I came to your talk a week ago. I already knew that my son reacted badly to colours (annatto 160b, brilliant blue 133 and tartrazine yellow 102).  Much to my dismay the next day was his 4th birthday and at 12 noon my dad bought him a cinnamon donut as a treat. At 2.30pm my son had a major meltdown - screaming, aggression, severe defiance to the point he managed to undo his seat belt while I was driving and jump over and try and hit me laughing almost hysterically. This lasted for a good 3 or 4 hours then he crashed and lay almost in a glazed eyed stupor for an hour then reignited for defiance at bed time. This more than anything has convinced me that he has food intolerances. A friend of mine with a similar child is ready to try also so we are going to support each other through this with the hopes that we can both have happy healthy children.

Two weeks later

I just wanted to let you know how our food journey is going with my son and his behaviour. We saw our Dr last week to get a referral for a dietician and the Dr was very sceptical but the nurse was supportive and helped me get into see a dietician not the one I wanted on your list but one who visits once a week. She was brilliant she knew all about you and the fed up website she had your book and was very excited to work with a child that has possible behavioural issues with food, as she normally works with adults at the hospital.

Even before this I have mostly been following the failsafe diet and his behaviour has gotten a lot better. We still have moments and I can mostly put that down to my own fault as I have fed him something that I knew I shouldn't. It’s very hard to go to the movies in a group and not let him have popcorn when everyone else is eating it. - by email.

Sue's comment:

1. What’s in a cinnamon donut that could cause a massive meltdown? Dunkindonuts list cinnamon (high in sals) and … annatto extracts (as you’ve already discovered, worse than artificial colours for some people). No wonder your son reacted! See annatto 160b factsheet

2. How to deal with social situations like cinema popcorn:  People on the facebook group often have useful suggestions,  for example, buying something else that won't affect them too badly (e.g. Maltesers can be okay unless you have an extreme amine responder). Or you may be able to take your own food, thanks to our member Caroline who wrote to Amalgamated Holdings (the Greater Union Cinema chain) in Sept 2005 about the ban on taking your own food into their cinemas. She also noted that Event Cinemas clarified in November 2011:  "’no externally purchased HOT food items are allowed to be brought into our cinemas’ -  (although some cinemas do permit them and the written conditions still say no food at all)". You may be able to smuggle cold food in if you do it discreetly. Failsafers often recommend the Nature Valley Maple Crunch muesli bars - not fully failsafe so not okay for your strict elimination diet, but a lot of people say they are okay as treats. See more at http://fedup.com.au/information/fin-campaigns/what-you-can-do-to-help