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I picked the kids up from camp yesterday. When I got there Little Girl was literally bouncing off the walls. Not to mention whining, crying, running around, and freaking out.

She wanted water. Okay, I said. Let’s go to the water fountain. When we got there she said she wanted to do it herself. I tried to lift her up, but she was having none of that. Water splashed all over the front of her shirt. I told her I needed to help her. NO, she screamed, running away from me. She was a bundle of nerves, and would not be deterred or consoled.

Interestingly, several people from my neighborhood send their kids to the same camp so they watched her freak out. She must be tired, they said. She’s fried, they said. Me, I was flabbergasted. What the heck was wrong with this kid? When I got in the car I figured it out.

Quizzing Big Girl about their day, I started asking about what they ate. One of the snacks was ice cream. Actually, a Popsicle Spider-Man ice pop. Here are the ingredients:

Ice: Water, sugar, malodextrin, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, guar gum, carbohydrate gum, locus bean gum, mono and diglycerides, cellulose gum, polysorbate 65 and 80, carrageenan, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid, malic acid, pectin, Red 40, Blue 1

Wow. So high fructose corn syrup AND artificial colors. Holy. Cow. And no wonder my little one was so crazy, so agitated. Maybe some kids can eat those kinds of chemicals and be okay, but my kid is very sensitive. Maybe because she never ingests them usually, or maybe because she’s so little, but I had seen this syndrome before and it make perfect sense to me. My kid was on a chemical high.

Not wanting to repeat the drill today, I decided I’d supply the ice pop snack from now on. That why I found myself at the store around midnight buying natural strawberry pops. Their ingredients: water, sugar, strawberries, carob bean gum, and beet juice extract for color. I bought them in a regular supermarket, by the way, so it’s not like the camp couldn’t supply them, too. They are from Edy’s, so it’s not even like I spent a fortune.

I also sent them with organic fruit leather for their “second” snack. I’m letting them get the bagel for lunch. I can’t wait to see if making this simple change will bring my little girl back in a more positive, more even keeled mood. Either way I’ll let you know.

Update: I picked up the kids yesterday. They were both completely calm and relaxed. No crying, no freaking out. At least anecdotally, I believe my theory is correct. It was the HFCS and artificial coloring.

This post is how I am participating this week in Real Food Wednesdays and Fight Back Fridays — two awesome campaigns to get people eating real food again.

2 Responses to “Proof that High Fructose Corn Syrup Sucks”

  1. Eva says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! It is so obvious how HFCS and artificial colorants can affect our nervous system… I wish everybody consider that while buying food…

  2. That ingredient list made me want to barf. I like what Michael Pollan says about how if it’s something your great-grandmother wouldn’t have recognized as food, then don’t eat it.

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