Coloring Agents to Avoid When You Buy Food

Artificial colors do not occur in nature. Many are made from coal tar and can contain up to ten parts per million of arsenic and lead and still be approved by the FDA. Still they make food attractive. Babies and kids like brightly colored foods and it is easy for them to want these foods more than things that are healthier for them because they tend to be motivated to put things in their mouth that have visual appeal.

Still foods with artificial colors are terrible to feed any member of your family. They can cause allergic reactions, hyperactivity and ADD in children, may contribute to visual and learning disorders or cause nerve damage. The use of coloring in products normally indicates that other natural ingredients that may contain the color, like oranges, have not been used.

Here is a list of the worst coloring agents –
Blue #1, found in baked goods, candy, and soft drinks, has been shown to damage the chromosomes in a cell's nucleus and cause retardation in both kids and adults. Stay away from giving your kids those popsicles or Freezies that have this blue coloring. Jell-O brand products also contain it.
Blue #2, which is found in candy, may cause brain tumors.
Citrus Red #1 is sprayed on green oranges to make them look ripe so even if you are making juice or puree for your baby you could be giving him or her poisonous chemical additive that causes cancer. Wash and peel the skin off citrus fruit to be safe.
Citrus Red #2, used to color the skins of some Florida oranges, can cause cancer if the peel is eaten.
Red #3 is often added to canned cherry pie filling, maraschino cherries, baked goods and ice cream. Studies have linked this dye to nerve damage and to thyroid cancer.
Red #40 is found in soda, candy, gelatin desserts, pastry, pet food, and sausage, and is a suspected carcinogen. Be careful when serving Baby Jello.
Yellow #5 is the second most widely used colorant, and it contributes to behavioral disturbances in children, and can cause allergic reactions. It is found in gelatin desserts and baked goods.
Yellow #6 can cause tumors in the adrenal glands and kidneys. It is found in beverages, sausage, baked goods, candy, and gelatin.

If you want healthy kids, with good memories and attention spans that are happy and disease free then make sure you are reading labels.

Ingredients to Avoid in Baby Food

If you buy baby food with additives in it you may be addicting your baby to fat sugar, preservatives and all kinds of bad things for life. This is because the additives put in these foods do make them look and taste better.

If you give baby a savory or sugary food that is brightly colored it is not going to learn to eat the foods that are good for them – at any age.

The side effects of eating foods that are bad for them include food allergies, increased waistlines, an inability to absorb minerals and vitamins, a fatty liver, childhood obesity, learning and behavioral disabilities and many different childhood cancers and diseases.
Make sure you avoid artificial sweeteners. These are combination of chemicals that make food taste sweeter. Beware of finding them in baby foods that are labeled 'natural', 'sugar-free' or organic.

These sweeteners cause cravings for more sweeteners and train the brain to mindlessly eat foods full of calories. Most foods that contain artificial sweeteners, like packaged bakery goods are also of poor nutritional quality.

Artificial sweeteners can harm your baby's brain and prevent it from growing. You could end up with a more nervous child or one with ADD.

Newer sweeteners on the scene include Sucralose (Splenda), Tagatose (Naturlose), and Neotame. Avoid Saccharin, NutraSweet and Sweet N'Low to avoid establishing an unhealthy taste for sweets in your infant.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is used to bring out the flavor in foods and although, thankfully, it is not in most babyfoods anymore you should read the labels and watch out for it.

If pureeing your own baby food be sure to watch out for pickled foods and condiments that might contain this very toxic ingredient.

Nowadays, MSG may be hidden in infant formula, low fat milk, candy, chewing gum, drinks, over-the-counter medications (especially children's cold medicines).
Children are 4 times more sensitive to MSG than adults. Neonatal exposure to MSG can cause a permanent reduction in the secretion of growth hormone, leading to stunted growth and irreversible obesity.
Other reactions to MSG include headaches, nausea, weakness, a burning sensation in the back of neck and forearms, wheezing, changes in heart rate, and difficulty breathing.

These are preservatives that are added to processed meat products such as bacon, corned beef, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats, and sausage. They prevent the growth of bacteria.

Nitrates are considered dangerous by the FDA but they have not been banned because they prevent botulism.

Side effects of eating nitrates include headaches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Still you may find these nitrates in baby foods that contain meat so be sure to read labels before you buy commercially made food!