Maybe you've heard the buzz going around about artificial food dyes. They've been linked to hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, aggressiveness, sleep problems, headaches, and allergic reactions, just to name a few. Red 40, Red 3, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 are known carcinogens. They cause cancer. And what does just about every kid friendly food on the market have in it? You guessed right. Food dyes! Even plain ol' white marshmallows have them. They are in everything! That's no way to be feeding our future generation.
What's even more frustrating is that our very own American companies such as Kraft, Coca Cola, and Walmart have eliminated artificial food dyes from their products in the UK but not here in the U.S. When a study in the UK, known as the Southampton Study, came out linking artificial food dyes and preservatives to hyperactivity in children these American companies in the UK jumped right on board eliminating food dyes from their products. But they did nothing here in the U.S. So sad. I have no doubt that change will be coming soon though. Over that past few years I've seen more and more kid friendly foods from new companies popping up on the shelves without artificial food dyes. Those are companies I'm willing to support. I think it's just a matter of time before these big American companies make changes too.
So how about a super simple, super nutritious, homemade treat your kids will love that's free of all the artificial stuff? These homemade fruit snacks contain freshly squeezed fruit juice, grass fed gelatin (which is great for your skin, aids in digestion and so much more), and honey.
Sweet (or Sour) Fruit Snacks
2/3 cup freshly squeezed citrus juice (orange juice for sweet gummies or lemon for sour gummies)
6 tablespoons honey
4-5 tablespoons gelatin (preferably grass fed)
(optional: you can add 3-4 drops food grade orange oil to the sweet gummies for a stronger flavor)
1. Combine juice, honey and gelatin in a pan over low heat. Stir until well combined and all gelatin lumps are dissolved.
2. Stir in orange oil now if adding.
3. Pour mixture into molds and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
4. Once firm remove gummies from molds and store in an air tight container. They will stay firm at room temperature once chilled and can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. If the weather is warm gummies will keep their texture better if stored in the fridge.
To learn more about the dangers of artificial food dyes see these great articles:
Why Your Child Is Hyperactive (How ADHD is caused by artificial food flavors and colors)