Jump to content

Do you avoid artificial colours in your kids' food?


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 EBKatie

Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:28 AM

While the scientific jury is still out on conclusive proof, many parents will tell you that they are certain that particular colours and additives to food send their children crazy! Red cordial is a commonly-cited culprit, but it’s more complicated than that.

    In my professional experience the top two additives that my patients have issues with are number 102 - tartrazine, which is a bright yellow colour and number 62 – MSG which is a flavour enhancer,” says Mum and nutritionist Kate di Prima. “Common symptoms can be hyperactivity and a lack of attention span, exacerbation of ADHD, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, dizziness – the list goes on.”

    Greater parental awareness of potential issues with artificial colourings resulted in ALDI banishing artificial colourings from its entire range of food last year and Coles has now followed suit, announcing this week that 100% of their own Coles Brand of food and drink products are now free from artificial colours, as well as from added Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).  

  “We have listened to our customers’ concerns that they would prefer us not to use additives in our products and following five years of extensive product development, we are now able to ensure 100% of Coles Brand food and drink products are free of artificial colour and added MSG,” says Jackie Healing, quality manager for Coles. “Our customers are clearly concerned by food additives and the effect they believe they have on their health. A significant number have indicated that they or their children have experienced reactions to artificial colours and MSG.”

  The numbers were significant indeed, with Coles research finding that 91% of Australians are worried about consuming products with artificial colours and added MSG and one in three parents believe that their children have had a reaction to artificial colours. But is this simply perception or is it a fact?

  Most research concludes that the average child should not have an adverse reaction to artificial colourings given the amount that is routinely consumed, although artificial colourings could worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit disorders.  An analytical survey undertaken by Food Standards Australia New Zealand echoed this approach, stating that there is “no public health and safety risk from the consumption of foods containing added colours as part of a balanced diet.” You can read the full report here. http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/...%2008%20_2_.pdf

    Nevertheless many parents would beg to differ, with Kate di Prima finding an increased number of clients with additive-related symptoms. “Fifty years ago we had a very basic diet – probably a plain cereal for breakfast, a simple sandwich for lunch and meat with three vegies for dinner,” she says. “There wasn’t the prevalence of variety that we have now. There are so many more flavoured biscuits, snacks like three-minute noodles, fruit-flavoured straps and wraps and jello’s. Our exposure to artificial colours is becoming far more prevalent. That’s why I have been pushing the need for healthy lunchboxes in the past few years. Grain sandwiches, low-fat dairy foods and fruit. We need to move away from the packaged foods.

    Going package-free is easier said than done though, which is why Ms di Prima is so enthusiastic by the recent supermarket initiatives. “I really applaud companies who are taking that step forward to ban artificial colours,” she says. “It really does help to make parents’ job that much easier.”

    For parents who are concerned, Food Standards Australia New Zealand publishes a list of all food additives, which you can download here. (http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/...s%20numeric.pdf) and another useful list to print and take with you to the supermarket is one that outlines the additives to avoid, which is published by the Food Intolerance Network. You can access it here. (http://fedup.com.au/...ditive page.pdf)

    Parents: Have you or your children experienced any reaction to artificial colourings? Do you avoid them?



#2 FeralZombieMum

Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:33 AM

Yes, all 4 of my kids react to certain food chemicals - and their reactions are all different. I wasn't even aware that there were things that were issues, until I first put my children on an Elimination diet (aka FAILSAFE ) and I was shocked at how calm they all became.

Some of the nasty chemicals they put in food have caused my children to have stutters, tics and aggressive behaviour.

