I’ve been kind of lame keeping up with our progress with cutting out artificial colors. It has been a busy week and weekend for me, which included the last week of school before finals, the CMA conference, attending the birth of twins, and visiting with my cousins from out of town. Phew!
But when Elijah has been with us, I’m pretty sure his diet has been 99% artificial color free. However, when I was at the conference and birth on Friday, Elijah spent the day with Jeremy’s parents. They seem to do pretty well keeping him off the artificial colors, but I don’t know for sure what he ate. Then that evening Elijah went to spend the night with my mom, and he spent the whole weekend with her. I’m not sure of everything he ate there either. She gave a report, but I feel confident that she left some things out. How do I know this? Because when she sent him home with all his stuff and some leftovers, she included (I assume accidentally) a half eaten bag Angry Bird gummy candies that she neglected to mention she bought for him. These neon colored candies are an obvious source of artificial colors that I know she didn’t mistakenly buy assuming it was artificial color free. My mom is not stupid. But sometimes I wonder if she thinks I am.
In any case, I think Elijah is doing pretty well. I do think I notice a bit of behavior differences, it’s not that he’s stopped misbehaving at times or stopped getting upset, but reactions to punishment and disappointment have not been violent outbursts, and that’s all I’ve been wanting. His reaction seems more in the normal range, not the out of control range. I have hope that we will not always have to be quite so strict with his diet (given that he clearly had a small amount if artificial colors over the weekend and he still did not have any outbursts) but I’m still going to stick with it for a while because there are other reasons why I want to change his diet. I want to change his diet because I don’t want to raise a child who is addicted to highly processed, junky, and at the risk of sounding classist, white trashy food. And I’m using the term food lightly in that context. Boxed macaroni and cheese and hotdogs are not food, they are edible food like substances. And while I don’t mind if he has them here or there, it’s important to me that he also learn to appreciate real food, and I can’t get him to do that if I keep indulging his taste for trash food at every single meal. Cutting out artificial colors is a step to cut out the most highly processed foods in his diet, which will cleanse his palate of those flavors (most of which is just the flavor of salt, sugar, fat, and MSG) and force us to prepare real food for him, the flavors of which he’ll never learn to appreciate if we don’t feed them to him.
So I’d like to include a recipe in here, and the one I’d like to share is my awesome recipe for baked French fries, which I made for Elijah on Thursday.
Baked French Fries
First you need to chop your potatoes. I have a fry cutter, which is a cheap and fun tool to invest in, but if you don’t have one, you can chop your potatoes up in slices like thick potato chips. The circle fries, as we call them in our home, are super yummy.
Then fill a bowl up with hot water and add some salt. Put your fries in the water to soak.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Let potatoes soak while oven is heating. Meanwhile, melt a few tablespoons of butter (enough to cover the bottom of your cookie sheet with a thin layer) and pour it onto your cookie sheet.
Once the oven is preheated, drain the potatoes and pat dry. Put them on the cookie sheet and stir them around, getting some butter on them all. Spread the fries out evenly as possible, and sprinkle with more salt as desired.
Bake for ten minutes at 400, then pull them out and stir them up again. Bake for ten more minutes and stir. At this point they may be done enough for your taste. If you like the crispier, keep them in longer.
Elijah and I enjoyed our fries in a picnic lunch on our back patio. He ate his with some chicken nuggets, corn, and pears. I ate mine with leftover salmon, and a salad with pears, blue cheese crumbles, and a pomegranate vinegarette.