Can Food Coloring Be Harmful?

My daughter has discovered using food coloring to color her oatmeal and milk to make it more enjoyable for her to eat. My question is this, does anyone know if too much food coloring is harmful, or unhealthy to children? She likes to use it everyday, and it is now the only way I can get her to drink milk and eat oatmeal. Thank you in advance for any advice on this.

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jmz2005 from illinois

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March 28, 20060 found this helpful

According to sources such as Feingold USA, artificial anything can be a problem if your child is prone to behaviorial challenges. Red #40 is petroleum based and harmful. Other reds are not so much. I would red the contents label carefully and check them out.

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September 4, 20160 found this helpful

Not helpful

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March 28, 20060 found this helpful

I used to use food coloring in my job but we were told to discontinue it because it can cause cancer when it is used a lot. I think I would not let her use it everyday. Research it on the net.

TC in MO

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March 28, 20060 found this helpful

Why not let her add something healthy to the cereal and milk? Strawberries or raspberries will colour milk red, blueberries - you know what they do! And of course, you can always exert your perogative as parent and just say no to food colouring

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March 29, 20060 found this helpful

Well I wouldn't think letting her have food coloring every day would be a good thing and besides is it good for her to be in this habit of only eating something if it has food coloring? I have 2 young children myself and know how kids can be. Once they get something in their heads, they don't necessarily want to change and they can be a bit quirky. I agree with the poster that said you just have to say NO....I wouldn't buy it anymore or have where she can get at it. She may cry and protest but I can't imagine that she'll give up milk and cereal if she doesn't have that coloring. I just wouldn't let it go any farther or you'll be doing this for a long time down the line. Our kids wanted me to squirt chocolate or strawberry syrup in their milk but I've decided they don't need that sweet stuff and I'm not buying those products anymore. You are the boss, not your daughter!

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March 31, 20060 found this helpful

Thank you for the advise, i have since told her that the food coloring could be harmful to her, and unhealthy. She hasnt asked for it as much, especially since they are learning about healthy choices in school.

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October 26, 20060 found this helpful

Editor's Note: Basically they are made to be safe to eat but there is a difference of opinion on the safety of food coloring, especially some of the red colors.

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November 8, 20070 found this helpful

Red food coloring may cause cancer if you use a lot of it.

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March 25, 20080 found this helpful

Well, it can be harmful, if you use too much! But I'm sure that if you use a little, once in a blue moon, I think it will be ok, and it won't do too much damage! :)

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April 19, 20080 found this helpful

Interesting to read all the responses. I was googling red 40 to see if it was harmful, I eat strawberry yogurt that contains it very frequently; 4-6 times a week. I'll have to switch to another flavor.

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March 17, 20130 found this helpful

Yes, it can It can show signs include Reactions of the following temper tantrums, hyperactivity, aggressive behavior, uncontrollable crying and screaming, kicking, nervousness, dizziness, inability to concentrate and sit still among other findings. Physically you may get frequent headaches or migraines, upset stomach and feel ill after ingesting this additive. So choose wisely on what you by your child.

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March 18, 20140 found this helpful

Food dyes are a wide range of chemical combinations compounded for their appearance, not their nutritional value. Some can be harmful, such as 'natural red dye no. 4', a blend of cochineal insect acid and aluminum, which causes severe allergic reactions and even anaphylactic shock in some sensitive people.

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March 18, 20140 found this helpful

I started paying attention to food dyes after I read that the yellow color in Kraft Mac and Cheese is Yellow Dye #5, which is a derivative from coal tar. There is another yellow dye that looks almost the same, annatto, which is from the achiote tree in Central America. But the food industries use the non-food one more often. I don't think it is a cost factor as most generic brands use annatto. I don't want my kids (or myself) eating something that is a waste product from mining coal instead of something plant based.

I avoid most processed foods and try to choose organic or high end when I do buy something processed. Whole foods are definitely my first choice.

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