Tag Archives: additives

Should You Avoid Food Additives and Coloring?

As a rule, I like to cook from scratch. Mostly because I enjoy it, but also because I like knowing what goes into the foods I feed my family. That’s not to say I don’t allow any packaged foods at all; my husband remains hooked on boxed mac n’ cheese, and so the kids love it too. We also enjoy boxed cereals. But I do what I can to avoid convenience foods and prepared foods.

Frankly, I find obvious food coloring to be pretty gross and unnecessary. We eat so many things that are a very different color from what they would be naturally and have been trained to think that that is how they are supposed to look. Kind of ridiculous when you think about it.

There’s a lot to be said for trying to get away from food coloring. There’s some evidence, after all, that getting certain types of food additives and coloring out of a child’s diet may help with ADHD. Not in all cases, but sometimes there appears to be a connection. If I had a child with ADHD, that is certainly one possibility I would test before using medications.

ADHD isn’t the only problem. As noted in Healthy Child Healthy World , which I reviewed recently, MSG is associated with reactions such as headaches and changes in heart rate. I remember my grandmother being very careful to ask at restaurants about MSG because it gave her so many problems.

I do notice that I feel better when I eat food I made from scratch, and I don’t think that’s just due to liking my own style of cooking. No doubt that’s a part of it, but I firmly believe that there is also something to do with the freshness of the ingredients and lack of preservatives, food colorings and other additives.

I don’t even like to use premade spice blends. Too many of those have too much salt or other ingredients I don’t want.

It doesn’t matter to me that my kids don’t have ADD or ADHD or any other conditions that might be made better by getting additives out of their diets. I don’t need most additives in my food. My kids don’t need them. Neither does my husband, but it doesn’t bother him like it does me. Can’t win all the battles, know what I mean?