Wholesome Child : Wholesome Child full
267 266 Found in Vegetable oils, margarine, spreadable butter, biscuits, cakes, cereal, pastries, sweets, chewing gum, milk powder, frozen dinners, bread, wraps, frozen French fries. Found in Orange juice, cheese, pickles, yoghurt, dips, dried meats, soft drinks, ice-cream, baked goods. Found in Pre-packaged breads and wraps, cheese, pasta, bakery products, breadcrumbs. Found in Cordials, orange juice, vegetable juice, soft drinks, cheese, yoghurt, ice-cream, sauces, toppings, baked goods, cough medicines, ointments. Found in Dried fruit (especially dried apricots and raisins), cordials, sausages, hamburger patties, rissoles, fruit juice, soft drinks, grapes, processed dried vegetables, deli meats, baked goods, glucose syrup, molasses, pickles, garlic powder. Found in Processed meats like ham, salami, roast beef, chicken, turkey, bacon, sausages, frankfurters, smoked fish, pickled vegetables. 267 There is ongoing debate about the safety of BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene), both petroleum- derived antioxidants commonly used to prevent rancidity in fats and oils. Although BHA, which is a heat stable additive used in baked products, is a suspected carcinogen and banned in the UK (in instant foods), in parts of Europe and in Japan, the US Food and Drug administration categorises it as GRAS (generally regarded as safe). Potential effects on children Suspected carcinogen, gastrointestinal disturbances, aggression, hyperactivity, mood disturbances (depression, insomnia), asthma, eczema, dermatitis, hives, rashes. Sorbic acid and its calcium, sodium and potassium salts (collectively referred to as sorbates) are another group of preservatives used to inhibit the growth of mould. Derived from petroleum they can provoke an allergic reaction in sensitive children and are on the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s Elimination Diet’s 'to avoid' list. Sorbates are banned in foods for infants and two studies have found them to have the potential to disrupt our DNA. Potential effects on children Headaches and migraines, asthma, allergic reactions (rhinitis, skin irritation), hyperactivity; gastrointestinal upset. Derived from propionic acid, calcium propionate (282) is most commonly known as the “bread preservative”. It’s often added to supermarket breads and other commercially baked goods to prevent mildew and bacterial growth (now you know why some loaves can last for up to 10 days outside the fridge). Australia has one of the highest permitted amounts of propionic acid. A report on a controlled trial co-authored by Sue Dengate in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health in 2002 stated that although calcium propionate may have little to no side effects for the average person, irritability, restlessness, inattention and sleep disturbance in some children can be attributed to this preservative being consumed daily in their diet. Potential effects on children As food intolerance expert Sue Dengate states, “If you wanted to create a nation of underperforming children, you could hardly do better than to add a preservative known to cause learning difficulties to an everyday staple food.” Benzoates, also known as flowers of benzoin, phenlycarboxylic acid, benzene carboxylic acid or carboxybenzene, are one of the oldest preservatives. They are prohibited in foods for infants. Benzoates (especially sodium benzoate 211) are another asthma- causing preservative. Sodium benzoate, when combined with vitamin C, forms benzene. Benzene is a carcinogen and is known to contribute to the formation of many different types of cancer. However, the FDA states that food products containing both vitamin C and sodium benzoate express benzene levels that are below the dangerous limit. Potential effectson children Asthma, headaches, hyperactivity, skin irritation, stomach upsets. What to avoid Along with BHA (320) and BHT (321) avoid: Propyl gallate (310); Octyl gallate (311); Dodecyl gallate (312); tert-Butylhydroquinone (319), tertiary butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) What to avoid Preservatives 200-203; 200 is also known as sorbic acid while 202 can be called potassium sorbate What to avoid Propionic acid (280), Sodium propionate (281), Calcium propionate (282), Potassium propionate (283), Cultured whey, Cultured wheat, Cultured dextrose What to avoid Benzoic acid (210), Sodium benzoate (211), Potassium benzoate (212), Calcium benzoate (213), and the less commonly used 214-219 Preservatives to Avoid BHA AND BHT SORBATES PROPIONATES BENZOATES Sulphites are the most