I have five children aged 1, 7, 8, 10 and 11. It was the behaviour of my 8 year old daughter which prompted me to try FAILSAFE. Since about the age of 2 this daughter has had what seemed like multiple daily tantrums – consistently over 10 per day.  Prior to this she was an extremely easy going toddler, but a reflux baby (as were all my children). She was so easy in fact that I used to call her my calming factor in the family and her daycare carer once described her as a little pot plant that you just placed in the corner, fed and watered her and watched her grow.

Earlier this year I reached a rather scary place where, even though I love my daughter to death, I often didn’t like being with her because the tantrums would start the moment she got up and seemed to go on until she finally went to sleep at night. I dreaded picking her up from school as it inevitably meant her storming out to me at the car and immediately complaining about something which soon resulted in constant sibling rivalry with my 7 year old daughter increasingly becoming
the victim of my 8 year old s assault. The entire household was on edge and her behaviour was extremely disruptive to all of us.

Over the years I have read several parenting books and tried many approaches: reward charts, time outs, consequences, firm approach, soft approach and nothing seemed to work. The bigger she grew the worse her tantrums became, reaching a climax earlier this year when she started to throw any item she could find at any of us. I should also add that over the years my daughter has developed several food aversions.

The turning point for me was when I saw her behaviour change before my eyes after eating food at a party. It suddenly dawned on me that perhaps the food she was eating was affecting her behaviour. That’s when I conducted some internet research and stumbled across your website. Despite my family eating what I would call a well balanced healthy diet, I was surprised to learn that there were still several healthy foods which could affect behaviour. The most fantastic thing about your website for people in my position was that I could download The Failsafe Booklet which provided me sufficient information to try the diet out without having to spend money on purchasing books upfront when I didn’t know if it would work or not. I started the whole family on Failsafe following this booklet to the best of my ability.

To my absolute surprise, within 24 hours I had a totally different daughter. After 2 weeks of no tantrums my husband was forced to agree that the diet made a huge difference also. I reclaimed my calm, happy and pleasant daughter which was very emotional for me because I had forgotten how sweet she could be. The entire household was calmer (mainly down to my 8 year old’s improvement but I did notice a slight improvement in behaviour in my other children in terms of
them being less irritable and more cooperative) and I not only looked forward to picking up my daughter from school again but she would actually skip out to the car and greet me nicely - what a transformation. Her teacher reported her concentration in class was better and the sibling rivalry was what I would call normal. At this point I purchased the books and DVD. The recipe book is fantastic and gave me a larger variety of meals and baking options to choose from, plus a much more detailed shopping list.

I have struggled to keep my family Failsafe, mainly due to time constraints, but there are a few dietary changes which have stuck. For example, I bake my own bread now, my 8 year old daughter drinks magic cordial instead of commercial cordial and uses 100% maple syrup on her toast instead of honey, peanut butter or vegemite/promite, and I purchase Failsafe grocery products whenever I can. She doesn’t consume much fruit as this is an area where she has developed several aversions over the years. Overall, we seem to have reached a happy balance whereby we are no longer 100% Failsafe but my daughter’s behaviour has improved immensely.

Thank you for your wonderful website and all the incredible insight into the world of additives.  I truly had no idea. – Nikki, by email