Not Quite Ready to Start the Feingold Diet Yet?

30 Simple Changes Anyone Can Make

I wanted to give some examples that anyone, regardless of if they choose to do the Feingold Diet or not can make. I’ve listed some brand names below. Ingredients can change at any time, so please be mindful of that. If you’re a Feingold member, please refer to your current shopping guide. This post is for those of you who are not yet ready to start Feingold for whatever reason, but would like to make better choices in food by avoiding dyes, artificial flavors, and preservatives as much as possible. 

Important Note: Some of the products listed are not approved but we use them without a problem. I’m not endorsing the examples below (some are obviously not healthy), but it’s better than the dye and chemical laden alternatives that many people are consuming every day. 
Some of these suggestions would be stage two and a few contain corn syrup. These are just some examples of a few things the average person can do to try to stay away from harmful additives. This is not the same as doing Feingold. To do the Feingold Diet, you have to pay for a membership and shop solely off their shopping guide, and you would start off in stage one (avoiding many fruits). See their web site.  

1.  When eating out, instead of the bright orange pop loaded with dyes, a better option would be Sprite, Sierra Mist, Coke, apple juice or water instead. Stay away from pink lemonade or fruit punch. Those often have red dyes.

2.  Avoid macaroni and cheese when eating out. It often contains yellow dye, especially if they use Kraft. We often opt for a hamburger or steak instead with a side of vegetables or a plain baked potato. Hamburger buns can contain preservatives but we are gluten free, so we order without the bun anyway. Some people bring their own buns. Most fries contain preservatives. 

3.  At McDonald’s, opt for a hamburger or cheeseburger instead of chicken nuggets and skip the fries or do apples instead (no caramel dip). (Wendy's fries are approved.) We get the apple juice here too. For a treat, get the Cherry Berry Chiller.  

4.  Use Heinz or Hunts ketchup (We use the ones with no corn syrup.)

5. Cook more and eat out less often. You will avoid a whole host of bad things by doing so. Check out my recipe blog below for ideas or my previous blog post, 30 Days of Feingold Dinners (Week 1)

All Natural Recipes

Chicken Nugget Recipe

6.  Make (and sometimes freeze) your kids’ desserts instead of buying them (cupcakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, cake, etc.)

Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Puppy Chow Recipe

7.  Make homemade popsicles instead of buying the artificially colored ones. Amazon has some really cool popsicle molds. 

See my previous post:  How to Make Homemade Popsicles

8.  Replace gum with an all-natural variety like Glee (some have corn syrup but can be found at Whole Foods or a health food store) or B-Fresh Bubble Gum or Solar Moon Melon (we order online from Use the code EPI399 (or search the Internet for a code) to get $5 off your first order.

9.  Bring snacks and drinks (optional) whenever you leave the house. Kids often get hungry when you are out somewhere, making it easy to want to stop and pick up something to eat or drink. Give them a snack to tide them over until you can get home to eat. Sam’s Club sells individual bags of Lay’s and Ruffles potato chips and Fritos that we sometimes take in the car (Lay’s recently stopped filling out forms but was approved for years). Gum is also a good thing to keep on hand in the car.

10.  Use plain Ivory soap bars instead of brightly colored and scented soaps. For the kids, we used Desert Essence Fragrance Free body wash. I get it online from or If you have a jacuzzi tub, this will double as bubble bath soap (trust me).  Many kids' bath products contain dyes which will absorb into the skin when they bathe. 

11. Use a laundry detergent like Tide Free or Seventh Generation instead of detergents with heavy perfumes and dyes. (I use 1/4 the recommended amount of detergent and then 1/4 cup of Borax because my daughter has very sensitive skin.)

12.  Ditch the fabric softener (we did) or use Bounce Unscented dryer sheets. Or some people add about 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle instead of using dryer sheets. 


13. Shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or a health food store if you have them. See my previous post, 30 Days of Grocery Shopping. Or stick to real, whole foods as much as possible (meats, fruits, veggies, etc.)

14.  When at the shopping mall or airport, opt for Auntie Anne’s soft pretzel and lemonade for a snack or Mrs. Field’s chocolate chip cookies (but not the prepackaged ones).

Auntie Anne's is no longer shown in Feingold's Fast Food Guide, but see here for details of my contact with them. 

15.  Read labels and avoid red, blue, and yellow dyes, artificial flavors, and the preservatives BHA, BHT, and TBHQ when listed (sometimes they are hidden or not listed which is why Feingold is so helpful). Sorry, those Doritos have got to go. :(

16.  Replace regular candy with more natural options like Yummy Earth brand suckers or gummy worms, Surf Sweets gummies, SunDrop or Justin's chocolates, Unreal candy, etc. You can find these online, at Whole Foods, or your local health food store. The Unreal ® candy you can find at Target. We have yet to try those.

17.  Replace artificially colored chewable vitamins with an all-natural variety found at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or your local health food store. You can also order online. Sam's Club and Costco also sell Lil' Critter Gummy Vites. 

18.  Get your cheese slices from the deli instead (Land O’Lakes White American). It tastes the same, just without the yellow dye. They'll slice it for you there. Or use Horizon Organic cheese slices from Whole Foods. Cheese can often contain dyes or hidden preservatives. Natural cheeses will use annatto or other natural ingredient to color the cheese. 

19.  Buy Hormel Natural (prepackaged) deli meats. They have turkey, ham, roast beef, etc.

20.  Buy Annie’s macaroni and cheese instead of Kraft. Costco sometimes sells them in a case.

21.  Use Ghiradelli chocolate chips for baking, or Enjoy Life if you are dairy free.

22.  Use Aunt Jemima Original pancake mix (not the Complete where you just add water).

23.  Use Rudi’s breads (at Whole Foods) or King’s Hawaiian rolls or sandwich bread (Wal-Mart, Meijer, etc.). Most other breads at least contain corn syrup and most contain preservatives which may or may not be listed.

24.  Switch your kids’ colorful toothpaste to Tom’s of Maine Silly Strawberry or other natural toothpaste.

25.  When ordering a pizza, opt for Papa John’s hand-tossed cheese pizza with a side of pizza sauce instead of the garlic sauce. Papa John’s is no longer in the shopping guide but it was approved for years. See this post for more details. 

26.  If your kids want an Icee/slushie, opt for the Coke flavor instead of the bright red cherry or blue raspberry flavors. 

27.  Stick with a few flavors of Dannon All Natural yogurts (double check the labels). Many yogurts contain artificial colors and flavors.

28.  Buy Simply Orange Juice, Simply Lemonade, Simply Apple Juice, and Simply Grapefruit juice instead of other brands that often have hidden preservatives in the packaging. Tropical Juicy Juice is also clean.

29.  Buy Apple and Eve juice boxes (our Sam’s Club has them). Mott’s fruit punch boxes are also clean as are Minute Maid Lemonade boxes (has corn syrup).

30.  Choosy moms (and Feingold moms) choose JIF. Choose JIF or Skippy peanut butter over other brands. Some other brands contain preservatives.

These are just some examples of “better” choices. If you join Feingold, there are a lot more options for you in the over 300 page shopping guide. Doing the Feingold Diet isn’t all that bad. It’s often just a matter of knowing which brands to choose. Knowledge is power! 

(This was a chapter from my book, ""All Natural Mom's Guide to the Feingold Diet"" now available on Amazon! I decided to take it out because it lists a lot of brand names which could change over time.)

Click here to buy the book!

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