Sue's Blog

Fedup Roadshow 2016 blog

The 2016 Fedup Roadshow was 11 talks in total from August to early September, at Coffs Harbour, Brisbane (Bardon and Springwood), Newcastle, Sydney (Rouse Hill and Cronulla), Mornington, Melbourne (Wyndham Vale and Essendon/Moonee Ponds), Albury (Jindera) and finally Canberra. 5,000km of driving and 21 days away from home.

Thanks so much to the organisers of each event for their help with their communities.

Our audiences were noticeably smaller this year, a trend reported everywhere by organisers and venues. “The P&F no longer exists”, said one school Principal. “People weren’t prepared to come to meetings” – and there were many similar reports. An unexpected advantage was that with smaller audiences that included a lot of failsafers, some of the discussions were exceptionally interesting and we all learned heaps.

Some general conclusions:

Attendees were shocked about how hard it is to read food labels now - and it's getting harder all the time, because the food industry is deliberately replacing additive numbers and names with innocent-sounding ingredients. About 95% of our audiences had no idea that cultured dextrose was another name for propionate bread preservatives such as 282 that can cause a wide range of side effects in many people - and we showed a video clip of how it causes autistic symptoms such as social and emotional withdrawal in rats.


Consumers especially need to know alternative names for the bread preservative and MSG.

• the bread preservative (280-283, propionic acid, calcium propionate etc), is often now called  cultured dextrose, cultured whey, cultured wheat, or cultured anything ... OR  ...

Fermented wheat flour is really tricky: If fermented wheat flour is the first ingredient in sourdough bread it is probably fermented with lactobacillus (like yoghurt) though not failsafe due to amines. If fermented wheat flour is one of the last ingredients such as salt in an ordinary loaf of bread, it's probably fermented with propionibacteria which is a way of hiding the bread preservative.  See 'cultured dextrose' blog

• MSG - see our MSG blog post

As well, we noticed a high number of attendees who reported problems from eczema to behaviour with young children who were eating large quantities of strawberries, other berries and other high salicylate fruits, thinking this was the healthiest thing they could do, because they had never heard of salicylates.

The report below touches on several serious changes in our food and as always should inspire and amuse as you share how families grapple with how much food can affect them and their children's health, behaviour and learning.

Coffs Harbour

FUR2016Coffs01   A lot of babies, and adults, at the first Roadshow talk in Coffs Harbour. Thanks to organisers Judy, Skye and Tracey


Lactose intolerance: “My son has lactose intolerance. When he was 2, a friend gave a birthday party that was fully lactose free, so he could eat anything he wanted.”

ADHD: “My 6 year old has just been diagnosed with ADHD, and doctors want to medicated.  I want to do diet instead.” – My suggestion: do the RPAH  elim  diet with one of our listed dietitians and take it seriously.

NAPLAN results: “I’m a teacher at a local high school. I was interested in the New York Schools study (which showed that removing additives from children’s school meals was the most effective way to  improve school rankings on national achievement tests - Schoenthaler et al, 1986) and would like to see it tested with Naplan results”.

Childcare centre “We work at childcare centre, and we’re here to learn about behaviour problems. We have our own chef who provides freshly cooked foods.”  (Sue’s comment: When I asked what colour additive does the custard have in it? they had no idea. We are happy to check menus for possible culprits (free of charge) as long as you provide the ingredient lists and we have the rights to publish the information.)

Migraines  “I have suffered from lifelong migraines. When I stopped drinking cola, I noticed that my number of migraines halved.”  (Why? - Cola drinks are rated as Very High in both salicylates and amines) "I also found that Coke Zero was much worse for my migraines than regular coke.” (Why? - Because Coke Zero contains one of the benzoate preservatives (210-218) known to cause a range of problems, whereas regular coke is preservative-free because – I hate to say it - sugar is an effective preservative.)


