ingredients to avoid, artificial colors

Ingredients to Avoid Giving Your Little One

There are a lot of mixed messages out there about what you should and should not give to your little one. It can be disheartening to find out that some foods and products that you thought were healthy are actually filled will unnecessary and sometimes harmful ingredients. The best way to avoid giving these ingredients to your little one is to learn how to read the nutrition and ingredient labels. If you are trying to sort through all the information out there about making the best nutritional choices for your family, keep reading for some tips on ingredients that you should avoid whenever possible. Artificial colors It is common for makers of children’s products to add in artificial colors. These colors are meant to be attractive to children and encourage them to want the product. But, beyond aesthetics, there is no purpose for artificial colors in children’s products. In fact, artificial colors may even be harmful. There are studies that have found a link between ingredients found in artificial colors and behavior change in children. Some of the behaviors that were observed to increase in the study include irritability, restlessness, and sleep disturbance. You can determine if artificial dyes have been added to a product by looking at the ingredient list. They are easy to spot, look for descriptions such as red #40, yellow #5, blue #1, and so on. Artificial and processed sweeteners If you have spent any time researching health and wellness you have likely read about artificial and processed sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup and aspartame. The information available about these sweeteners is at best conflicting and at worse downright scary. Once you start reading labels you will find that there are sweeteners hidden in places you never thought about, such as salad dressing and children’s medicines. The good news is that some food manufacturers have responded to the public demand for products without these ingredients. It will take a little time but you can find items that use natural sweeteners such as honey. For example, nature soothie™ has a line of herbal lollipops that are sweetened and flavored with natural ingredients such as honey and peppermint. Your children can enjoy the taste and soothing effects of these lollipops without getting exposed to ingredients that can have a negative impact on their wellbeing. Unnecessary ingredients A quick way to assess an item you are thinking about buying is to look at the length of the ingredient list. An extremely long ingredient lists suggests that the product is highly processed and it likely contains artificial ingredients. In addition, you need to pay attention to the order of the ingredients on the list. The order tells you about the quantity of the ingredients in the product. The first ingredient is the most prevalent in the product and the rest follow in descending order. You can spend a lot of time researching and debating the safety level of the various artificial colors, sweeteners, and ingredients. But for children, who are still growing and developing, the best option is to avoid any ingredients for which the safety and side effects are in question. References: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7965420
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