Additives in our Childrens Diet

On a 100% raw whole food live diet there is little need to worry about preservatives, additive and colors. However this only applies to a very small percentage of people who are on a 100% raw diet. And there are only a handful of kids I know about, who are on a 100% raw diet in the whole world.

And although I promote a high raw diet for the majority of us ( and I myself move from 100% – 95% raw food diet, and Issy is on about 60-80% Raw) for the majority of us packaged foods are part of our diet be it limited. God I even grew up eating meat, vegemite, foods ladened with additives etc..

I recently I discovered an additive in some packaged prunes. And it has lead me down a path of investigation to find what additive free substitutes of products can be used instead of those with these damaging preservatives.

Some of the most iconic Australian foods contain harmful additives. Vegemite one of the staple pantry items in Australian homes and feed to our kids contains preservative 220 in the colouring used {160c} but in an amount that no longer requires labeling under Australian Food label laws and the ‘chocolate’ coating on Tim Tams contains 4 colours considered to be carcinogens or cause hyperactivity in children and are banned or restricted in other countries {Colours 110, 129, 133 and 150} (2009, Fedup.com.au).

So with this information at hand I am going to do my best to share alternatives to packaged foods, hopefully it is a raw version but it may not always be the case, either way its going to be a better option than the additive ladened version we find on our supermarket shelves.

The First one is to replace the ole Vegemite with Miso.

I just spread miso on raw crackers for Issy and she loves it!

(The recipe for Raw Crackers is available for free in the Raw Food 4 Kids FREE e-book to get a copy you just need to sign up to the Newsletter and a link will sent to you)

Miso is soybeans and grains that 20130409-212923.jpghave been cooked before miso or tamari are made. However, the beans are then cultured with a bacterium. When you buy unpasteurized miso or tamari, you are buying a “live” product in that the bacterium is still alive (and may help to digest other foods you eat), even though it’s not entirely raw. It is much safer alternative than Vegemite thats for sure!

Here listed below are a link of additives, colors, preservatives and their effects. I found this list courtesy of the website A little delightful.

Colours:


{Colours 102, 104, 110, 122, 124, 129}
in Europe, products with these six colours are required to display the following message: “Warning, may have an adverse effect on activity and attention of children”. They are all linked to hyperactivity, skin rashes or allergies, asthma, eczema. Some are suspected carcinogens and some are linked to kidney tumours and chromosomal damage. In Europe and the UK, products containing any of the “Southampton Six” must be labelled with the following warning

133 brilliant blue – Suspected carcinogen, linked to hyperactivity. Asthmatics should avoid this additive.
150 (150a,b,c,d) – Linked to gastro intestinal problems and hypersensitivity.
160b annatto – often labeled as “Natural colour 160b” – Linked to hypersensitivity, allergic reactions, skin irritations, behaviour and learning problems.

Watch out for these in: Soft drinks, cordials, lollies, cakes, ice creams and other highly processed foods. Though “Natural colour 160b annatto is common in many dairy and juice products.

 

Preservatives:

210-216 – Benzoates – linked to hyperactivity, nettle rash, behavioural problems. Asthmatics should avoid these additives. 220-228 Sulphites – Asthmatics should avoid these additives. Linked to gastric irritation/damage, hyperactivity, behavioural problems, nettle rash and swelling. 220 Sulphur dioxide in particular is a possible mutagen and can be fatal in asthmatics.
249-252 Nitrates and Nitrites – Linked to behavioual problems, asthma and breathing difficulties, headaches, dizziness, hyperactivity, kidney inflammation and are possible carcinogens. All are prohibited in foods for infants and young children.

Watch out for these in: processed meats, wine, breads and dried fruits.


Antioxidants:

310-312 Propyl, Octyl and Dodecyl gallate– Linked to gastric and skin irritations. Asthmatics and aspirin sensitive people and pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid these additives. Prohibited in foods for infants and young children.
319-321 tBHQ, BHA and BHT – Linked to cancer and birth defects, skin irritation and dermatitis. Can cause nausea, vomiting, delirium and collapse. 320 BHA and 321 BHT are prohibited in foods for infants and young children. 319 tBHQ is fatal in a dose of just 5g.

Watch out for these in: instant and highly processed foods, salad dressings, margarine and spreads


Flavour enhancers:

620-635 – This whole range of flavour enhancers includes the famous 621 or Monosodium Glutamate or MSG, but there are many others included here that should be avoided as there are links to asthma, hyperactivity, depression or mood swings, headaches, abdominal discomfort, restlessness and nausea, convulsions. 627 and 631 are prohibited in foods for infants and young children.

Watch out for these in: sauces, potato chips, flavoured noodles, packet soups and other savoury foods.

Artificial Sweeteners:

951 – Aspartame {Nutrasweet, Equal}– Linked to many health problems including cancer, asthma, nausea, depression, hyperactiviy and seizures.
954 Saccharin – This is a known carcinogen especially linked to bladder and reproductive cancers.
955 Sucralose – Linked to neurological and immunological disorders.
Watch out for these in: diet softdrinks and other ‘low sugar’ or ‘sugar free’ food products.

Feeding our children a low additive diet or a diet free of harmful additives is not impossible. Oftentimes it’s just about choosing one brand over another or making something at home from scratch instead. Even cutting out just a few additives here and there could have a profound impact on the health, wellbeing or behaviour of your child.

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.alittledelightful.com/2012/05/what-our-children-are-really-eating.html

Adams, M. (2006). Honest Food Labels (comic) [Image]. Retrieved 01 April, 2012 from http://www.naturalnews.com/020148.html

Dengate, S. (2011). All Additives Factsheet. Retrieved 20 March, 2012 from http://www.fedupwithfoodadditives.info/information/additivesall.htm

Fed Up (nd) Food Intolerance Network. Retrieved 20 March, 2012 from http://fedup.com.au/

Fed Up With Food Additives (2011). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved 27 March, 2012 from http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:t3g00vOFyAQJ:www.fedupwithfoodadditives.info/information/questions3.htm+vegemite+additive+risk&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

Food Standards Australia (2012). Food Additives. Retrieved March 30, 2012 from http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumerinformation/additives/

Fox, M. (2007). Food additives linked to hyperactivity in kids. Retrieved 24 March, 2012 from http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2007/09/06/2025678.htm

Fusara, D. (2011). Beware of the “Southhampton Six”. Retrieved 27 March, 2012 from http://ddwilliamson.com/beware-of-the-southhampton-six/

Mercola, J. (2012). Is this FDA-approved sweetener causing brain damage? Retrieved 27 March, 2012 from http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Safety/chemical/sweetener_0324120739.html

Monica (2011). Making the best food choices for your kids. Retrieved March 7, 2012 from http://www.wholekids.com.au/feed/newsfeed/72 .

When was the chocolate chip cookie invented? (n.d.) [Image]. Retrieved 23 March, 2012 from http://answers.yourdictionary.com/answers/food-cooking/when-chocolate-chip-cookie-invented.html

(2010). The artificial food colouring and hyperactivity link. Retrieved 30 March, 2012 from http://www.kidspot.com.au/familyhealth/family-health-healthy-living-the-artificial-food-colouring-and-hyperactivity-link+3545+190+article.htm