It's not only the artificial stuff that can affect children - there's also natural chemicals that have adverse effects. Take 'natural' yellow Annatto (160b) that is now in so many foods - this can still cause a lot of issues for children.
QUOTE
Annatto orange-yellow colour is a vegetable dye made from the seed coat of the tropical Annatto tree (Bixa orellana). In Australia it is commonly used in cereals, snack foods, dairy foods including yoghurts, icecreams and cheeses, snack foods and a wide range of other foods

QUOTE
Headaches, irritability and others

The Food Intolerance Network has received many complaints about this additive, including headaches in adults and children, headbanging in young children, and irritability, restlessness, inattention and sleep disturbance in children and adults as well as the full range listed above plus arthritis. Reactions to annatto can occur the same day but are more likely to be delayed than reactions to artificial colours, and are therefore more difficult to identify.

http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-an...ts/160b-annatto

It's been fantastic that Aldi have taken action in regards to their products, and it's wonderful to hear Coles is starting to follow their lead.

Australia still has such a long way to go - especially when it involves medication. I dread it when my children become sick and require antibiotics - there is no option but the flavoured and coloured AB's. These send all my kids psycho in their behaviour - as if it's hard enough dealing with a sick child, and having very little sleep myself, I then have to put up with my child reacting to their medicine.  cry1.gif

#3 Guest_Retro_Mumma_*

Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:39 AM

Like the plague.

DS has a very basic diet. We all do in our family, we prefer it.

I find its cheaper and healthier to not use packaged foods all the time and just make things from scratch or eat basic things for a snack like fruit, cheese or crackers.

#4 ComradeBob

Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:45 AM

I have no idea whether DD reacts to artificial colours or not, as we tend to eat fairly unprocessed food anyway.

I'm a big believer in the sayings "If your great granny wouldn't recognise it as food, don't eat it"

"Avoid food products that contain ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce" and

"Avoid ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry"

#5 singlemummyof2

Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:44 PM

I am also one to avoid additives. I agree with Zombiemum, I started my quest through Sue Dengate. It has changed my life so much for the better I even started a website to help raise awareness. http://additivefreeshopping.blogspot.com.au/
I add bits to it often, when i find some new info or article or a hidden treasure. I have found the Woolworths Select brand quite good for additive free shopping (thats because it's my local) but I agree that Coles also has a wide variety. I eliminated not only artificial colours but flavours and preservatives too. My son reacts terribly to preservative 211 found in soft drinks eg Sprite. He carries on like he's possessed!
original.gif

#6 Ally'smum

Posted 03 November 2012 - 06:42 PM

I have never given my daughter anything with colouring and additives, but that has been relatively easy because she is only 18 months old. We don't eat anything with additives in our house so there shouldn't be problems there, but I think it will get more difficult when we have more playdates and birthday parties as she gets older. If only everyone we knew thought like us!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

11 things that will happen when you're breastfeeding

After having three children and various degrees of success feeding them all, there's one thing I can tell you: virtually nothing will go as planned.

Surgery for baby born with a tail

A baby born with a tail has had it removed after doctors feared the birth defect might cause long term damage to his lower body.

When 'skin to skin' becomes a family affair

An adorable photo of a little boy and his dad enjoying skin to skin contact with newborn twins is melting hearts everywhere.

35 hilariously weird 'top tips'

Who would have thunk it? We never knew there were so many uses for feminine hygiene products. 

Pregnancy skin woes: acne, dry skin, itchy skin

Here are some of the most common skin complaints in pregnancy and how to tackle them, face on.

Watch this fun dance class for babywearing dads

Is there anything sexier than a babywearing dad?

Parents, this is how to cut grapes to avoid choking

One mum has learnt a harrowing lesson about the best way to cut grapes to make it safe for toddlers and little kids to eat.

When your kids have totally different temperaments

Sometimes it has felt like whiplash parenting. She perches watchfully while I vacuum; he tries to climb on and go for a ride.

How do our stress levels influence our baby?

Since having my second baby a number of people have commented on how placid, content and settled he is and, similarly, many have commented on how this is a reflection of how I am with him.

Separation anxiety isn't just for kids

Despite its prevalence, most doctors tend to be reluctant to diagnose adult patients with separation anxiety.

A charm bracelet, a boy, and my beliefs questioned

I was staring at the face of my son, realising that my once steadfast decision to be open minded was quickly unravelling at the seams.