Q. Can you do the diet at any age?

A. Yes, RPAH researchers say the very best age is at 4 months old when fully breastfed and the mother has total control over what goes in her baby’s mouth. We have failsafe members of all ages up to 87, that we know of. The hardest time would be teenage (14-18) due to normal teenage rebellion – they have to be prepared to stick to it. By the age of 19 or 20, adolescents have often noticed they are falling behind their peers and are willing to try a strategy that is likely to help them.  

Q. If you don’t react to salicylates, can you eat as many salicylates as you like?

A. Theoretically, yes – with two provisos:

* most people who are affected by salicylates don’t realise it and are usually in denial, as I was at first (“I’m so glad we’re not affected by salicylates” – never been more wrong in my life). So let’s assume they have actually passed the RPAH salicylate challenge (6 serves a day of high salicylate food every day for 7 days)

* anyone can develop salicylate intolerance at any time. Triggers can include illness, medication and exposure to environmental chemicals such as pesticides. We hear all the time from people who have developed salicylate sensitivity due to a taking aspirin or a course of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen.

Q. My elderly mother recently went into a nursing home and has developed asthma – requiring medication - for the first time in her life.

A. Our database is brimming with reports from people whose asthma is caused only by diet. We would suspect something innocent-sounding such as custard with stewed apricots. We are happy to check menus for possible culprits (free) as long as you provide the ingredient lists and we have the rights to publish the information.

Brisbane (Bardon)

FUR2016Bardon01   Look who is sitting in the front row to better hear the talk in Bardon, keen kids. Thanks to Amy and her helpers at The Source.


Q. My 5 yo can’t sit still, the school says he can’t pay attention, and he is rolling on the floor during class. His favourite foods? – cheese and bacon balls, cheese, Greek yoghurt – he doesn’t eat fruit.

A. The first thing to try would be the cheese and bacon balls. These contain MSG (flavour enhancer 621) and several different sources of MSG-type flavouring (yeast extract, hydrolysed vegetable protein). Does he improve if he goes 2-3 weeks without those?  If that’s not the answer my next guess would be that any child who doesn’t eat fruit but goes for cheese and savoury foods could be an amine responder. When the school complains, it’s important to take it seriously. The quickest way to get best results is to do the RPAH elim diet with one of our dietitians.

Q. My friend’s 6 month old baby seems to have a lot of problems – is it possible for these food chemicals to pass through breastmilk?

A. Absolutely. Dr Anne Swain, the dietitian who developed the RPAH elimination diet says the best age to do the diet is at 4 months of age when full breastfed and the mother has total control over what is going on.  Of course, the mother has to do the diet very strictly herself. At any age, but especially with babies, it is best to do the diet supervised by one of the experienced dietitians on our list.

Q. My 8 yo has gluten intolerance. Can you tell me about testing for coeliac disease. Is it worth having genetic testing?

A. Some people prefer to have genetic testing for the HLA DQ2 and/or HLA DQ8 genes. It’s not cheap - about $500 – but it’s not as invasive as a bowel biopsy, which is considered to be the gold standard. Our son had the bowel biopsy when he was 7. He had a bad reaction to the sedative drug they used and the results were inconclusive, so I can see why some people don’t want that. See more in the answer below about coeliac disease

Brisbane (Springwood)

FUR2016Springwood01   Friendly relaxed talk in Brisbane Springwood, good to have failsafe dietitian Vivienne Pither and failsafe nutritionist Sheridan Gingrich along too. Lots of failsafers (see long-term failsafers Anne who organised the talk and Brenda who has been a longtime contact). 


Bread preservative - My autistic son just craves bread, it’s all he wants to it. I realise now it’s the bread preservative.

