How to choose the right food for your child
Food additives extend the shelf life of products, and also make them tastier and more aromatic. To shorten long names, each of them is assigned an E-number. In this article we are going to discuss the right food for your child.
All “yeshki” are exclusively chemical compounds. They not only do not carry any benefit, but with regular use they can do harm.
The children’s organism is especially sensitive to such additives, since its food and nervous system has not yet grown stronger. Therefore, chemical compounds negatively affect the work of such organs of the child as:
- gastrointestinal tract (GIT);
Synthetic substances pose the greatest danger to small allergies.
What should you pay attention to when studying the composition of products in the store?
Preservatives For the right food for your child
The main task of preservatives is to maximize the shelf life of the product. However, not all of them are the development of chemists. For example, natural preservatives are salt, vinegar and sugar, which are familiar to us from home-made preparations. And in the production of baby food, their useful analogue is sometimes used – vitamin C.
The choice of artificial preservatives is much wider. Some manufacturers deliberately do not list them in the composition. But it is easy to calculate such a product. Just look at the expiration date: if it is more than 6 months, then it is almost certainly the merit of preservatives.
What are the dangers of preservatives for a child’s body
- These chemical compounds not only prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, but also destroy beneficial ones. Therefore, the product loses most of the vitamins and amino acids.
- Sorbic acid (E-200), when exceeded, becomes a strong allergen. Plus, this substance destroys vitamin B12, which is necessary for the full functioning of the nervous system.
- Sodium benzoate (E-211) is especially harmful to children . It disrupts the functioning of the nervous system, contributes to the occurrence of hyperactivity, impairs brain activity. This supplement is contraindicated for allergy sufferers and asthmatics. In addition, its regular use contributes to the destruction of the liver, kidneys and organs of the gastrointestinal tract.
Sometimes neutral additives are hidden behind the labeling of preservatives. For example, acetic acid (E-260) or lactic acid (E-270). They will not bring benefits, but they will not cause harm to the body.
Dyes For the right food for your child
These additives are used to make foods more appetizing or to restore natural color after heat treatment. Among the dyes come across not only harmless, but also such useful substances as:
- turmeric extract (E-100);
- riboflavin or vitamin B (E-101);
- betaine – a natural dye from beets (E-162);
- calcium carbonate (E-170).
Artificial colors are often used in baby food, as babies love bright and unusual foods. However, these additives are very strong allergens, so products with them are contraindicated for allergy sufferers and asthmatics.
With excessive use, synthetic dyes negatively affect the gastrointestinal tract and create a favorable environment for the development of tumors.
And additives such as E-122 and E-124:
- reduce mental abilities;
- have a negative impact on behavior
- may cause asthma attacks.
Sweeteners for the right food for your child
Manufacturers replace or supplement sugar with them. Sweeteners can be natural or synthetic. However, only natural, safe additives are allowed to be used in baby food, such as:
Fructose is the simplest carbohydrate from which the human body obtains energy. Free fructose is present in sweet fruits, berries, cereals, vegetables, and honey.
Lactose or milk sugar is a carbohydrate in milk.
Glucose is a simple carbohydrate, grape sugar. It is found in almost all fruits, berries and honey.
Sometimes the manufacturer’s label says that the product does not contain sugar. However, the classic carbohydrate may not really be there, but artificial sweeteners are most likely present.
Let’s name the most popular of them:
- Aspartame (E-951). In the body, it breaks down into dangerous substances, one of which is methanol. It is found in almost all carbonated drinks and some sweets.
- Sodium cyclamate (E-952). Sweeter than sugar by several tens of times. Once in the intestine, it is broken down by the local microflora, turning into cyclohexylamine, a substance toxic to humans and animals.
- Saccharin (E-954). The very first artificial sweetener. In its pure form, it has a bitter taste with a metallic taste. May cause gastrointestinal upset, rash or headache.
- Neotame (E-961). Sweeter than sucrose by 7000-13000 times. Excessive use can cause allergies.
Regular use of sweeteners negatively affects the functioning of the brain and nervous system of babies, namely:
- increased risk of depression and headaches;
- behavior changes;
- metabolism is disturbed;
- the liver is destroyed;
- immunity decreases.
Such additives give the product a richer taste and aroma. Most often they are found in meat products, semi-finished products, snacks and fast food. Sometimes, with the help of flavor enhancers, the manufacturer can “mask” the low quality of raw materials.
Flavor enhancers have a strong effect on the brain and metabolism, so their use in baby food is unacceptable.
The most famous flavor enhancer is monosodium glutamate (E-621) . This additive can be addictive, as food without it seems bland and tasteless. Its excessive use threatens with such serious violations in the body as:
- anxiety, headache, insomnia;
- bouts of aggression;
- rash, allergy, bronchial asthma;
- indigestion, overweight;
- hormonal disorders;
- eye diseases;
- abnormal development of the fetus in pregnant women.
These additives enhance the taste of the product or add new flavor properties to it. They are used in any industry – from meat to confectionery.
Flavors are usually divided into 3 groups:
- natural (obtained from natural raw materials);
- identical to natural (made in the laboratory, repeat natural flavors);
- synthetic (produced in the laboratory, but have no natural analogues).
The safest is the first option. But most often, manufacturers choose artificial flavors because they are much cheaper.
Whether these substances are harmful or not is still debatable. Synthetic and nature-identical additives may contain substances hazardous to humans such as ethyl acetate , ethyl morphate and amyl acetate . These compounds disrupt the liver and cause constant fatigue.
Antioxidants and antioxidants
Such additives slow down the process of oxidation of products and increase the shelf life of products. The safest antioxidant is vitamin C. As a rule, it is used in the production of baby food.
BHA and BHT are prohibited for use in food production in Japan and in many European countries.
One of the most controversial foods. Some consider it a technical oil unsuitable for human nutrition, while others are not afraid to buy even an infant formula with such an ingredient in the composition. Who is right?
Please Wait ⤵️
In fact, palm oil is harmless if consumed in moderation. Before being used in production, the product is thoroughly tested and cleaned. These processes are especially carefully controlled in the production of baby food.
Palm oil is included in formula milk as a source of palmitic acid. This component is found in breast milk and provides the baby with the energy necessary for growth. Some manufacturers extract it from milk fat, which increases the cost of the product.
High-quality palm oil is safe for babies, but due to the immaturity of the food system, it can be less digestible and cause digestive problems. Therefore, more and more manufacturers of infant milk formulas prefer to replace it with milk fat.
Genetically modified organisms are those organisms in which the genetic information has been changed. That is, as a result of laboratory experiments, a plant or animal was obtained that had not previously been in nature. The original goal of such experiments is to produce new crops that store better and are also resistant to disease and adverse weather conditions.
In 2016, a ban on the production and cultivation of GMOs, as well as on the import of such products from other countries, came into force in Russia. Particular attention is paid to baby food, which regularly undergoes rigorous quality checks, so there is no risk of encountering GMOs in it. But there is a chance to encounter such products when buying them abroad.
How to choose safe foods
- Read the ingredients carefully. The fewer synthetic food additives it contains, the better.
- It is better to buy meat or fish from trusted sellers, be sure to ask for a quality certificate.
- Minimize the use of sausages and semi-finished products, as they most often use chemical additives.
- Shop sweets are better to replace with homemade ones.
- Less often visit fast food with children, replace chips and crackers with dried fruits or vegetables.
Not all nutritional supplements are bad for babies. In order not to get confused in their labeling, choose natural products with a simple composition and a short shelf life. If you are satisfied with this article on How to choose the right food for your child then please share this blog with your friends.