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How to Make Natural Food Dye

Do You Use Natural Food Dyes For Your Child's Treats?

Should warning labels be on artificially dyed foods? The FDA is trying to decide this following a study showing that those petroleum-based dyes found in everything from cereal to candy can cause behavioral problems like ADHD. If the findings worry you, moms who still want to make a colorful treat for her kids can still feed them the rainbow by using natural food dye, which are made from the colors naturally found in certain foods.

If you want to try out natural coloring, making your own can be half the fun of an afternoon of family cooking! Lil ones will love to experiment with homemade color combinations, which use common kitchen ingredients like red cabbage, beets, turmeric, onion skins, and coffee to impart pretty shades of pink, red, orange, and more.

Store-bought dyes are another great option, especially for decorating baked goods. India Tree Nature's Colors come in a pack of liquid red, yellow, and blue ($19) and can be combined to make other colors, while Nature's Flavors sells many different shades in powder and liquid form ($15 each).

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While natural food dyes don't give you those vibrant colors that we're used to from artificial dyes, what better time than Spring and Easter than to experiment with different shades of pastels! What natural food dye tricks do you use?

Source: Flickr User AmberStrocel

Join The Conversation
FrankiLee FrankiLee 6 years
We use a few different things, and the colours come out so soft and pretty. Turmeric for yellow, purple cabbage for blue, spinach for green. They came out the perfect pastel shade, and it was fun to go through the process with my daughter!
emo_stacer emo_stacer 6 years
Does it really matter? Its not like your going to eat the eggshells.
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