The dangers of orange juice

When my kids were small we started following the Failsafe diet. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically eliminating artificial food chemicals known to cause adverse reactions in people, as well as foods containing naturally occurring chemicals known to cause adverse reactions. (If you want to know more about it check out I can’t recommend it highly enough, it cured my daughter’s sleeplessness, stomach pains, and my son’s out-of-control eczema.


This blog isn’t about the Failsafe diet. It’s about the time I poured my son a glass of juice and had to fight the guilty feeling. Fruit juice, when you’re on the Failsafe diet, is baaaaad.

Don’t get me wrong This isn’t a fad diet. This is a life-line for people whose children have unbearable, unbelievable problems with naturally occurring chemicals in naturally occurring food, and although it may sound extreme and limited it’s…well okay, it IS extreme and limited, but it’s nutritionally balanced and scientifically tested at the same time. Do I need to explain a bit more?

When my Ginger Ninja was a baby his eczema was so severe that once I went to check him in his crib and thought he’d been murdered there was so much blood. No joke. He was fully breast fed, and when I started cutting out the “bad” foods of my own diet (strongly flavoured fruit and vegetables, tomato, citrus, pineapple, kiwi, strawberry) his eczema cleared up.

No joke. I stopped eating tomatoes and tomato-based pasta sauces and he started looking normal. And my daughter, who’s diet we also limited, started sleeping through the night again. We didn’t look back.

It turned out, after some tests at the paediatrician, that my Ginger Ninja also had copious amounts of allergies as well as food intolerance. Pretty soon the list of foods we had to avoid was longer than the list we could eat from: no cow’s milk. No soy milk. No eggs. No peanuts. No sesame seeds. No preservatives. No artificial colours. No tomato, grapes, citrus, kiwi, apples, tuna, grapes, sultanas, chocolate, broccoli, raspberries, cheese, yoghurt…the list goes on.


To cut a long story short, gradually we were able to introduce some of these into his diet, and gradually increased his tolerance to some of these things. And his allergies are almost completely gone (still can’t eat peanuts). And we discovered a wonderful probiotic that he takes daily to help his digestive system process food. And he’s growing, so he can tolerate larger doses of things. It’s just good. And so, lo and behold, now we can give him juice.

I bought juice the other day. I felt like a rebel, like I had to look furtively around the supermarket and make sure nobody noticed I was putting such a dangerous and banned substance in my trolley. It wasn’t even for visitors, just…for us. I know! Crazy living. That’s what being on holidays will do to a person: make them break out of years of training and REBEL!

It made me pause and reflect though. I remembered when I was quite young and my dad brought home two cans of beer to put in a snail trap in the veggie garden. I’d been brought up in the Salvation Army church, and had been taught again and again about the dangers of alcohol. I figured then and there that my family was going downhill fast and it was the end of everything. Dad’s bought beer.

(Incidentally, next to the bottle of juice in my fridge right now is a half-empty bottle of wine. My dad didn’t turn into a rampant alcoholic, even though his garden snails might have).

Sometimes we need to do a re-think of what we believe, and why. It’s easy to carry on out-dated thinking, old memories, decisions that are no longer relevant, attitudes we no longer need to own. Or, conversely, remember the old mindsets we’ve forgotten (too many lollies WILL rot your teeth and make you fat, even if you are an adult now) and embrace them again.

Anyone care to join me for a glass of juice?


4 thoughts on “The dangers of orange juice

  1. Wow, I admire you for your ability and willingness to adhere to such a strict diet for the sake of your children. I know, it is what we do as parents – but still it isn’t easy and I have come in contact with way to many parents who are not willing to make sacrifices for the sake of their children. At close to 70 I am still having to periodically stop to rethink habits and mindsets. I think a part of it is that life changes, your kids and me getting older, so it calls for changes. I have always been fascinated with how children are always pushing the limits as they mature which forces parents to rethink why they have the rules that they have. I guess we, as parents, also are always pushing them to be more mature, more responsible. Life is so cotton picking interesting (although I don’t think there is anything inherently interesting about picking cotton – strange phrase). Good post – as always you got me thinking.

    • Thanks Pat! Yeah, for us it was an easy decision – have happy, healthy kids, or go crazy.
      That’s interesting that you say you’re still adjusting and re-evaluating. It’s good to keep doing it I guess, ant to acknowledge that just because rules were good once doesn’t mean they still no longer need to apply. Fluidity. Flexibility. Wow. We never do stop learning, do we.

  2. Just love this article……I can so relate….Have spoken to a few people recently who are embarking on a FAILSAFE diet with their children, for various reasons, and can vividly remember our own journey with it in trying to ‘solve’ our eldest son’s food issues (he has multiple and severe food allergies too, and had terrible excema as a baby/toddler, sleep issues etc)…To a degree, I am all for it, cut out the numbers, preservatives, colours etc, make and eat pure, real food, and as with everything, if you it is working for you, run with it because I agree that there is merit in the research and results for thousands of people. Just don’t let it consume your world – don’t take let it turn your experience of enjoying and sharing food, into a very analytical and potential mindfield of guilt…where nearly everything is ‘bad’ in some way and you are no longer seeing your child, but a ‘puzzle to solve’. xx

    • Kate thank you! (and I’m sorry it’s taken me this long to respond). It’s made a huge difference to a lot of families, and I’m glad it’s becoming well known and understood, and particularly glad that Australian manufacturers appear to be responding to market demand and taking out artificial colours and flavour enhancers.
      I hear you on the “puzzle to solve” thing too. Excellent, excellent point. I’ve been there, as have a few of my Failsafe friends. That’s one reason I’m grateful to be able to let up on the strictness of the diet with my kids. It’s a funny line to walk.
      All the best with your son’s allergy journey.

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