Some Common food additives and chemicals harmful to children
1) Bisphenols, such as BPA: hey are found in the lining of food and soda cans, plastics with the number 3 or 7, and cash register receipts, among other places. They used to be found in plastic baby bottles and sippy cups; while this has been banned, older bottles and cups may still contain them.
2) Phthalates: They are ubiquitous, found not just in plastic packaging, garden hoses, and inflatable toys, but also in things like nail polish, hairsprays, lotions, and fragrances.
3) Perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs):They are commonly found in grease-proof paper, cardboard packaging, and commercial household products such as water-repellent fabric and nonstick pans, among other places.
4) Artificial food colors. These have been found to increase symptoms in children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. They are found in all sorts of food products, but especially those marketed for children.
5)Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) : MSG is used to enhance the flavor of many processed foods. Some people may have a sensitivity to MSG, but it’s safe for most people when used in moderation.
6) Guar Gum: Guar gum is a long-chain carbohydrate used to thicken and bind foods. It’s widely used in the food industry and can be found in ice cream, salad dressings, sauces and soups.
7) Artificial sweeteners: No points for guessing that this item is the first on the list! Most ‘sugar-free’ candies, soft drinks or low-calorie beverages have one or more food additives.researchers are united in categorising corn syrup as responsible for increasing obesity.
what is a parent to do about food additives and chemicals?
These chemicals are truly everywhere, and impossible to avoid completely.
Buy and serve more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, and fewer processed foods, especially during pregnancy.
Since heat can cause plastics to leak BPA and phthalates into food, avoid microwaving food or beverages in plastic containers. Also: wash plastics by hand rather than putting them in the dishwasher.
Use more glass and stainless steel instead of plastic.
Avoid plastics with the numbers 3, 6, and 7 on them.
Wash hands thoroughly before and after touching food, and clean all fruits and vegetables well.
And here are a few more ideas:
Cut back on canned foods and beverages in general.
Cut back on fast food and processed foods.
Read labels. Get to know what is in the products you use.
Look for lotions, soaps, and other products that are made naturally — and are fragrance-free.
Consider making your own home cleaning products. You’d be amazed what a little baking soda or vinegar can do.
The idea isn’t to get paranoid (although that’s an understandable feeling) ;the idea is to get informed — and to make some simple changes that can go a long way toward keeping children and their families healthier.