Along the path to more natural, healthy living is the rejection of widely used artificial food colorings. But when it’s time to decorate holiday sugar cookies or add some color to that birthday cake, what do you do?
Smart mamas know that artificial colors like yellow 5, red 40 and blue 1 are NOT healthy for kids. Decades of study have shown that artificial food colorings cause hyperactivity and allergic reactions. Countless parents have been thrilled to see improved behavior and attention span in children who go off a diet high in artificial colorings. (I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that they also thereby give up lots of heavily processed foods filled with high fructose corn syrup. Don’t get me started). Read more at The Scoop on Food Colorings. While the UK has succeeded in eliminating these unnecessary (but cheap) chemicals from their foods, the FDA is not backing down on its support of artificial colorings in the states. Go figure.
We never buy food colored artificially, but there are still several tubes of artificial coloring in my baking cabinet. Now that I know better, how can I fulfil my daughter’s dream for colorful birthday cupcakes? (And people wonder why birthday parties send kids bouncing off the walls). There must be a better way.
I sent my husband to our regular natural food store to buy natural food coloring. No luck. Next I called every health food store in our area and even a speciality baking store downtown. Nada. Nothing. So, apparently EVERYONE still uses artificial flavors for baking? What’s with that?
I found India Tree’s natural food coloring after a little searching online. They are one of only a very few companies that makes natural food coloring and the ingredients are straightforward:
Blue: glycerin, deionized water, red cabbage.
Red: beet juice, citric acid.
Yellow: Deionized water, glycerin, curcumin.
I confirmed that no one in my area carried the product and set out to order it online. India Tree’s food coloring set includes three bottles, one each primary color. Combinations produce the whole color spectrum so tantalizingly displayed here. The Natural Candy Store sells the set for $19.49 plus shipping. Not so cheap. I ended up buying Amazon’s 2-pack (so that’s 2 red, 2 blue, 2 yellow) for $34.46, which qualifies for free shipping. It was easy to find another natural-savvy mom who purchased the 2nd set from me!
I’ve already used the colors on my daughters aforementioned birthday cupcakes. The colors came out a lot like the sample picture, though I had to use several drops to get them intense. I was a little disappointed in the blue, which is such a periwinkle color. But, beggars can’t be choosers. Aria was VERY happy with the results! I’m looking forward to using them again this Christmas to color the icing for our sugar cookies!
- Toxic Chemicals may be Making our Kids Fat!
- Children and Chemicals
- Simple Habits to Keep the Toxins out of your Food
- The Scoop on Food Colorings
- Saying “no” to Junk Food