I do everything I can to keep packaged foods out of the hands of my children. The reason? It is simply too dangerous. I want to give my kids the chance that I never had: a relatively toxin-free existence so that they can maximized their potential.
Unfortunately, you just cannot trust the food industry with your kids. I cannot emphasize this enough. The great majority of companies have absolutely no conscience when it comes to your kids: they will maximize profits even it means trading out the future health of your children.
To some of you this will seem alarmist and overstated, but let me list just a few examples - and there are many, many more - so that you will hopefully see what I am referring to:
1. Lead. In 2010 the Environmental Law Foundation found dozens and dozens of children's food products tainted with lead. Lead is incredibly dangerous to the developing minds of children and is a known neurotoxin. Furthermore, it was been associated with increased cancer risk. Just look at this partial list of products that the ELF found with significant lead:
The list could goes on and on: there are literally over 100 products commonly given to children listed that were contaminated with lead. Again, read this link on ELF's Complete List of Packaged Food Products Contaminated with Lead.
2. Mercury. Mercury is used to chemically process and produce sodium benzoate, citric acid and high fructose corn syrup. These three products are used extensively in packaged kids food and mercury is another deadly toxin to the brain and testosterone of young boys. Several recent studies of high fructose corn syrup products have found that almost half of them are tainted with mercury.
3. Bisphenol-A (BPA). This is an incredibly toxic xenoextrogen that is found in signficant amounts in almost every canned product on the shelves. I cover this in my link on The Dangers of Bisphenol-A in great detail, but you cannot get away from it if you use cans and this has been tied to future reproductive and cardiovascular issues, particularly for boys. (Some countries have banned BPA.)
4. Excitotoxins. I cover this extensively in another link on Testosterone and Excitotoxins, but suffice it to say that a large percentage of packaged food products, including those commonly given to children are loaded with excitotoxins. Excitotoxins are deadly at any stage of life but are particularly toxic to the developing minds of the little ones and can lead to future mental and reproductive disorders. It assaults the hypothalamus at a minimum and minute amounts can leak past the blood brain barrier and cause irreparable neuron damage in the brain, especially under certain conditions as fever and likely around "dirty electricity". It is very difficult to get away from excitotoxins in packaged foods: MSG, monosodium glutamate, autolyzed yeast extract, maltodextrin, aspartame and nutrasweet all contain excitotoxins in abundance. Furthermore, savvy manufacturers can hide excitotoxins in "flavors" and "spices.
And I have not even covered the many dangers of giving fast food to your kids. The bottom line is that the only safe way to feed your kids is for you to prepare the food for them yourself. You'll also avoid the trans fats that can cause problems for your child later in life.
1) Environmental Health, 2009, 8:2, "Mercury from chlor-alkali plants: measured concentrations in food product sugar"