In a recent report, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) demands more regulations for over 10,000 food additives, including flavorings and colorings, among other chemicals, which are currently approved for processed food and food packaging. The AAP also recommended parents to keep their kids away from processed meat and foods rich in additives and feed their children with more vegetables and fruits, instead.
The recent report also discussed how the additives in foods affect children. Accordingly, kids are more susceptible to the adverse effect the chemical in foods, such as bisphenols, phthalates, nitrates, and nitrites.
“In addition, their developing organ systems are uniquely vulnerable. There can be fundamental disruptions in various endocrine functions that can manifest not only in early childhood but potentially in later life as a result of prenatal or infant exposure,” explained Dr. Leonardo Trasande from the AAP, and the report’s leading author.
Additives in processed food and plastic packaging harm kids – Here’s how to avoid that
Commonly, bisphenols are found in cans, phthalates appear in plastic packaging as a softening agent, while nitrates and nitrites are used as coloring additives and to conserve products.
As Dr. Leonardo Trasande said, reducing canned foods consumption and replacing plastic packaging and wraps with paper wax, for example, could reduce kids exposure to harmful additives and chemicals in food packaging.
On the other hand, if you can’t avoid using plastic packaging, then be sure to wash them thoroughly before use and never use them in the microwave oven to reheat foods.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also recommends parents to check the labels from the bottom of plastic packages to see how safe they are.
“Avoid plastics with recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenols) unless plastics are labeled as ‘biobased’ or ‘greenware,’ indicating that they are made from corn and do not contain bisphenols,” explained Dr. Leonardo Trasande.