Important notice to customers — product packaging changesLearn More

NEW FOOD PACKAGING IN STORE NOW

From August 2018, customers will notice our rebranded food packaging start to appear on shelf in all major stockists.

  • CURRENT Packaging
  • new Packaging

We are excited to announce our new packaging will start to appear on shelf from August 2018. This transition to new packaging will occur over a number of months. During this time there will be a mix of current and new packaging on shelf.

There are no major changes to these products, in some instances there is a small name change or slight recipe improvement, see below for the full details.

Products purchased via the website will be delivered to customers in our old packaging until the end of October. From November, products ordered from the website will be delivered in the new packaging.

Please note, our Infant Formula packaging will not be rebranded until later in 2019.

For any questions, connect with our team of accredited practising Dietitians on +61 3 6332 9200

Product name changes

  • Cereal Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Baby Rice
  • NEW Packaging Organic Rice with Prebiotic (GOS) Note: Our Baby Rice recipe has been upgraded to now include GOS Prebiotic
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Vanilla Rice Custard
  • NEW Packaging Organic Milk & Vanilla Baby Rice
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
  • NEW Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Baby Porridge
  • Ready To Serve Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Banana, Pear & Mango
  • New Packaging Organic Banana, Pear, Apple & Mango
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Mango, Blueberry & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Blueberry, Mango & Apple
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Peach & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Grape, Apple & Peach
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Risotto
  • New Packaging Organic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Tomato
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Broccoli, Beef & Brown Rice
  • New Packaging Organic Beef & Vegetables
  • Note: We have also upgraded some of our RTS recipes to remove added sugars and to remove some of the more complex ingredients that are not required for young children such as Tamari.
  • RUSKS NAME CHANGES
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Milk Rusks Toothiepegs
  • New Packaging Organic Milk Rusks
Home/Nutrition & Recipes/Articles/Benefits of Organic/Nutritional Benefits/Do You Really Know What’s in Your Toddler’s Food?

Do You Really Know What’s in Your Toddler’s Food?

shutterstock_122481736Harmful additives often end up in your child’s food. Manufacturers want to grow the food faster, preserve it longer and make it taste ‘fresher’. Often parents don’t realise the chemicals that are present in even the most common foods their children eat because those additives are either not disclosed on the packaging or disguised behind unrecognizable chemicals. Yet the eating habits that young children establish early on can last a lifetime, which is why understanding the most harmful foods to avoid is invaluable knowledge.

Luckily, finding the safest foods isn’t that complicated. You just need to know what you’re looking for so that you can provide the safest choices for your toddler.

Pesticides

Fruit and vegetables are an essential part of your child’s diet, but pesticide residues are often found on non-organic produce. Pesticides may affect your child’s health now or later in life. Research shows that pesticides can contribute to a wide range of health problems, including cancer, lung disease, reproductive problems, and possibly immunity and endocrine problems. Animal testing has even indicated that pesticides may contribute to behavioural problems and long-term damage to the brain and nervous system.

Are children more vulnerable to pesticides than adults?

There are several reasons why children are likely to be more vulnerable to pesticides than adults. Children tend to eat a limited range of produce, which means they can be exposed to higher levels of specific pesticides common in those foods. They also eat more food relative to their body-weight than adults. This added load on a still developing system may mean that young children are less able to break down toxins. Furthermore, pesticides can block the absorption of the essential nutrients they need for growth and development.

How can I avoid feeding my toddler pesticides?

  • Peel any non-organic fruit and vegetables, and remove the outer layers of leafy green vegetables.
  • Scrub any vegetables that you don’t peel under running water, or use a vegetable washer.
  • Soak and rinse fruit and vegetables that are difficult to scrub.
  • Trim the fat off meat and remove the skin from poultry, because pesticides and other chemicals are often concentrated in the fat of animals.
  • When possible, choose organic produce, especially for the fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residue: apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, imported nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, domestic blueberries and potatoes.
  • Feed your toddler more of the fruits and vegetables with lower levels of pesticide residue, including onions, sweet corn, pineapple, avocado, cabbage, sweet peas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, kiwi, rockmelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, watermelon and mushrooms.
  • When possible, buy locally grown produce. Produce from further afield usually has after-harvest pesticides and waxes to help them survive the transport. They are also often picked before ripening, so they will be less flavoursome and contain fewer nutrients.
  • Buy in-season produce.
  • Serve a wide variety of foods to prevent the possible build-up of one particular pesticide.

Preservatives

It’s hard to avoid preservatives, because both natural and synthetic ones are in so many of the foods and drinks children consume. Most of the preservatives in our foods are deemed safe by the regulatory food authorities (at least in small quantities), but there are no long-term studies on the cumulative effects of synthetic preservatives over the course of a lifetime. Food Standards Australia New Zealand restricts manufacturers from putting preservatives in baby food, but toddlers and young children often eat foods outside of this category.

Many of the most dangerous preservatives are allowed only in very small quantities, which is why their effects may not be noticed immediately. Yet medical research has found cause for serious concern with the following preservatives, in particular:

  • Nitrates (in particular Sodium Nitrate) – these are often used to prevent bacterial growth in processed meats which are served to many toddlers as finger food. Yet infants are particularly susceptible to nitrate toxicity, which can develop into methaemoglobinemia or “blue baby” syndrome.
  • Sulfites – these are added to many prepared foods that young children eat to keep them ‘fresh’. Many kids have a sensitivity to them, which can lead to breathing difficulties among other issues.
  • BHA and BHT – these preservatives are used in a wide variety of foods that contain oils and fats. They’ve been linked asthma, cancer and some behavioural issues.
  • TBHQ or Butane – incredibly, some common fast foods like chicken nuggets contain this chemical to, once again, preserve ‘freshness’. Ingesting even small amounts can cause nausea and vomiting, among many other symptoms.

How to avoid harmful preservatives

The simplest way to avoid preservatives is to eat certified organic food, which are always preservative-free.

Other tips include:

  • When possible, eat fresh whole foods prepared by you.
  • Read the labels on prepackaged foods carefully and avoid foods containing harmful preservatives.
  • Limit your toddler’s exposure to processed foods, especially meats.
  • Choose foods with natural preservatives over ones with synthetic preservatives.
  • Ask for preservative-free bread, or bake your own.

Other additives

Another very common additive in kids foods is monosodium glutamate, most commonly known as MSG. Many parents assume the food they serve their children doesn’t contain this chemical that’s associated with headaches and other serious health conditions because it rarely shows up in the list of ingredients. Here are some of the ingredients commonly listed for children’s food that contain significant quantities of MSG:

  • Calcium Caseinate
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)
  • Textured Protein
  • Yeast Extract
  • Autolyzed Plant Protein
  • Yeast food or nutrient
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Sodium Caseinate
  • Autolyzed Yeast
  • Vegetable Protein Extract
  • Senomyx
  • Natural Flavours

 

Important Notice to Parents and Guardians

  • The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby.
  • Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Infant Formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner.
  • A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding may reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula.
  • If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.