Weightloss – I lost 13 kg in 3 months when I started failsafe. I think it’s because of avoiding processed food (I do home cooking now) and also I went dairy free. My lifelong asthma also went away


Q. I’m time poor. I don’t have time to read labels and recipes, is there a quick, easy way to do this? (Time poor is is a very common question)

A. Yes, see our free failsafe booklets on the website - Ethan’s recipes and the one with The Fridge List. It’s possible to cook once a week, e.g. an easy meal such as hearty chicken and chickpea stew with vegetables, freeze in small containers, and serve every day with rice from your automatic ricecooker, with extra frozen green beans if you want.  That’s what 4 yo Ethan ate, and his improvement was amazing (you can see him in the interview with his mother on our DVD)

Q. I didn’t know potatoes have to be white. Why is that?

A. To be low in salicylates, potatoes have to be large, thickly peeled, white fleshed (not cream, yellow or any other colour) and they can’t have colour skin either. See our blog post about potatoes


FUR2016Newcastle01   Here's the response to the ODD question at the relaxed Newcastle talk: "who knows a kid like this?" - everyone, it seems. Lovely venue and well organised by Rebecca.


Bread preservative plus -”My son aged 4 has been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. He has been eating those Mission green wraps (with 2 preservatives,1 nasty antioxidant and 2 artificial colours) every day. He wouldn’t eat green vegetables. I thought it was the only way to get healthy spinach into him.”  

wrapmission(At every talk there were many people feeding these wraps to their children, thinking that they contained a significant amount of spinach and not realising how many nasties they contain: READ THE LABEL!)

Weightloss - “I’ve been failsafe for 5 years. I’ve noticed that I lose weight on failsafe eating and gain weight if I go off it. Why? I think it’s due to the additives. I think they make you eat more …”  See factsheet on failsafe weight loss

Learned heaps -  “I’ve been failsafe for years but I’ve learned heaps … I can’t believe what’s happening about the bread preservative – calling it cultured dextrose or whatever. How can they get away with it? Thank you so much for all the work you do”

Sydney (Rouse Hill)

FUR2016RouseHill01   Flooding rains didn't stop the Rouse Hill Sydney talk, but tech issues were challenging. High tech food needs high tech presentation! Anyway, see the famous Brussels sprouts question and reaction. Thanks to Erica for organising another very successful talk.


Too much Maccas -
“I’m 24. Until recently I have been eating at Macca’s 2 or 3 times a day. I had to have a gallstone (due to too much fat) removed and I had to stop eating at Maccas. Three weeks later I feel so much better and my cravings have gone. Now I think I will do the whole diet because I have so many of the symptoms you listed – for example, I have this itchy rash, doctors just told me to use cream on it, they never mentioned food, but it’s getting better now I’ve changed my diet.”

Daughter can’t sleep - “I have a 9 year old daughter who has never slept. We have been doing the Paleo diet but it didn’t make any difference. She eats a lot of fruit especially berries. I’m going to try the low-sal diet. Now I have hope.”

Bread preservative - “We didn’t know about the bread preservative. We’ve been giving it to our son every day. He eats a lot of bread ….“

Weightloss - “I’ve lived in France several times and enjoyed your recent blog post about French food. I think the reason that French people are getting fat now is that they are now eating convenience foods, not doing the 3 course set meal in the evening any more.”


Q. Snoring: my husband is being assessed for sleep apnoea and snoring. We've only just started the diet but I've noticed it's improving. Why is that?

A.  Failsafers report blocked noses, snoring, snorting and sleep apnea or apnoea due to the usual culprits - preservatives, colours, MSG, "all additives and packaged foods", dairy foods and salicylates. I myself suffer from blocked nose and snoring if I eat any A1 dairy products, which can be difficult to avoid while travelling. I have found a remarkably easy way to overcome this: mouth taping with paper tape while sleeping. Instead of mouth breathing, it ensures you inhale warm, moist filtered air through your nostrils all night, keeping them unblocked and leading to a good night's sleep. See the story below I found on the internet - that's how I feel about mouth taping! You can start with a square strip the size of a postage stamp, and increase it when comfortable. 

I have suffered from allergies, nasal congestion and asthma for too many years ... I wear (paper tape) over my mouth at night to prevent me from mouth breathing (... and to) keep my nose completely clear all night giving me an ‘easy’ nights sleep. Closing the mouth at night with a strip of tape is a ‘Buteyko’ breathing tip which I learned years ago and now I wouldn’t sleep without mouth tape. - from Sally Dee

Sydney (Cronulla)

FUR2016Cronulla01   Quintessential cold school hall at Cronulla but Jessica did a great organising job (despite dental surgery) and a large attentive audience resulted. Great night. Great to meet Amelia whose meal plan graces the facebook page, and Kate who demonstrated for Thermomix.


