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/Infant & Toddler Nutrition/Nutrition/Part 1 – Essential Minerals: How Essential Are They?

Part 1 – Essential Minerals: How Essential Are They?

Food Heart

Last week we had a question from a Mum who wanted to know why there was copper in our baby formula. She thought it was strange until we explained that copper is in fact an essential element, vital to the proper functioning of the body. We started thinking that maybe we should write a review on vitamins and minerals to get the facts straight. This is the first of a two-part series and it focuses on minerals.

Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794) is probably best known for the fact that he recognised the role of oxygen in combustion and named both oxygen and hydrogen. Not a bad start!

But he also discovered that the building blocks of proteins, fats and carbohydrates consist of the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. His theories paved the way for future discoveries about the building blocks of cells. It was soon revealed that all organisms are built from the same six essential elemental ingredients: carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and sulfur (S).

Dietary minerals are the other chemical elements our bodies need, apart from carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. The term “minerals” is misleading, and would be more meaningful if they were referred to as “ions” or “dietary ions”. People who have a well balanced diet will, in most cases, obtain all their minerals from what they eat. Minerals are often artificially added to some foods to make up for potential dietary shortages and subsequent health problems. The best example of this is iodized salt – iodine is added to prevent iodine deficiency, which even today affects about two billion people and causes mental retardation and thyroid gland problems. Iodine deficiency remains a serious public health problem in over half the planet.

Approximately 4% of the human body consists of these “minerals”. An adult of 75kg contains about 3kg of minerals. Because your body cannot make minerals, they must come from your diet. Minerals are therefore essential nutrients. At least 16 of them are considered crucial in our diet. They are all essential to life; without them you wouldn’t be able to function properly, grow or procreate.

The interesting thing is that while they are essential to life in minute quantities, all of these substances are toxic in large doses! This seemingly contradictory fact confuses a lot of people. Some research now suggests that trace amounts of arsenic are essential, too!

Minerals can be divided into two main categories, based on the amount that is needed by the body.

Essential Macro-Minerals

These are present in relatively large amounts in the body and are therefore required in fairly large amounts in the diet —more than 100 milligrams daily. Calcium is the most common and abundant mineral that accounts for approximately 2% of an adult body, so an average adult who weighs 75kg contains about 1.5kg of calcium.

Interestingly, calcium is closely linked to another macro-nutrient we don’t hear a lot about and that’s magnesium. It turns out that these two are almost yin and yang elements:

▪         Calcium exists mainly outside the cells, whereas almost all magnesium is found inside the cells;

▪         Calcium excites nerves; magnesium calms them down;

▪         Calcium with potassium makes muscles contract, but magnesium is necessary for muscles to relax;

▪         Calcium is necessary to the clotting reaction – essential for wound healing – but magnesium keeps the blood flowing freely and prevents abnormal thickening when clotting reactions would be dangerous.

Calcium is mostly found in the bones and gives them much of their hardness, whereas magnesium is found mainly in soft structures.

The balance of calcium and magnesium is very important and with so many women being told to take calcium to prevent osteoporosis, many may not have enough magnesium as a result. If you are taking additional calcium you might want to check with your health professional that your magnesium levels are not suffering.

Other macro-nutrients are sodium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine (in the form of chloride ions) and sulphur.

Essential Micro-Minerals

Trace minerals are those that are required by the body in amounts of less than 100mg per day. Iodine is one of these. It’s probably because of  it’s relative abundance in seawater that iodine came to play a key part in animal life. Interestingly it’s the heaviest element in the human body. (Well, the heaviest that’s supposed to be there, anyway!) But it accounts for a tiny fraction of us – only 0.0225 milligrams in your entire body. To put that another way, more than 40,000 people would only have a kilogram between them! Nevertheless it is absolutely essential because it enables the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones, essential to normal healthy growth.

The Key Minerals

Here is a list of the most critical chemical elements (“minerals”) needed by the body. Some authorities suggest there are more minerals, including vanadium, nickel, boron and arsenic, but that is not a widely held view at this point. The macro-nutrients are highlighted in bold italics.

Mineral & symbol

Function

Found in

Calcium CaBuilds teeth and bones. Controls heartbeat & blood pressure, regulates muscle contractionsDairy products, salmon, green vegetables, soy
Chlorine Cl(as the chloride ion, Cl– ))Used to make hydrochloride acid in the stomach. Chloride is found in the fluid around all cells in the bodyTable salt
Chromium CrChromium is important in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Chromium stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, which are important for brain function and other body processes. Chromium is also important in the metabolism of insulin.Meat, liver, mushrooms and egg yolks
Cobalt CoAn essential component of Vitamin B12 This vitamin helps prevent anaemia, fatigue and depression.Vitamin B12 can only be manufactured by bacteria and can only be found naturally in animal products, however, synthetic forms are widely available and added to many foods like cereals
Copper CuRequired for blood clotting, but also found in many enzymes. Used in the development of bone and connective tissuePrawns, beans and peas, nuts. Also found in liver.
Iodine IThe main building block of thyroid hormones T3 & T4 important to growth and developmentFound in iodine-enriched table salt because our diets don’t usually contain enough iodine and deficiency can be serious
Iron FeThe essential part of haemoglobin in blood. Facilitates the transport of oxygen around the bodyHaem iron: Liver, kidneys, meats;Non-haem iron: oysters, the yolks of eggs, nuts and lentils
Magnesium MgStimulates enzyme activity in cellsCitrus fruits, green vegetables
Manganese MnActivates many important enzymes, including the development of sex hormones and the formation of proteinsCereals, vegetables, fruit and nuts
Molybdenum MoImportant to enzyme building and the metabolism of fatty acidsBrown rice, garlic, spinach
Phosphorus POccurs as phosphates and found in DNA & RNA. Also involved in protein and fat metabolismMeat fish and poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds and cereals
Potassium KWorks with sodium, see belowTomatoes, bananas, green leaf vegetables, nuts, citrus fruits, fish
Selenium SeWorks with vitamin E to protect cells from damage because it makes antioxidant enzymes. It has been shown to counteract the toxicity of heavy metals (lead mercury, cadmium etc)Found in all protein foods
Silicon SiImportant in the formation of tendons and ligamentsRoot vegetables and whole grains
Sodium NaWorks with potassium to regulate pressure within and between cells and to control the body’s water balanceFish, bacon, crustaceans, table salt
Zinc ZnOver 200 enzymes rely on zinc to enable them to catalyse chemical reactions in the bodyAll meats, fish, wheat germ and vegetables

We hope you found this article useful. Please feel free to comment or ask us any questions below.

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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.