Why I'm so grateful for Hayden Panettiere's PND honesty

There are baby steps and giant leaps forward. But there are steps backwards, too. And, oh, how they can hurt your heart.

The heartbreaking story of little Moko

The mother of 3-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri said she should have picked up on the signs. {Warning: distressing content}

Kate Beckinsale and teen daughter recreate birth photo

Kate Beckinsale has recreated her daughter Lily's birth photo, 17 years after she was born.

The adult-size stroller you'll want to test drive

It's one of the biggest baby related purchases they will make, so it makes sense that parents-to-be get a chance to road test a stroller.

Pregnancy announcement shows the reality of IVF

It's a long way from baby booties or bump shots people have become accustomed to in social media pregnancy announcements.  

Soleil Moon Frye welcomes fourth baby

"Punky Brewster" is a mom again, for the fourth time. Soleil Moon Frye announced the birth of her baby boy, Story, on Instagram Wednesday.

Mum breastfeeds baby found abandoned on the street

A woman has been praised as a "beautiful mother" after breastfeeding a baby which had been abandoned at the side of a street. 

A birth with a difference: the 'natural caesarean'

We've shared stories of gentle caesareans before, but a new video shows a new option called a 'natural caesarean'.

Baby name inspiration by music genre

If you're all about the music, then you'll need a musical name for that baby. We've got all the lists for you by music genre.

Giving effective instructions to toddlers

One of the most common errors made by parents is in how they give instructions to their children.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The babies who are one in 70 million

Bethani Webb was excited to find out she was pregnant, but the first time mum did not realise she was carrying four babies not one.

Cafe offers breastfeeding mums a free cup of tea

A Sydney cafe is offering breastfeeding mums free cups of tea in a bid to show support for the right of women to nurse their babies wherever they choose.

To snip or not to snip? When the decision is not clear cut

Jamie Oliver, who considered a vasectomy, is to be a father again. A fellow dad reflects on his own decision 11 years ago

Doctors stunned by rare twins born almost six weeks apart

To everyone's surprise, Kristen Miller "kept doing better each day", keeping her second baby safe.

Baby book ideas for modern parents

Before my son was born I was given a lovely baby book full of blank pages waiting to be filled with weights and heights and first words.

The adorable smile of a baby seeing his mum clearly for the first time

There is no doubt seeing their child smile for the first time is an unforgettable moment for parents everywhere.

Mum tells how toddler 'nearly hung himself' in cot mishap

When Alison Johnson put her 18-month-old Caleb down for a nap, she had no reason to believe her son was in any danger.

Babies are still switched at birth? Yes, it can happen

All my panic and tears aside, my biggest question looking back is about the kind of security measures used in the maternity ward.

Doctors slammed for taking selfie with newborn

Everyone who visits a mum in hospital in the days following childbirth wants to get a photo with the new baby.

ergoPouch Twosie Sleepsuit for winter breastfeeding

Finally, there's a way to keep warm while breastfeeding through winter.

Health check: How long does sex 'normally' last?

What to do with this information? My advice would be to try not to think about it during the throes of passion.

When breastfeeding sucks: fixing common problems

From niplash to tight boobs, biting to milk supply issues, Pinky McKay looks at common breastfeeding issues and how to solve them.

10 things I've learnt in my first six months with twins

Six months on we're all still alive, and the more we get to know each other the easier the days become.

Mum's loving kiss leaves baby fighting for life

Kirsty Carrington thought nothing of giving her newborn son a kiss, little did she know it would leave the baby fighting for life.

When doing chores is your new 'me time'

After children, 'me time' looks a little different.

Get going: 14 travel strollers for families on the move

A stroller can make or break travelling with a baby or toddler. Here are 15 great single travel stroller options.

10 ways toddlers are terrific

It always pays to remind yourself of how terrific toddlers can be - they're little like this for such a short time

 

Vintage Toys

The toys of your childhood

Take a trip down memory lane with these vinage and retro toys that you may have had in your childhood or your parent's childhood.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.