Adam was a challenging baby from the get-go. Long before he was born, pregnancy brought months of morning, noon, and night sickness that gave way to unreasonable cravings for fresh peaches, crunchy cucumbers and McDonald’s french fries. Not to mention midnight snack-attacks for macaroni and stewed tomatoes.
Naturally he decided to come into this world early, and arrived long and lean three weeks before expected. He caught up quickly and by two months of age was chubby and mostly happy. That’s when I returned to work and we turned to formula. The months and years that followed were filled with bouts of crankiness, projectile vomiting, belly aches and almost constant spitting-up. We tried different formula brands with no luck. The doctor even had us move him to milk at 6 months old, which actually helped somewhat, but as soon as we thought the problem was solved, it would start all over again .
The poor kid was almost three before I figured it out. We had just gone through a long, belly ache free period. Which was good because a new job, a new baby, and a move across state had put a real damper on our finances! To save money I had been cooking simple foods from scratch. So I was thrilled when I got a coupon in the mail for a free skillet dinner. Yum. It was good and Adam happily scoffed down a 3 year-old helping. But before long it all came back up again. That’s when I finally put my investigative skills to good use and realized that processed foods were causing his digestive issues. And not just any processed foods, but processed foods that included Yellow Dye as an ingredient in particular.
I am pretty sure that baby formula no longer includes yellow dye, but 30 years ago it did. At that time no doctor – and we saw several – even considered that processed foods might be detrimental to health. I shudder when I think of what my little baby went through because he was (and still is) sensitive to artificial dyes and additives.
Needless to say, processed foods were pretty much off our menu after that. I became fanatic about being in control of just what we ate. And I became a canning and preserving convert. There’s only one way to know exactly what is in your family’s food, and that is to do as much growing and preserving yourself as possible.
Home canned fruit doesn’t include “color boosters.” Home canned jams are free of “fillers.” Home dried tomatoes don’t miss “sulfuring agents” and homemade pickles are delicious without the chemical preservatives of their commercial counterparts. As a young mother I learned that seemingly innocuous ingredients can cause major medical issues, and it can be very difficult to figure out which ingredients are the culprit. I am no longer willing to jeopardize my family’s health. That’s why I can and preserve as much food as possible. Do you can and preserve your own food for better health too?
See more reasons to start canning and preserving later this week!