The health effects of food additives are – at best – controversial. They are also often found in foods that ought to anyway be consumed in moderation by children.
EU-Alarm on food additives
A study by the European Union argues that many children already consume inappropriate amounts of food additives as part of their daily diets. Unfortunately, food additives can be found in most common foods, including cheeses, sausages, white bread, sweets, cakes and ice creams – all of which should represent a small portion of a child’s diet anyway.
Additionally = probably unnecessary or even dangerous
The potential disadvantages of negative health effects of additives can be illustrated using the example of phosphates: Defined as E 338 to E 341 and E 450 to E 452 and they can be found in foods ranging from pastry to sweets, sausages, melted cheeses, dairy products and cola. Apart from the fact that these food should be consumed in limited quantities in the daily diet anyway, phosphates are present in sufficient amounts in other, healthier foods. The unnecessary amounts in many processes foods thus drives the total amounts to unnatural quantities, which can adversely affect the calcium metabolism. Fragile or porous bones can be a consequence of this. Experts also suggest a link between excessive phosphates and hyperactivity in children. Even if the evidence to this regards is often contested, one would rather be on the safe side and try to avoid foods with excessive amounts of additives. Parents in general should be alert, since additives can’t only be found in obviously modified foods, but potentially also in more harmless seeming kinds such as certain dried fruits. These can for examples contain sulphur dioxide (E220). Check the labels and make sure you get the variety of this otherwise healthy snack that doesn’t contain this unnecessary ingredient.
As a rule of thumb, check all processed foods, since they are more likely to contain any kind of additives. Fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, flour and meat generally don’t contain any additives. Where possible therefore, opt for fresh to support your toddler’s healthy growth.
Additives and Bio foods
Some additives are also allowed in Bio foods, including E 170, E 296 and E 948. Their use is only permitted if they are irreplaceable in the process of making the product more durable. The addition of colorants, stabilisers, sweeteners and flavouring is generally forbidden. Bio foods therefore contain significantly lower amounts of additives than conventional foods.