Q. What can cause facial tics? Mine started 8 months ago. It was particularly bad the day after going out for a Chinese meal.

A. It can be any of the usual suspects and you can figure it for sure with a 3 week trial of the RPAH elim diet plus challenges. However, for anything involving a Chinese meal, suspect MSG first. See the full list of everything MSG can be called in a product on our blog post


MOTHER: My daughter has nightmares every night, what do you think it might be?
SUE: what are her favourite foods?
MOTHER: Berries – and other high sal fruits. Do you think it might be that?
SUE: Yes, it could be!

Q. Have you seen the Olivers’ advertisement, “do you want beans with that?” Is it real?

A. Yes! – Oliver’s was the only place we stopped to eat on the whole tour – about 5 different locations. We had soy decaf , and yes we had beans with that. We were fascinated to see children at nearby tables eating their beans with as much enjoyment as if they were chips.


The other 'sides' are mostly failsafe too:

• Steamed edamame (soy beans)
• Garlic toasted pita (traces of herb)
• Gluten free garlic toasted pita (traces of herb)

Q. Honey: Our doctor recommends honey instead of cough medicines for very young children, but honey is very high in salicylates, and I can’t see why it would work.

A. In our experience, honey does work for sore throats and this is supported by medical science. We have used it in Nepal with various people and have been surprised. We don’t eat it normally because of the salicylates, but if we need to take it as a medicine, we figure an occasional teaspoon can’t be too bad, and it really does seem to help. 

Melbourne (Mornington)

FUR2016Mornington01   Big crowd at Mornington talk tonight thanks to dietitian Joey De Backer's efforts, and they all knew kids with ODD!


Longterm failsafer “I got your book years ago. We are not sticking to the diet strictly, but it has made a huge difference to our family.”

Longterm failsafe2 “I attended your talk to the Australian Breastfeeding Association (about 15 years ago). At that time my boys were aged 2 and 4 and now they are 17 and 19. I got your book then and I have used it ever since. It changed their lives! They are lovely kids and I am very proud of them. “


Shared custody, three issues

"Is there any detox you come do when they come back from their father’s place?"

• “I can’t do the diet with my son because his father has custody three days a fortnight, and refuses to give him good food. He gives him takeaways. My son doesn’t even want to eat it.“

• “My 18 month old is very restless, can’t sit still for a minute. It was a domestic violence breakup and the psychologist says the behaviour is due to trauma. We have shared custody so I can’t do the diet properly or challenges for sals and amines.”

 A. This is a common complaint and in my opinion is the best reason why Australian food regulators have utterly failed to protect our children. See some suggestions for how to manage - including the use of an antidote/detox for the difficult re-entry period - in our factsheet below. The psychologist says it is all due to trauma? Maybe, maybe not.  One way to confirm the effect of diet is to try it as best you can. See Divorced families and coping with diet

Q. We’re vegetarians. Is it possible to do this diet as a vegetarian?

A. Yes! I’m currently working on a vegetarian version of our free Failsafe booklets but it’s not ready yet. (In the meantime I can send you some ideas). There is also a dietitian on our list who will do Skype and will talk about vegetarian/vegan opportunities

Thanks for catering to Ruby Do Organics cafe in High Street, Hastings, Victoria - they cater for special dietary food (you can request failsafe and it is and it is delicious),  see  0429 961 505

Allergy Train shop opening

FUR2016AllergyTrain01   FUR2016AllergyTrain02   Allergy Train opened their bricks n mortar store at 1/169 Martin St Brighton, in partnership with Tim who runs the very food - intolerance friendly restaurant Fox in the Box downstairs. Great crowd, very supportive. See Mayor of Brighton James Long, dietitian Jenny Tresize, Sue Dengate and Tim ready to cut the ribbon, failsafe of course. 

