsheet: 120 Cochineal
Can you help?
The new Failsafe forum is (very) active. All 8,000 Failsafe Newsletter subscribers have been invited to join and sent a password.
Nearly 2.4 million people have now visited www.fedup.com.au at about 4,000 people a day.
See local contacts who can generally answer some questions about failsafe eating - many have brochures and a copy of the DVD to lend out. They can also advise on supportive dietitians locally.
Fedup Roadshow 2011 itinerary
Please hop online at https://www.events-made-easy.com/Client_Event_Sites/fin/2011-04-95/cgi-bin/php/home.php and get your tickets in advance to speed entry on the night!
Tickets will also be available at the door or through your contact.
Talk details at http://www.fedup.com.au/information/support/fedup-roadshow-talks
Brisbane Tuesday 9 August 7.30-9.30pm: “Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” by Sue Dengate at St Thomas' Catholic Primary School, 10 Stephen Street, Camp Hill, Brisbane. Parking - Stephen Street, Joseph Street. Enter through roller door entrance towards Joseph Street end of school grounds. $15 for one parent, second parent free. Contact: Penney (bh) 07 3398 6633 or Leona 0412 627 563 or 07 3398 5584. Sue Dengate’s books and DVD will be available at a reduced price (cash, cheque or debit/credit card)
Newcastle Fri 12 August 10.00-13.00: Sue Dengate will be available to talk to parents and books will be for sale at the Hunter Alliance for Childhood (HAC) Expo, Cardiff Panthers Club, cnr. Munibung and Pendlebury Rds Cardiff.
Newcastle Sat 13 August 10.00-13.00: Sue Dengate will be available to talk to parents and books will be for sale at the Hunter Alliance for Childhood (HAC) Expo, Cardiff Panthers Club, cnr. Munibung and Pendlebury Rds Cardiff.
Canberra Tuesday 16 August 6.30-8.30pm: “Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” by Sue Dengate at Monash Primary School, Collette Crescent, Monash. $15 per person/couple. Contact: Eleanor (ah) 02 6286 1439 or school 02 6205 7555. Sue Dengate’s books and DVD will be available at a reduced price (cash, cheque or debit/credit card)
Shepparton Wednesday 17 August 7.00-9.00pm: “Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” by Sue Dengate at Harder Auditorium GOTAFE 152-200 Fryers Street, Shepparton VIC. $15 per person. Contact: Larissa 0422 316 203. Sue Dengate’s books and DVD will be available at a reduced price (cash, cheque or debit/credit card)
Melbourne (Berwick Fields) Monday 22 August 7.00-9.00pm: “Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour” by Sue Dengate at Berwick Fields Primary School, 35 Gwendoline Drive, Berwick, parking available across the road in Berwick Church of Christ. $10 per person. Contact: School office 03 8786 9988. Sue Dengate’s books and DVD will be available at a reduced price (cash, cheque or debit/credit card)
All Failsafe Newsletters can be searched and printed. There is a wealth of research, issue discussion, recipes, personal reports and recipes now available in one place. But some of the links are out of date and you must always check current products rather than relying on historical information.
Garlic and chive chips
A failsafe alternative to corn chips adapted from this recipe
4-6 sheets of Mountain Bread, cut into 8cm triangles or squares
3 tbsp failsafe oil e.g. canola
1 tbsp fresh finely chopped chives
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 200’C. Mix ingredients together and brush lightly over Mountain Bread with a pastry brush. Place on trays but take care not to overlap the pieces. Place in oven for 5 minutes or until crisp but only just brown then place on cake racks to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Eat with failsafe tzatziki dip, Failsafe hummus or Howard’s bean paste.
Failsafe tzatziki dip
1 cup yoghurt, Greek style, or cream cheese or quark
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cucumber, peeled and finely diced (mod in sals, omit for for strict elimination diet)
1/3 tsp citric acid
salt to taste
Mix all ingredients together.
Failsafe sushi (contains gluten)
Adapted from this recipe
1 pkt Mountain Bread (instead of seaweed)
1 cups sushi rice cooked with 1½ cups water as directed on packet
¼ cup water
1.5 tsp citric acid
1.5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt if desired
Filling - any combination of the following, fresh raw vegetables can be peeled and cut into thin sticks, grated or shredded: celery, green beans, lettuce, cream cheese, quark (all suitable for your strict elimination diet). Optional (mod in sals): carrots, Lebanese cucumber (seeded and cut into thin sticks)
1 tbsp failsafe mayonnaise or pear ketchup
Cook rice as directed. Drain if necessary, stand rice 5 minutes, stir in water, citric acid, sugar, and salt then cool.
Place one sheet of Mountain Bread on a bamboo sushi mat or plastic sheet with the wide side across. Dip fingers in water and spread the cooled rice over bread in an even layer about 1 cm thick, leaving a 4cm gap on the short side furthest from you. Press rice firmly in place, then use finger to make long indentation across rice edge closest to you. Place prepared vegetables and mayonnaise in the indentation. Use the empty edge of the mat to help start rolling the sushi. Press the mat firmly as you roll. Carefully remove the roll from the mat and using a sharp wet knife cut the roll into eight pieces. Makes 24 sushi rolls.
Semolina pudding (not suitable for gluten free diets)
Semolina is a coarsely ground durum wheat and is particularly high in protein. It can be served as a breakfast porridge or pudding. As an option you can add permitted chopped fruit and nuts .e.g. pears and cashews. Andie writes ‘My kids love this – I serve it as a dessert and sometimes as a very quick meal, when I'm too lazy to cook or have nothing else in my pantry! ‘
1/2 cup of fine semolina
¾ cup of cold milk (or milk substitute e.g. oat, soy or rice milk or darifree)
3 cups of extra milk (depending on how fine the semolina is and how firm/runny you would like to eat it, you may need to add more or less milk)
1 tbsp sugar
Stir the semolina into the cold milk, so that it becomes a smooth texture, no lumps. Meanwhile heat up extra milk on the stove. When the milk is almost boiling, add the semolina mixture slowly and stir constantly to avoid lumps until boiling. When the semolina mixture thickens up, stir in the sugar and pour into serving bowls immediately. Top with a sprinkle of sugar (about 1 tsp) to stop a thick skin forming. The semolina thickens as it cools and keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days. Drizzle with maple syrup to serve. Serves 6. - thanks to Andie
© Sue Dengate (text) PO Box 718 WOOLGOOLGA NSW 2456, Australia but material can be reproduced with acknowledgement. Thanks to Emma, Kath, Tony, Alison, Colin, Nat, Amanda, Kate, Jan, Theresa, Lynda and especially Bronwyn from the Adelaide group and Kathleen and Jenny from the Melbourne group; and the many others who have written, phoned and contributed to this newsletter. Further reading Fed Up and The Failsafe Cookbook by Sue Dengate (Random House Australia), Fed Up with Children’s Behaviour (DVD) by Sue Dengate and The RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook, by Swain and others, (www.allergy.net.au).