There is increasing evidence that some of the preservatives, packaging and food coloring in America’s food may be harmful to kids’ physical and mental health. Also, putting plastic in the microwave and dishwasher may cause plastic to leach chemicals into your food.

In a 2018 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), I learned the following:

The United States allows the use of more than 10,000 additives to preserve, package, or modify the taste, appearance, texture, or nutrients in foods. Many were grandfathered in for approval during the 1950s, and roughly 1,000 additives are used under a “Generally Recognized as Safe” designation process that doesn’t require U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. 

Ten thousand additives? Honestly, I think this is shocking. The report goes on to state that there are more and more studies being conducted that point to food additives “[interfering] that suggest with a child’s hormones, growth, and development…some may also increase the risk of childhood obesity, rates of which have tripled since the 1970s.”

Here are the cautions against certain additives laid out in the article:

Since kids eat and drink more and are still developing, the AAP cautions that the effects of food additives can be more harmful. The AAP Council on Environmental Health is working to better understand, re-test and regulate the additives available in the United States. But some of this will need congressional approval to get the FDA to review existing additives.

In the meantime, here are some things you can do to keep your kids from eating too many mystery chemicals:

If this seems daunting, involve your kids in the cooking process. You’d be surprised by how satisfying it can be for a child or tween to peel and cut up fruits and vegetables. Besides, it can be quality time for you and your children. Good luck, parents! 

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