Saturday, October 2, 2010

Should Our Kids Be Preservative Free?

I think this is an impossible ask, but if we can at least make a difference to our kids diet and allow them to consume a little less preservatives then maybe just maybe we as parents may be a little more sane and not have to deal with as many behavioural outbursts. Well, that's just a thought and in some case a dream as well.

Sticking to a preservative free diet does require quite a bit of work and commitment, of which sometimes I tend to lack, but when I do stick to it, I believe it does make a difference.

There have been times with my daughters, particularly my 2 year old where they have really gone a little mad and it has been directly after consuming the wrong type of food. If may be a little treat or even a supposed 'healthy snack' but if it has a certain preservative in it, then it doesn't matter if it's a lolly, chocolate, dried fruit or a muesli bar. For my children if it has the preservative 220 in it, then my kids can have a really bad reaction and end up incredibly hyperactive.

Many of these preservatives used to flare up my eldest daughters asthma a few years ago and so I learnt to stay clear of them, but now it seems that almost every food we consume is laden with preservatives that are no good for us and preservatives that can affect our behaviour and that of our children in a very detrimental way.

The preservatives, that I believe should be avoided as much as possible are E200-203; E210-219: E220-227; E230-232. All of these preservatives have a tendency to bring on headaches and can result in stomach or intestinal upsets. They can also increase hyperactivity in kids and can make asthma worse.

I am not infallible and I do sometimes get slack but I certainly do notice a difference when I stick to this diet. My 2 year old throws a lot less tantrums and my 6 year old doesn't seem to be as tired or get as many headaches. I notice with myself as well, that my stomach doesn't tend to react or become bloated if I stay away from these preservatives as much as possible.

If I can give my daughters healthy snacks, like homemade icypoles instead of the bought ones, made with fresh fruit and ice then at least I know what I am putting into their little systems. Perhaps too sorbets or home made cakes are worth sticking too instead of all the processed bought stuff that nowadays seem to adorn our shelves. As I said before at least we know what goes into the food that we make, as opposed to what someone else makes in a shop or supermarket operating purely for profit.

By the way, I am not suggesting that we all throw out our store bought stuff and resort to making all our own food, as these days I realise how busy we all are and how un-realistic that is. Life is so busy that sometimes it can be hard just making healthy sandwiches, but even if we elect to no longer purchase one or two items that are laden with these preservatives, we will still be doing our kids an enormous favour.

I say let's think of our kids and make our life easier by hopefully having to deal with less upset stomachs, less headaches and less behavioural problems. And remember next time you go shopping, look for these preservatives on the food labels and see if you can find a better alternative. Good luck and happy shopping.

From Melinda Walker. For more information on alternative treatments and improving your way of life please visit []

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