Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Feingold Program

Even before my oldest son was born, he was a handful. We called him Pele, after the famous Brazilian soccer player of the 70's because he "kicked" me so much. After he was born, he remained a very active child. He slept and ate well, but during play times, he was always trying to get into mischief.

By the time he was three years old, I told everyone I was looking for a military pre-school boarding school. As I prepared to homeschool S***, I knew that T*** would be a problem. How would I keep him quiet while I schooled S***? And how would I ever school T*** when I didn't even want to be around him?

The problem was he had no impulse control. He couldn't stop himself from disobeying. No matter how harsh the punishment he had just received, he would do the same thing again.

Around the time I started school for S***, I started to participate on some homeschool message boards. Some of the other mothers mentioned the Feingold Program. It seems their children had shown symptoms of ADHD. Rather than put them on medications, they joined the Feingold Association. By using the Feingold Program, they had given their child the self-control they lacked. So I looked into the Program.

Basically, it boils down to this: many foods contain petroleum (crude oil). Some people are extremely sensitive to petroleum. Eating it makes them lose self-control. Eliminating it from their diet and enviroment gives them back their self-control. Some people are also sensitive to foods high in naturally occuring salicylates and need to avoid or limit these as well.

One of the major benefits of joining the Feingold Association is the Shopping Guide. It lists foods that the Feingold Associations volunteers have researched and found to be petroleum-free. Armed with my Shopping Guide, I can go to the grocery store and buy foods that are safe for my family to eat.

What foods have petroleum in them? Most artificial colors, artificial flavors, and the preservatives BHA, BHT, and TBHQ. The preservatives can bee hidden in ingredients of ingredients. For instance, you may be able to find a loaf of bread at your grocery store that does not list preservatives as an ingredient. However, they may spray a pan spray on the pan to keep the loaf from sticking. This pan spray may be preserved with a petroleum based preservative. This will leech into the food and is enough to cause a bad reaction in some people. So even reading labels is not enough.

To find out more about the Feingold Program or to join the Association, go to

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