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On MSG, grocery meltdowns, and night terrors.

You know what I love? Packing up three kids, going to the grocery store, surviving three meltdowns (thank you, Goo), getting everything on my list, loading it onto the checkout line and realizing…

I don’t have my debit card.

Then loading the kids back into the car, driving home, getting necessary funds, going back to the grocery store, and actually buying the groceries. Complete with another meltdown.

You know how I said Todzilla had returned? We’re beginning to think it’s more than just the terrible twos. Is there such a thing as the terrible ones, twos and threes?


She likes high fructose corn syrup, too.


A very dear friend of mine has children with food sensitivities. Largely to things like high fructose corn syrup, MSG, food coloring, and sulfites. Sensitivities to these items, itturns out, can cause nuclear meltdown behavioral problems and sleep disturbances, among other things. Did I mention that Goo has woken up in a screaming fit on numerous occasions in the middle of the night? Or that she had one such fit two nights ago, after she sneaked a forbidden piece of candy? Oh, and there’s the fact that she had several allergic reactions to sulfites last year.

We are now looking into an elimination diet, where all possible triggers are eliminated. This includes, but is not limited to, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), MSG (and all the other names food companies use so you don’t recognize it’s in there), food coloring, salicylate foods, and the list goes on. People who have never dealt with a child with food sensitivities think, “Well just give them fruits and veggies and avoid processed foods.” That’s great, if you also mean avoiding the vast majority of breads (they contain HFCS), certain types of sandwich meat and beef, any dairy product that isn’t refrigerated (like pudding), most salad dressings, many “low-fat” products, etc.

So now my already painful trips to the grocery store will take about 400 times longer because I have to read every. single. label. And it’s not just “don’t buy processed foods.” I rarely buy that stuff. My kids snack on whole grains, fruits and veggies, low-fat cheese, and trail mix. Okay okay. On a rare occasion, I buy candy to bribe reward good behavior. But even those whole grains probably contain HFCS. And low-fat dairy products can have enough MSG to trigger a reaction in someone with a sensitivity. So my grocery trips will be longer, and my grocery bill, significantly larger.

But the good news is, if this works, the days of 15 – 45 minute inconsolable tantrums may be coming to an end. Todzilla’s reign may be over, for the most part. And that’s worth a 3 hour trip to the grocery store.


About Mediocre Mom

I am a wife to the man who was made for me, and mom to three amazing girls: Punkin is eight, Goo is four, and Smush is two. I'm a Christian, a science geek, and completely addicted to coffee. Trying to stay sane one day at a time. Lowering the bar for moms everywhere.

10 responses »

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  2. Beth do you have a list of affordable food products that moms can also look for? This is really good to know!

    • My favorite store is Trader Joe’s. They have TONS of stuff that is artificial ingredient free, and significantly cheaper than the organic section of Stop and Shop. If you have a picky eater, like mine, Annie’s organic pasta products are boss. They cost a few cents more than the other brands, but are free of all the junk. A very good friend also turned me on to Newman-O’s. They’re the organic Oreo, and our go-to item for the occasional “special treat.” I’ll probably do a post one day about our food finds for kids with sensitivities like Goo’s.

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