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Fun for Kids: Safe Berry-Based Food Colors

Fun for Kids:  Safe Berry-Based Food Colors

The FDA has estimated that between 47,000 and 94,000 Americans are sensitive to food dye Yellow No. 5. It can cause asthma, hives, headache, and is linked to behavioral changes.

In a double-blind study reported in the Journal of Pediatrics, the study clearly demonstrated a relation between ingestion of Yellow No. 5 and behavioral changes in children who are allergic to it. At the moment there are seven dyes on the market. The rest have been taken off the market because they have been found to be toxic or carcinogenic.

You can make fun children’s food–cookies, cakes, and candies–using juice dyes instead of store bought artificial food colors. Here is how to make your own juice dyes:

One or more of the following: frozen berries, canned beets, or 1/2 cup plant material (blueberries, cranberries, strawberry).
Water as needed.

Use the juice straight from thawed berries, or juice drained from canned beets. Mix colors for hue variations.

If using fresh berries, or fruit, combine the plant material with 1 cup of water in a pan and simmer over low heat for 1/2 hour or so, adding more water as it evaporates.

Plant suggestions include blueberries, purple grapes, cranberries, beets, and turmeric (for yellow)!

Parents: Do you have a favorite kids’ recipe with berries or a great dye alternative? Let us know in the comment field below.

Read more: Crafts & Hobbies, Family

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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7:18AM PDT on Mar 31, 2013

good to know

11:24AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012


2:11PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Thanks for the info.

8:39AM PDT on May 20, 2012


11:20AM PDT on Apr 1, 2011

Don't forget vegetables, spinach for green, carrots for orange.

5:24AM PDT on Apr 1, 2011

nice article

12:16AM PDT on Apr 1, 2011


10:30AM PDT on Aug 26, 2010

I try to watch what I eat all the time but it's hard. One good thing has arisen out of this and that is I watch what my son eats now and try to restrict artificial dyes as much as I can.Spelling Games

12:43AM PST on Feb 2, 2010

I know it is deliciouse .Thanks.

12:48AM PDT on Jun 19, 2009

mega kabin

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Very good to know. Thank you.

Amazing post! liked it. Thanks for sharing.

Excellent presentation Joe! I do use the scent of lavender to help with sleep. I agree there is …


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