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

 

Exclusive Black Friday Sale!

Get over 40% off selected products, including prams, baby carriers, cloth nappies, sleeping bags and much more! 24 hours only, on May 6 - register now for your special code.

Kelly Clarkson shares first photos of son

Kelly Clarkson has shown off the first photos of her son, Remington Alexander Blackstock.

5 childbirth myths that need to be busted

Birth is an unpredictable, mysterious process that intrigues us all, and there is a lot of misinformation out there.

Mum of three fatally shot by toddler while driving

A US mother has been shot by her toddler while driving on a highway in Wisconsin.

All you need is one minute to work out

The seven-minute-work out is old news. Research shows the effectiveness of going hell-for-leather for just one minute.

Pregnant women needed to join diabetes study

Pregnant woman in country Australia will help Adelaide researchers figure out why cases of type 1 diabetes have doubled over the past two decades.

Just announced: the Mountain Buggy Unirider

It's the perfect solution to combat those toddler meltdowns when they no longer want to be in a pram but can't walk long distances.

Authorities euthanise dog that fatally bit a newborn baby

A pit bull mix that fatally bit a 3-day-old infant last week has been euthanised, authorities said.

The push for Medicare to fund lactation consultants

While meeting with a lactation consultant can make an enormous difference to a new mother, it's not a service that is available through the public health system.

Why it's perfectly natural to dislike other people's children

Members of a popular forum are fiercely debating whether it is acceptable to dislike a friend's child.

Woman gives birth on plane, names baby after airline

A pregnant woman who unexpectedly gave birth on a flight has named her new baby after the airline, Jetstar.

Heartwarming photos show the joy of adoption after foster care

Children living in foster care can feel like their future is less than clear. But that uncertainty disappears the day they are adopted by their "forever family" 

'Oh my god, it's a baby!' Mum shocked to give birth

When the cramps started to kick in, Klara Dollan just assumed a painful period was starting.

Mum's Facebook plea: 'Help me find my daughter's father'

Kerryn has a unusual present planned for daughter Imi's 13th birthday celebrations - she hopes to be able to be able to give the soon-to-be the teenager her first ever photo of her dad.

Is it possible for your house to be too clean?

Our houses are cleaner than ever before. But how clean is too clean? Could a sterile home be putting your family's health at risk?

Millions of Monkeys: puzzles that grow with your toddler

Here's a puzzle that grows with them; the Puzzle Grow Pack by Millions of Monkeys.

Baby names from Britpop

If you grew up in the 90s you might want to look to the genre of Britpop music for baby name inspiration.

What to eat and drink when you have gastro

When you catch a bug that causes acute infectious gastroenteritis (gastro), your stomach and intestinal tract become inflamed, causing diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and pain. The last thing you probably feel like doing is eating.

'To this day, I owe her my life'

Would I have survived if I hadn't crossed that street?

Why baby Sonny needs you to vaccinate your children

Caitlin is a firm believer in the importance of immunisation to protect children from harmful and deadly diseases.

Five-year-old's photo captures beauty of motherhood

There is no make-up or special outfits and hairdos, but the five-year-old boy who took this picture captured the essence of motherhood as well as any professional photographer.

Babies know whether you are naughty or nice

Studies have shown that infants in the first months of life try to avoid dealing with social wrongdoers - for example, sharing less with them and helping them less - and they expect others to, too.

 
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.

Exclusive Black Friday Sale!

Get over 40% off selected products, including prams, baby carriers, cloth nappies, sleeping bags and much more! 24 hours only, on May 6 - register now for your special code.

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

 

ENTER NOW

Do your kids love bananas?

This is the comp for you! We have $800 worth of Myer gift cards and boxes of Australian Bananas to be won. Entry is simple: just post a pic of your little one enjoying a banana in the comments of the FB post to enter.

 
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.