I love the Feingold plan, and whether it helps behavior or not I am committed to it. In my humble opinion if we all ate this way we would have far less health problems all round.
It actually does help both of my kids behavior and at times when we let them eat off the plan we can notice a change in their behavior, specifically my daughter who will become so emotional and dis-regulated after eating something with additives in it. As she doesn’t have the dietary restriction she tends to get more of the mainstream food, especially at school. Both my kids take lunch to school and they don’t have a problem with what I send in for them, both lunch bags come back pretty empty every day. The biggest test is that when offered non-feingold food my son most of the time will decline, although my daughter definitely has a harder time.
Basically this plan removes food dyes, chemicals, preservatives such as BHT and TBHQ, and other non-food items from our food. We went one step further and eliminated corn syrup as well.
So at this point I bet some of you are asking “what the heck do they eat?” Amazingly, we can buy almost everything and anything we want locally. Even though eating on the Feingold plan does not force you to eat organic (there are lots of non-organic options produced without all the additives) I personally choose to buy most of my products from organic vendors. I buy eggs through a delivery service that gets all their produce from local farms, I buy organic produce at the regular supermarket but I can also buy much of my organic items at Costco as well. My friend and I are also going to co-op to purchase half a side of a grass-fed cow. The farm that it is coming from cuts, packages and delivers, for under $4 a pound.
We don’t eat processed food but we certainly don’t starve. I do have to cook most nights so I tend to consider the slow-cooker my best friend. Some of the things my kids love to eat are mashed potatoes and veggies with ground grass-fed beef, black olives and seasoning, they also love roast or boiled chicken with rosemary and garlic, or even chicken curry. Often I will cook 4 or 5 nights a week and a couple of nights we eat left-overs. We eat lots of eggs, boiled, scrambled and poached. My kids both like to eat rice and quinoa or brown rice pasta. There really isn’t anything that I can’t replicate with an organic, or natural alternative. We also use fluoride free toothpaste and chemical free shampoo and soaps.
The downside is that it is a little more expensive to purchase the products, but we consider it a worthwhile expense for our family. I doubt we will ever eat any differently at this point. Knowing what I know now I personally choose to live this way for our family, it may not be right for yours but for us it works.
For more information you can go directly to the Feingold website. For interaction with parents using this plan there is also a Feingold Listserv, go to yahoo and look for the Feingold Program 4 us, at Yahoo groups.