Earlier this year, we were giving Patrick a gluten-free bread mix which states on the packet, “preservative free”. We had reason to trust this product because it was listed on the ‘safe shopping guide’ issued by the Australian Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, supplied by our Dietitian. Once I increased the dose of this product for our son, i.e. pancakes for breakfast, French toast for lunch and a wrap for after school, within a day he displayed explosive behaviour and was unreasonable. 

We rang our Paediatrician who advised us to cut down on his supplements. After a week there was no change, even at school our son’s teacher was noticing a big difference in behaviour and learning. The Paediatrician advised a blood test, another week passed for the results which in turn came back within normal range. Only then did we suspect foods. The Food Intolerance Network always advises to check products containing fats or oils for hidden synthetic antioxidants. I rang Coles to double check if there were any changes in their sunflower oil that we use, and they advised there were none. I then rang the bread mix company and asked if there were any synthetic antioxidants in their product in question, he said he was pretty sure there wasn’t. We insisted that he double check because we were at wit’s end and we were ready to have our son’s head scanned because he was so aggressive and erratic in his behaviour. The man rang back in shock and was very apologetic, because the oil which was supposed to be ‘pure canola oil’ as stated on the ingredients list, has in fact got synthetic antioxidant 319 in it.

We were relieved but angry, our son was put through four weeks of hell, not to mention us as well, because he could not control what he was doing, and it took well over a week for the affects to wear off. We had our good boy back and he even said, “Mummy please don’t give me bad food any more”!

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