common preservatives in foods. Sulphur dioxide, the synthetic form, is used to extend shelf life and protect food from bacteria. They are used to preserve colour and moisture in dried fruit. They’ve been banned in the US in meat since 1959 but can still be found in other foods like frozen french fries. In 1984 Australian researchers found that more than 65% of asthmatic children were sensitive to sulphites, and in 1999 the World Health Organization estimated that 20-30% of asthmatic children react to sulphites. Sensitivity is dependent on how much a child is exposed to sulphur dioxide or sulphites from all sources over a short period of time. Potential effectson children Asthma, eczema, skin rashes, headaches, behaviour disturbances. Smoked and cured foods like ham and sausages are many a parent's answer to protein hits for their kids. Most, however, contain nitrates and nitrites to extend shelf life, preserve colour and prevent bacterial growth. These preservatives have been proven to convert into carcinogenic nitrosamines in the body. According to the American Cancer Society, an increased risk of stomach cancer is seen in people with diets that contain large amounts of smoked foods, salted fish and meat, and pickled vegetables. Nitrates and nitrites can be converted by certain bacteria, such as H pylori, into compounds that have been shown to cause stomach cancer in lab animals. There is also a reported increased risk of bowel cancer. Potential effectson children Recurrent infections, headaches, irritable bowel symptoms, stomach cancer, bowel cancer. Suggestions • Make sure dried apricots, other dried fruits and any other common sulphite-containing foods are labelled ‘sulphite free’. • Dried apricots, cordial, sausages and hamburger patties are the greatest source of sulphites for children and should be avoided as much as possible. What to avoid Sulphur dioxide (220), Sodium sulphite (221), Sodium bisulphite (222), Sodium metabisulphite (223), Potassium metabisulphite (224), Potassium sulphite (225), Potassium bisulphite (228) What to avoid Potassium nitrite (249), Sodium nitrite (250), Sodium nitrate (251), Potassium nitrate (252) SULPHITES NITRATES AND NITRITES A quick-glance guide to avoiding nasties Suggestions • Avoid products that contain vegetable oils. • Choose foods that say 'preservative free' on the pack or organic packaged foods as they contain little or no synthetic colours or preservatives. • Look for products containing ascorbic acid (300). Infant products use ascorbic acid or vitamin C, a far safer antioxidant than the above mentioned ones and you’ll also find it in other products lining the supermarket shelves too. • Another safer antioxidant option is citric acid although it may provoke mild symptoms in sensitive individuals. Note: Unless a product is certified organic, both ascorbic acid and citric acid may be derived from GM sources. Suggestionss • Ascorbic acid (300); Sodium ascorbate (301); Calcium ascorbate (302); Potassium ascorbate (303); Ascorbyl palmitate (304). • Prepare home-made fruit sorbets and ice-creams (see recipe on page 227). • Make your own fresh squeezed orange juice (diluted with water is always best). • Choose natural yoghurts which contain no additives. Suggestions • Follow our guidelines for choosing supermarket bread on page 42. • Visit an organic bakery or local bakery and ask if they use any form of propionic acid (including cultured whey, wheat or dextrose in their bread). • Choose freshly baked bread at your local supermarket as it's more likely to not contain propionates (always ask before purchasing). • Beware of wraps. In my Lunch Box Solutions workshop I show many examples of wraps that have nearly as many preservatives as ingredients. Most contain 280 or 282. Suggestions • Avoid soft drinks, cordials and commercial orange juices that contain preservatives. • Offer 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice mixed with 3⁄4 cup water. • If your child is used to sodas, offer 1⁄4 cup fruit juice of choice with 3⁄4 sparkling water. • Replace soft drinks and cordials with an occasional smoothie. See recipes on page 225. Suggestions • Minimise your consumption of processed and cured meat products such as hot dogs, sausages and cold cuts. • Visit a reputable organic butcher and ask for preservative-free sausages, meatball patties and other deli meats. • Choose organic salmon or other forms of smoked fish which say ‘nitrite or nitrate free’. • Read labels. It’s not uncommon for nitrates and nitrites to be found in canned or frozen vegetables or quiches that contain bacon or packaged seafood.