Melbourne (Wyndham Vale)

FUR2016Wyndham01   A pleasant warm talk at Wyndham Vale near Melbourne (actually a long way out!) - Community Children also hosted talk at Essendon/Mooney Ponds and are very supportive of failsafe. Thanks to Margo and Robin (the latter in photo)

One of my favourite comments from the entire roadshow:

“I didn’t think I could sit still for a 2 hour presentation, but it was so interesting I didn’t even think about it.”


Q. Is baby formula OK?

A. You would have to talk to your doctor or dietitian. Obviously a cows milk formula can be a problem for any child with cows milk problems. There are a number of formulas for children with milk intolerance, some of them are prescription only, and it depends how sensitive your baby is.

Questions on Coeliac disease:

Q. We don’t want our 3 yo to have a bowel biopsy for possible coeliac disease. It’s too invasive. Are there any other options?

A. You can have a blood test for coeliac disease but be warned, if you have already tried a gluten free diet, it may not be reliable. Some doctors say you have to have been eating wheat regularly for at least two months. A positive result is meant to be confirmed by bowel biopsy. Another option that some people prefer is to have genetic testing for the HLA DQ2 and/or HLA DQ8 genes (it’s not cheap – about $500). If the test result is negative, it means you don’t have coeliac disease.  If you get a positive result, again, you are supposed to confirm by bowel biopsy, but as one woman said:

“My symptoms improve when I go gluten free and I have the genes. I’m happy to stay strictly gluten free for the rest of my life because I feel better”.


Q. I have dermatitis herpetiformis. I hadn’t realised it means you’re a coeliac – I don’t have gut problems although some others in my family do. 

A. Dermatitis herpetiformis is an intensely itchy chronic skin rash that is associated with coeliac disease – coeliacs don’t necessarily have gut symptoms.  See more

Q. Why is it so important for coeliacs to be diagnosed?

A. unfortunately, the only treatment for coeliac disease is life-long avoidance of gluten. There are numerous conditions that undiagnosed coeliacs are more likely to develop in the longterm, such as bowel cancer. Sticking to a gluten free diet can reduce the risk, see

Melbourne (Essendon/Moonee Ponds)

FUR2016Essendon01   Community Children talk went so well it was hard to stop the people talking, through and after the presentation. Outrage at the blindness of our broken food regulation system and the food industries dirty tricks. Thanks to Margo, Sandra and Emma for organizing yet another talk.

 “I am an early childhood assistant. I have already been to 5 of your talks and I always learn something. People don’t even know that autism has anything to do with diet anymore.

“I actually attended the one a few years ago that was introduced by the woman in the video [below] – it was the best introduction I have ever seen to anything!!“


“I have a 6 year old daughter with behaviour problems – she lives on red capsicums and strawberries. I’m assuming salicylates might be the issue. I’d never heard of them before.”

“I am the mother of 3 boys.  We went GFDF and they improved, and we have also gone very healthy, so I can’t work out why one of them in particular still has a lot of problems, in some ways he is worse.” (Sue’s comment: most people improve when they go GFDF because it means avoiding a lot of processed foods. It doesn’t necessarily mean that gluten and dairy are the culprits – you have to do an RPAH challenge to confirm that. And of course eating very healthy foods can mean a diet much higher in salicylates.)

“I have a 3 year old with asthma. He’s been to hospital quite a few times. I have no idea what it could be.” (Sue’s comment: 100% of this audience were unaware of the connection between asthma and sulphite preservatives. This is worse than when we did our survey 12 years ago, when we found about 75% of audiences didn’t realise that some of the most common additives can trigger asthma.  Although everyone is different and it is worth doing the elimination diet to find out exactly what the triggers are - see story below.

[1407] For the first time in 41 years I was asthma free and the healthiest I have ever been in my life (September 2016)

I have been a Chronic Asthmatic since I was 6 years old. When I was 47, I read your book, "Fed Up with Asthma" and started the Elimination Diet. I found it difficult, but persevered, as I was doing the ultimate ... Gluten Free and Dairy Free included.  I had such amazing results that I was reluctant to do the challenges as I was totally happy with what I was doing.

