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Food and Nutrition Topics..

You are here : home > Food and Nutrition > Eat Healthy Eat Right > Harmful Food Additives Kids Should Avoid Eating

Harmful Food Additives Kids Should Avoid Eating

harmful food for kids

Some food additives can have hazardous effects on the health of children. Read to learn about the harmful food additives and foods that contain such additives.

Food additives are used to make food items tastier. Adding additives to various food items definitely enhance the looks and flavor of these items but it is important to find out if these additives have any harmful effects on the health of people who consume it. This article describes about harmful food additives that kids should avoid eating.

Artificial Sweeteners

Foods that have artificial sweeteners must be avoided by kids. Such sweeteners can increase the risk of cancer and can cause health hazards like diabetes, sclerosis, nausea, headaches and emotional disorders like dizziness, anxiety symptoms and depression. Such sweeteners are used in breath mints, coke, ice tea, toothpaste, vitamin tablets.

Monosodium Glutamate or MSG

MSG is a very commonly used food additive that is used in chips, soups, frozen food, and salad dressings. This is an amino acid that is used to add flavour to various food items. When food items with MSG are consumed on regular basis it leads to health problems like headaches, eye problems, depression, obesity and fatigue. MSG is a must to use ingredient for Chinese foods.

Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrate, is used in processes meats, hot dogs, ham, bacon and lunch meats. This additive adds flavour and colour to the meat and helps in its preservation by obstructing the bacterial growth.  Consuming food items with sodium nitrite for a prolonged period is harmful for the kids as it is carcinogenic when it becomes part of the digestive system of humans. Sodium nitrite cause harm to the liver and pancreas and that is why it is important that kids avoid eating food items that have sodium nitrite.

Trans Fat

Trans Fat is used in many fast foods especially the ones that are deep fried. Usage of Trans Fat keeps the food products fresh by increasing their shelf life. Trans Fat decreases the level of HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol by increasing the level of LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol. Increase in LDL increases the risk of diabetes and kids may become obese which lead to many other health hazards. As Trans Fat is found in chips, crackers, baked items, margarine and other fast foods, kids must have restricted consumption of such food items.


BHA or Butylated hydro-xyanisole and BHT or Butylated hydroxytoluene are additives found in chewing gum, cereals, vegetable oils, candies, frozen sausages, jello and potato chips. When this additive is used in food items, the colour and flavour of the food item remain as it is but it is better for the kids to avoid food items where BHA and BHT are used. BHA and BHT increase the risk of cancer and can also affect nervous system causing behaviour alteration and improper brain functioning.

Sulphur Dioxide

Sulphur Dioxide is used in soft drink, juices, dried fruits, vinegar, wine, potato products and beer. Sulphur Dioxide is toxic and prolonged use of this food additive can increase the risk of asthma, anaphylactic shock, and low blood pressure. Any food item that contains this additive should be strictly avoided by kids as it destroys vitamin E and B1.

Food Dyes

Many food items that kids consume have got artificial food dyes. Consumption of food items that contain artificial food dyes lead to behavioural problems in kids and can affect the IQ of the kids. It also increases the chances of cancer. Blue #1 and Blue #2 dyes that are used in soft drinks, candies, sport drinks cause chromosomal defects. Red Dye #3 and Red Dye #40 are used in candy, baked items, ice cream, fruit cocktail and can lead to improper brain functioning. Yellow #6 and Yellow Tartrazine used in candy, macaroni, candy, and lemonade are also harmful as they cause kidney problems and chromosomal defects.

As food additives cause different types of health hazards, food items that contain these additives must not be consumed by kids at all or their consumption should be restricted.

Which food items contain harmful food additives? What kinds of food additives are unsafe for children? What are the effects of food additives on the development of children?
Discuss here.

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