Reader-submitted: Let’s start a healthy nosh revolution at home and in our schools

Now that Purim is over, many homes are filled with lots of nosh. And most of this nosh is probably filled with artificial food coloring.

For those who are not yet aware, artificial food coloring is toxic to health – especially to our children’s health.

There is a plethora of information online about the side effects (some very serious) of this coloring. Many European countries have banned some of the food coloring that is still allowed to be manufactured and sold in the United States. It is not easy to say “No” when our children want to eat the candy that their friends are eating or when they see all the colorful nosh in the store and want you to buy it for them (sometimes parents themselves are addicted to these toxic candies!).

Some teachers give out these toxic products in their classrooms as incentives to their students because it is cheaper or easier than using other rewards. However, just as we are obligated to do our hishtadlus for our children’s (and students’) spiritual health no matter how hard that may be, we need to do the same for our children’s (and students’) physical health.

So let’s try to start a revolution of healthy noshing for children and students (and adults!) – there will only be good side effects as a result. Here is one article on this topic that is easy to follow and to the point:

Colors To Die For: The Dangerous Impact of Food Coloring

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  1. Lets not go so far as to call candy toxic.
    Candy is not nutrition and will not take the place if food, but everything in moderation.
    Please dont force your radical views on everyone. If you dont want to give your kids candy, dont, but dont force your views on everyone else.

  2. In the out of town community that i live in, the school rule is no candy (chocolate is not included.) at all for kids or teachers. So much easier to enforce when other people/kids around you are doing the same. Encourage your schools to enfore zero tolerance to candy!

  3. Thank you to all my neighbors that sent real food for mishloach manos. We enjoyed it on Purim. I was thrilled that I was left with minimal junk.. Can’t say that for my kids though…

  4. to #1 – unhealthy snacks are not the only things that children are exposed to in this world. there are pesticides in our fruits and vegetables, unhealthy things in our water supply, etc.
    whatever is in our control is worthwhile doing to ensure healthier children, b’ezras Hashem

    to #2 – alternatives – popcorn (if old enough to be eaten safely), pretzels, healthy vegetable chips, even chocolate in moderation…none of these have food coloring in them..and of course delicious fruit is the best snack alternative in an ideal world 🙂

    to #3 – the problem is it is hard to keep to “moderation” standards. watch any child at a kiddush in shul, or at a birthday party with snacks on the table, etc. also do you own research on line on the topic and see what you come up with. why do some european countries ban these artificial colors?

    to #5 – great idea!

    to #6 – you have a smart school administration! more schools should follow suit.

    to #8 – you are totally right about the sugar. it is one of the most harmful things for both children and adults. anyone can do research on line and see that it leads to many health issues.

    to everyone – i highly recommend this book: Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right – by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

    his premise is that children who eat the right foods have less illness (both of the non-serious and serious nature). teaching your kids how to make healthy food choices is the best gift you can give your children.

  5. I think the idea someone gave, where instead of exchanging 30 mishloach manos in our complex for each of my little children (because how can you leave anyone out?), we give them 25 cents or so, and with all the accumulated money, they can get something in a toy store etc. This would only work of course, if EVERYONE does it together.

  6. Please keep your personal preferences to yourself. Literally nobody cares. Just because artificial food coloring is your “thing” doesn’t mean it has to be everybody elses. If we listened to each person based on their specific preferences we’d be in a lot of trouble.

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