After 3mths of being on the diet, I realised I was no longer using any medication, for the first time in 41 years I was asthma free.  I was the healthiest I have ever been in my life.  People were commenting on my complexion, I had more energy than ever before and unexpectedly lost 13kg.

On the occasions that I did eat out or stray from the diet I found it difficult to determine what was the contributing factor as there was usually more than one culprit involved.

I am sad to say that eventually I fell off the wagon, but after seeing you speak recently, I am totally back on track. And I want to thank you for your work.  I talk about Fedup to many people and they all say the same thing.  "I'm not allergic to anything, I would know it if I had a reaction". -  Jacqui, Qld

Albury (Jindera)

FUR2016Jindera01   Second last Fedup Roadshow talk at Jindera near Albury. Good crowd, lots of babes in arms, Principal Sharon Kotzur is a strong supporter.


“My 6 yo son has been out of night nappies for three years but the last 2 months continues to wet his bed twice a week … two weeks later … The great news is that as a result of me cutting out all the high/very high sal fruit he was eating - oranges, mandarins, strawberries, apples , watermelon - he hasn’t  wet his bed since.” - Linda


Q. We moved to Australia from Europe at the beginning of the year. I have s 6 yo son who is still in night nappies and won’t sleep by himself. He also has some behavioural issues that we didn’t see in Europe. Could it be food, or is it the trauma of moving?

A. In our experience, children who move from Europe to Australia are likely to be worse here because Australian food is less child-friendly. First, there are more nasty additives and second, children tend to consume a lot more high salicylate fruit and fruit flavoured products. A three week trial of the RPAH elimination diet (low or moderate, preferably supervised by a dietitian) with challenges would confirm whether there is an effect of food.

Q. I am on the FODMAP diet, but I think I might be sensitive to salicylates as well. I really don’t want to combine failsafe and FODMAP – it looks too hard. The only fruit you can eat are berries.

A. This was a very common request at most of our talks. It is actually possible to live without fruit for 3 weeks, if you eat vegetables instead. For example, potatoes are one of the most near complete foods on earth. One potato provides 45% of the daily requirement of Vitamin C, more potassium than a banana, fibre, and other B vitamins and minerals. (see However, I agree, that it is extremely difficult to combine FODMAP and the RPAH elim diet.  One failsafer managed to overcome her FODMAP sensitivities by  controlling her symptoms with both diets for 30 days while taking a course of SB (Saccharomyces boulardii). Then she was able to control her symptoms by sticking to failsafe eating alone. We were surprised by how many failsafers - and dietitians -were taking SB and I myself would not leave home without it, see more on our blog

Hint: The cheapest way to buy the probiotic that so many failsafers (and dietitians) are taking, Saccharomyces boulardii, is from  ( thanks to dietitian Paula Tazzyman who attended the Canberra talk)


FUR2016Canberra01   The marvellous hall at the Orana Steiner School in Canberra with a lively audience despite the cold. The last talk. Thanks to Angela for arranging and thanks to dietitians Paula Tazzyman and Linda Smillie for attending.


“FODMAP vs RPAH: I went to one of your listed dietitians, she put me on the FODMAP diet (my only symptoms were gut). It helped a bit but didn’t sort out the problem. Then I went on the RPAH elimination diet only, and it sorted everything out.“

“My wife and I first attended one of your talks in 2001, and have been using your books ever since. We have 3 kids, and we wouldn’t have got through the last 15 years without them”.

Hayfever caused by 635

Q. My lifelong hayfever suddenly got much, much worse in 1994 – I was surprised to learn that 635 was approved in that year, it seems like such a coincidence.  Could 635 cause hayfever?

