A friend of mine posted the following on Facebook yesterday:
"Might as well call it Red #40 Day. Bedtime can't get here fast enough!"
She is referring to the common food coloring Red #40, which is over-used every February 14th (aka Valentine's Day).
Red #40 is acknowledged as having an effect on children's behavior, causing hyperactivity; even my kiddo, who does not "officially" have any sensitivity to any food coloring, has been known to be out of control after indulging in red-colored treats. I first made the connection when the lady at the post office gave my kiddo a red lollipop, and not even 10 minutes later, she was acting up and giggling and not listening (more than usual--a friend of mine noticed the difference, too). This gives the term "going postal" a whole new meaning.
Red #40 can be such a problem that there are websites devoted to awareness of it. Check out http://www.red40.com/ for info, especially their list of candies that contain Red #40 here.
There is no realistic way to escape the onslaught of redness on Valentines Day, unless, of course you have already established uber-strict dietary restrictions. I try to keep the crap away from the kiddo, but she loves celebrating the holidays, and fake coloring is a well-established part of that. The key is limiting how much she can eat at one time. And waiting until she is in school and tossing some of the crap. And putting it in the big garbage can so that she doesn't notice it in the kitchen trash.