Sue's Blog

Holidays are a good time to do the elimination diet



  • Christmas party food can cause health and behaviour problems
  • culprits can include food additives or "healthy fruit" eg grapes, strawberries, plums
  • our readers say New Year is a good time to try diet

Reaction to “party foods” at playgroup Christmas party

"Last year when my daughter was 2 years old she had two nights where she only slept for 2 hours, and was a flailing, intolerable child...I realised that this reaction was likely caused by the 'party foods' she had eaten for the first time at a playgroup Christmas party...Six months ago, a friend gave me your book 'Fed Up'. During the first two weeks of the elimination diet, our little devil turned into an angel…" - from story [216]

Failsafers say New Year is a good time to start the RPAH elimination diet as a way of finding out exactly which foods are causing their or their children’s problems.

Bad behaviour at Christmas leads to elimination diet – and big improvement

"Three days after Christmas (five years ago), my 8 year old daughter went off to such a degree that all I could do was hold on to her while she bit, kicked and screamed until she was physically exhausted...I went to see a child psychologist who fortunately for me recommended your book Fed Up.

Within a month of starting the diet, I went from thinking my daughter was destined for jail to thinking what a lovely young girl she is turning into … My daughter is now twelve with her full potential being realised and is the biggest advocate of all for the failsafe diet..." –  from story [461]

From worst Christmas Day to peaceful school holidays

"On Christmas morning, Nathan (12) was already in a bad mood...grapes and plums... lollies and soft drinks...the normal Christmas food - chips (BBQ and Sour Cream and Chives), mixed lollies... particularly red and green M&Ms, rumballs with lots of raisins and dried fruit, plum pudding, custard (artificial colours 110 & 102), sausages...drinking cans of soft drink one after the other...his behaviour was getting worse...

...after reading your books, I think that there were two things that triggered him off - one was the pigging out on that fruit and the other was all that junk food …

...we have followed the 'additives to avoid' card...and 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..." -  from story [358]

We also hear from failsafers who have had a better Christmas than previously, due to dietary changes.

Christmas was great due to diet (2 stories)

"I have never felt better over Christmas than I did this year on the elimination diet ...” – from story [1396]

"We've just had Christmas day...totally failsafe for missed out, we had what the kids could have and everyone had a top time not like the previous Christmas with it ending it tears"  - from story [546] 

If you’d like to try diet   

We support the RPAH Elimination diet (from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney). There are 3 steps

  • elimination for 3-6 weeks
  • challenges
  • gradual reintroduction

For best success we recommend seeing an experienced and supportive dietitian from our list:      


•   People find my books and DVD extremely helpful and dietitians say it cuts an hour off consultation time if people have read my book Fed Up before they go. You don't have to buy – my books and DVD are available in libraries

•   Our free booklets show how manageable this diet can be

•   People say our facebook group is friendly and supportive: Sue Dengate Failsafe Group

Read more

Introduction to food intolerance

How to start failsafe eating