A. Absolutely. That’s exactly how 635 affects me. I’ve only been exposed to it once, about 8 years ago. I ate an evening meal at about 6 pm at a trekking lodge in the Himalayas – Swiss rosti that that I have eaten many times before safely.  In the middle of the night, I woke up coughing and sneezing with streaming eyes and nose, feeling as if I had come down with the most awful flu. After about 4 hours of nose blowing, feeling rotten and thinking my trip was over, I fell back asleep and woke in the morning feeling fine. I had never experienced anything like it before. After a lot of thought, I checked the ingredients of the swiss rosti with our hostess. She admitted she had added a packet soup, with 635, to the usual local ingredients to “make it taste better”. Hmm.  I’ve always avoided 635 like the plague and I still do, and I’ve had no more episodes like that.  Seems to me it could be affecting lots of people, but who is going to think – oh, I’ve got terrible hayfever, maybe I ate 635 six or more hours ago?  

Q. My son is six. What is the normal length of time to do a poo? He seems to take really a long time but it doesn’t seem like constipation.

A. For adults, the rule for a healthy bowel is that you should be able to pass a bowel motion easily and without pain, within about a minute of sitting down on the toilet.  These guidelines are from the Bristol Stool Chart, see   The effects of food intolerance on sneaky poos and sticky poos are generally not understood by health professionals other than dietitians who have a special interest in the RPAH elimination diet, see our list

Q. Sugar: my young daughter has type 1 diabetes. She reacts to sorbitol with stomach pain. Is there any kind of alternative sweetener that I can use for her?

A. The RPAH elimination diet avoids the use of artificial sweeteners, and sugar free sweeteners such as sorbitol, xylitol and mannitol because people can be affected with irritable bowel symptoms. They recommend the use of white sugar in moderation (not more than one or two teaspoons of sugar or one or two sweets at a time, page 53 Handbook). In the past, diabetics were told to avoid all sugar but that has changed. Diabetes experts now say that diabetics can eat a small amount of sugar as part of their carbs allowance: the 

The  2+5 rule - 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables per day - is less for children.

1.5 serves of fruit (and 4.5 serves of veg) for children aged 4-8
1 serve of fruit (and 2.5 serves of veg) for children aged 2-3
0.5 serve of fruit (and 2-3 serves of veg) for children aged 13-23 months

- from Australian dietary guidelines, thanks to dietitian Paula Tazzyman

[1408] Off the scale bad behaviour due to medication (September 2016)

I attended your recent talk in Canberra along with my husband and got so much from the information provided. We've been researching and changing our diets and home since we started seeing one of your listed dietitians for my 2 year old's head banging (he was such a bad headbanger he put his head through a window at 18 months!) and out of control behaviour. We've had some positive results with cutting out all processed foods ...

Everything has been calm until last week when my son had a fever and possible hay fever and we gave him kids dymadon and then nurofen and dimetapp over several days and his behaviour went off the scale bad. We're new to this and have yet to undertake the full elimination diet (it's hard to find a block of time when I can take leave and have the kids out of day care to manage it properly) but it wasn't until your talk that we realised our mistake and also our most probable cause of the sudden out of control behaviour. Thank you for being such an important advocate for our health and wellbeing - it's been an eye-opening journey and I only regret not starting it sooner! - Natalie

Sue's comment: labelling on pharmaceuticals is so pathetic that artificial colours and flavours don't even have to be listed. If it says "colour free", it probably contains other problems such as benzoate preservatives and/or strong fruit flavours that are very high in salicylates, leading to numerous complaints like this one:

"After a dose of colour free panadol my 5-year-old went back to his pre diet ways, crying non stop, angry, rages and night terrors"

Nurofen can affect people who are sensitive to salicylates. According to the RPAH elimination diet handbook: "Don't take anything containing aspirin ... No NSAIDs [includes nurofen, ibuprofen] are suitable while on an elimination diet, since they can cross react with aspirin ..." from page 116

Autism, diagnosis and fragrance

This topic was discussed in several different talks. In one, a woman approached me to ask: “My child is about to be assessed for autism. Can diet prevent a diagnosis of autism?” - see detailed blog post answer


Thanks to all those who attended and contributed to the lively and intelligent discussions!