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 FeralBob!

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!




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

A mum's tragic battle against inflammatory breast cancer

At just 37 years of age, with two young sons, Vicki was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. Now her family wants all women to know the symptoms.

The business of babies around the world

Pregnancy and birth is an intriguing process no matter where you are in the world. One soon-to-be father gleans wisdom from a new guide.

Finding a positive path through IVF

It’s not surprising that IVF is often seen as a negative journey towards the ultimate positive, but having a glass-half-full approach can make a big difference to the experience.

Giving strangers the gift of parenthood

A mum explains why she and her husband are choosing to gift their leftover embryos to help strangers achieve their dream of parenthood.

Does morning sickness get better or worse with each child?

Just as every baby is unique, so is every pregnancy. And that means morning sickness can vary a lot, too.

What's so wrong with looking 'mumsy', anyway?

Why is it that the word ‘mumsy’ has connotations of such a negative nature – but seems to be the only other option apart from ‘yummy’?

Trying to speed up the inevitable

As the waiting game of late pregnancy continues, this mum considers a few things that might hurry things up a little.

One month later: where is William Tyrell?

It has been a little over a month since William Tyrell disappeared from his grandmother's home, 33 long sleepless nights for his family as they mourn the absence of their cheeky young boy.

Winter's child less likely to be moody: study

Babies born in the summer are much more likely to suffer from mood swings when they grow up, while those born in the winter are less likely to become irritable adults, scientists claim.

Single mum of two creates award-winning baby app

Suddenly single with a baby and an 11-year-old son, Tara O?Connell developed an app to improve the lives of mothers who were similarly overwhelmed.

Food for thought: looking after yourself as a new mum

As soon as your baby enters the world, everything else takes a back seat - even the necessities of daily life such as eating are severely compromised, right when you need energy the most.

'Grabbable guts' campaign aims to cut toxic fat

The Live Lighter campaign will take people inside the human body to show the internal dangers of being overweight.

The best and worst month of my life

A new mum's first month of motherhood didn't pan out as expected when she lost a family member weeks after her baby's birth.

Facebook and Apple offer to pay female staff to freeze their eggs

Facebook and Apple are hoping to provide women with the freedom to build their careers without the added pressure of having children at or by a certain age.

How a pregnancy contract could work for you and your partner

The idea of making a 'pregnancy contract' with your partner may sound a bit silly at first, but it can help make the transition to parenthood a lot smoother.

Finding a mum-friendly personal trainer

Burping babies vs burpees – yes, new mums and personal trainers live in different worlds. But they can work together - once you find the right match for you and your lifestyle.

Alleged baby snatch incident a ?misunderstanding?, say police

Police say that an incident in which a man pulled on a woman?s pram while walking a popular Sydney route late last month was a misunderstanding.

Ebola killed my aunt and is shutting down my country

Three weeks ago, my auntie, a midwife, developed a fever. Sitting here in Sydney basked in Australian sunshine, that shouldn't be big news.

The night my ovary burst

One mum shares her frightening experience and vows to never take her health for granted again.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win 1 of 5 Canon Powershot D30 cameras

Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

Best and worst potty party cakes

It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Great birthday party buys from Etsy

Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.

Creative storage ideas for the kids' rooms

Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

The 'yucky' illness that took over my life

I have a chronic illness nobody likes to discuss, as it involves toilet talk. But it needs to be talked about.

To the mum in the doctor's waiting room

Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.

10 space-saving nursery ideas

Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.

 

What's in a name?

Baby Names

Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.

 
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.