Talking healthy food for kids
PARENTS who think "healthy" foods are good for children's behaviour may need to know more about food labels, warns leading additive campaigner and researcher Sue Dengate who is speaking at two locations on the Coffs Coast this week.
"A mother complained recently she spent two hours of shopping time 'wading through additive laden foods' and came home really angry at how much bad food was advertised as healthy, so parents really need to know what to look for," Mrs Dengate said.
"Bread preservative 282 that can cause irritability, fatigue or insomnia is now often called cultured dextrose in healthy breads and wraps.
"Natural colour annatto 160b has been linked to a wide range of problems including tantrums and head banging in young children and there are 'natural' substitutes for MSG including hydrolysed vegetable protein that affect consumers.
"As well, some children are affected by strong natural flavours such as tomato or strawberry.
"Reactions to additives build up slowly, so most parents don't realise they or their children are affected.
"When the family avoids additives for a few weeks parents are amazed to see their children calmer, happier, sleeping better and doing better at school - and they themselves often feel better too."
Mrs Dengate is the author of the best-selling Fed Up series about reducing food chemicals for calm, happy families.
She aims to provide everyone who attends her talks with a science-based understanding of the effects of food and additives on their children's health, behaviour and learning.
The first talk will be held at St Francis St Xavier Primary School in Woolgoolga today and at Coffs Harbour Library tomorrow.
For more information on the Woolgoolga talk call Gail on 6654 1981 and for Coffs Harbour call 6658 4900.