'I read as much as I could on the internet site and ordered your books after a very very BAD Christmas Day with my son Nathan (not his real name). Although we really don't eat that much junk, I was surprised at the number of bad additives in ordinary food. In particular, Christmas goodies are laden with additives!'

As well as additives, Christmas treats of dried fruit and seasonal summer fruits are high in natural food chemicals called salicylates, likely to be a big problem for oppositional kids. I asked Nathan's mother for more details. Luckily, there's a happy ending. Here's her fascinating story:

'On Christmas morning, Nathan (12) was in already in a bad mood. The day before, he had pigged out on grapes and plums - but I didn't really think at that time that that could have been the issue - I mean they were healthy!!! We also had Grandma staying with us, and I think she probably spoiled them a little during her stay with lollies and soft drinks.

On Christmas Day, we were at the other grandparents' place and Nathan's behaviour was getting worse. He was eating the normal Christmas food - chips (BBQ and Sour Cream and Chives), mixed lollies, but particularly red and green M&Ms, rumballs with lots of raisins and dried fruit, plum pudding, custard (artificial colours 110 & 102), sausages, and drinking cans of soft drink one after the other.

Nathan was egging the other boys on to create havoc. After a couple of time outs things seemed to be OK.We were ignoring the bad and hoping that he would come to his senses and enjoy the day.When he sat next to me to look at some old photos, I suggested to him that he needed to apologise (BAD MISTAKE!!). He didn't think he had to and threw a temper tantrum and a chair to the ground. Poppy decided that enough was enough and proceeded to smack him (BIGGER
MISTAKE!!).Needless to say the smacking did nothing but fire poor Nathan up and he decided to run away.

The last time he ran away, it took me nearly 3 hours to find him and he had travelled nearly 15kms. This time luckily it didn't take that long. We had a cool down time together and I managed to get him back to Grandma's in a quiet, subdued mood.

It was Christmas Eve that I ordered your books, after crying out of frustration and despair. They arrived in the new year, and after reading the books, I think that there were two things that triggered it off - one was the pigging out on that fruit and the other was all that junk food.

We didn't go the whole hog with elimination diet - at this stage - but what we have done is followed the 'additives to avoid' card and also limited the types of fruit, sticking mainly with red delicious apples, pears and Cavendish bananas. For the last four weeks of the school holidays, all 4 of our boys (and us) enjoyed a peaceful school holidays. They still argue like boys do, but are not spiteful or aggressive - they're more likely to settle it peacefully.

So now I make bikkies, sausage rolls (which all the boys and hubby love) and I even make my own cordial. Generally if they have something with additives we can see the difference the next day ... Nathan develops a 'hard done by' attitude, and starts yelling at his brothers. He was probably the worst of the four boys, but all had their bad days.

Best of all is that Nathan is smiling more now - he used to be such a misery guts. We've also switched to A2 milk as both the boys had to have soy formula milk when they were little. I noticed the difference in one of the others when we didn't bother to get it one week - he was cranky and irritable. As well, their asthma seems to have disappeared.

I am now convinced of the diet. Even hubby who was initially sceptical but supportive - he knew that something needed to be done - is convinced, and happy to eat his 'bad' food away from home.' - by email