ADHD & Food Dyes

Hi. I'm not sure if this issue has been discussed before but I am curious for all you parents out there with ADD/ADHD kids have noticed a difference/worsening in your kids attitudes, etc when they have been exposed to food dyes. I have a 6.5 yr old who is in the process of getting diagnosed with ADHD (to me it's a given as he has all the markers & it runs in my family) who definitely is definitely impacted by food dyes. He basically for lack of better description runs around like an angry headless chicken when he is exposed to red dyes (can't sit still, concentrate, paces, etc etc). Anyone else experience this?

Hi mlac57, I worked at an elementary school for awhile and only a few kids over the years were identified as being allergic to food dyes, but I don't know if the allergy caused behavior changes.

Pay special attention to the third paragraph from the bottom, mlac.

Here is more info on red dye

mlac, I'm certainly not a scientist or Doctor, but have a few allergies and adverse reactions of my own, so I understand what you are up against here. I would discuss this with your Doctor and the school, and try your best to keep this out of your child's life if you have noticed this kind of reaction.

My best to your and your son,


The last time I needed my GP, he was out of the country, I saw his relief Doctor, who is a very kind and wise man, he wanted to know what the epi-pen was for and told me I should wear a bee sting bracelet. I don't care much for jewelry, so I found a key chain with it on, but they have the kind you can feed your own info into.

There are surely other brands, but this gives you the basic idea.

I would be careful what he is given at a birthday party or picnic, you may want to give advanced warning on this, as kids love red punch and candy!

I'm pretty vigilant about his dye intake at home but I am now dreading birthday parties since I realized it was the dye that was the issue (I should not have been surprised as I have an unpleasant reaction to certain dyes too...nothing like my boy though).
Sadly he is going to have to miss an upcoming school field trip for an Earth day movie as the price of admission/field trip includes a "candy treat' which to me means a whole lot of dye being digested. I know how he reacts to the dye (& possibly the sugar) & I have no wish to have that inflicted on the school (surprisingly he was ok with missing the trip if it meant a day with mommy).

I will definitely look into the medical alert bracelet idea.