Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kids, Sugars, Colors and Preservatives...

As most of my friends and family know, I'm a little neurotic (or maybe a lot) about not giving my kids artificial colors, flavors, sugars, and preservatives. It amazes me how much chemically synthetic things they put into foods these days. I try to cook and eat as healthy as possible and most of the time that means cooking from scratch. These articles only inspire me more to stay away from prepackaged foods. Here's a few from TIME magazine and CBS News I found interesting about the effects these additives are having on kids:,8599,1659835,00.html,28804,1824402_1824398,00.html

Here is a list of names all the dyes, flavors and preservatives go by:

Artificial food dyes: may be listed as “food coloring”, “coloring”, “red dye #40”,
“Yellow #5”, etc.
Artificial flavors: may be listed as “flavoring”, “artificial flavoring”, “or butter
flavoring”. “Vanillin” (sometimes listed as “vanilla flavoring”) is very common artificial
flavoring that causes problems for many people. Look for real “vanilla” instead.
Artificial preservatives: Most common behavior culprits are BHT, BHA, and TBHQ.
These are in many foods and do not have to be listed on the packaging (i.e. if they are
used as pan sprays, etc). When they are, they are commonly listed like “BHT added for
freshness”. Common places to find (and avoid) these are: cereal/cracker/bread
packaging, pepperoni, commercial frying oils (this means restaurant and fast food
chicken nuggets and French fries!), etc.

Yes I know this sounds really time consuming to read the labels, but it's a goal well worth it. I also put together a list of our favorite foods that have little or artificial flavors, colors, sugars or preservatives.

Bread: Nature's Own and Nature's Pride (most but not all of these breads are free from everything artificial, but always check the label) Sister Schubert Frozen rolls
Yogurt: Danimals
Snacks: Natural Applesauce, Hormel natural choice lunch meats, simply fruit jelly and natural peanut butter sandwiches, Motts fruit snacks, Stretch Island Fruit Co. products, Snyder's Pretzels, any Annie's products
Juice: V8 Fusion, Adam & Eve Fruitables, Juicy Juice
Soda Alternative: Soda Water mixed with 100% fruit juice or fruit concentrate
Cheese: Stick with block cheese... shredded cheese is full of preservatives (though for convenience purposes sometimes we're forced to use it)
Cereal: Envirokids cereals, Cheerios, Cascadian Farms Fruitful O's, Annie's cereals
Electrolyte Alternative: Smart Water (works like gatorade or pedialyte when you're dehydrated but without the sugar and dyes)

Here's another article from Arvada Peds in Colorado with diet changes for kids with hyperactivity or ADHD they also list great alternatives to food you may feed your kids now

If you have time go to and watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution... it's amazing to see what kids in school are being fed. There should be a petition link on his video page as well to help bring healthier foods into schools.

1 comment:

  1. Great posting Amber! I learned a lot! I'll have to start stocking some of those goodies for little Arianna... :)