Episode 50 – Food and How it Affects Your Child

In today’s episode, we are absolutely honoured to chat with Sue Dengate and talk about her fascinating research on food intolerance that has helped countless people and has changed so many lives for good. She shares with us her personal experiences as well as stories of families who have implemented her research and gotten amazing results. She hopes to educate more parents and children about the effects of food chemicals and additives on our health and behaviour and to inspire more families to take food more seriously.

Sue Dengate is a psychology graduate and former teacher. She became interested in the effects of food on health and behaviour as a result of her own children’s experiences. Since then, Sue has published five best-selling books and a DVD. She’s spoken to tens of thousands of people all over the world and was an Australian of the Year finalist in 2009. For the last 25 years, Sue and her food scientist husband, Dr. Howard Dengate, has run the Food Intolerance Network through their website, fedup.com.au.

Key Learnings:

Tune in to this episode and learn as:

  • Sue recounts her life before going into the research of food intolerance, additives and chemicals found in food and how it affects us and our families
  • Sue and Dr Howard’s 11-year journey and trying 30 different treatments to understand why their child was exhibiting tantrums, being difficult and defiant, and struggling in school
  • How a routine 24-hour water-only fast led her to a discovery that would change her life and tens of thousands of other families’ lives
  • What is the RPA Elimination Diet?
  • The difference between food allergy and food intolerance
  • Why more and more people are suffering from food intolerance without even knowing it
  • What the food industry isn’t telling us about the food products we consume
  • How to deal with the challenges most families face when trying to go through the RPA elimination diet
  • Main behavioural effects that could be seen in our children and in adults that could be linked to food intolerance, namely irritability, restlessness, inattention, and sleep disturbance
  • Positive effects were seen in children after 2-3 weeks of following the elimination diet
  • More stories of how the Failsafe way of eating has helped change the lives of children and families all over the world
  • Evidence-based studies showing ultra-processed foods being linked to depression
  • Just how many additives are permitted in the food industry and most of these chemicals, whether synthetic or natural, should be avoided
  • Myths around fruit we’ve been led to believe and the truths we should know
  • Tips on how to get started on the Failsafe way of eating or switching to Failsafe recipes

Take Home Messages for Parents, Carers, and those who work with children:

  1. Take food seriously, because most people don’t realise either that they’re affected or how badly they’re affected, and it can be really life-changing.
  2. Take things slow and one step at a time because it can be overwhelming. Be more organized, try some recipes in the Failsafe Cookbook first, and then take it from there.
  3. It is much better to get the whole family on board and to work with a nutritionist/dietician.


“I have devoted the last 30 years helping other people so that no parent should ever have to go through what we went through.”

One of the advantages of doing the low-chemical elimination diet is that you understand what is in our foods.”

“Fifty years ago, traditional foods didn’t have many additives in them. We’ve lost track of what traditional diets actually work. Everything’s sort of over the top and it’s much easier with processed foods, to have access to foods that are out of season… if you ate a strawberry then, it was just one as a topping, and I can tell you now, strawberries are just so high in salicylates – a punnet of strawberries a day is asking for trouble.”


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Any information and links presented within the Chatabout Children™ with Sonia Bestulic podcast are aimed to provide general information and advice only.
Information is to be used at the discretion of the consumer/ listener. The information presented does not replace or substitute the expert advice received from a direct consultation with the relevant qualified professional.


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