Five Ingredients You Don’t Want in Your Child’s Diet

Food and nutrition for children can be a minefield. You want to give your children the best start in life, so of course you’re going to take their diet seriously. It’s not so easy when you’re constantly being hit with advertisements for sweets, cakes, treats on the TV, and of course your little ones are going to want to taste these forbidden fruits!

Making healthy choices is important early on life, and to instil a healthy attitude to food as well. This becomes harder when foods are packed with certain ingredients that totally hinder your battle to help your children have the healthiest start.

Here are five ingredients you certainly don’t want your children consuming either in small amounts or at all.

Sunset Yellow

You might have heard of this, it’s been in the news quite a lot over recent years, but if you’re not aware, Sunset Yellow is an artificial colourant that is often added to sugary drinks and juices, to give colour. Sunset Yellow has been linked to hyperactivity in children, and I remember when I was younger it used to do the same thing to me whenever I had orange flavoured drinks containing this ingredient. Needless to say my parents quickly stopped me having them!

Sodium Benzoate

This is another of those pesky food preservatives that are in many foods you don’t even think about checking the listing for, but can also increase hyperactivity and restlessness in children. It is an E number, E211 to be exact, and is found in many soft drinks. It is also thought that Sodium Benzoate could react with vitamin C, to make Benzene, which is a famous cancer-causing substance. Not something you want to be promoting.


This is an artificial sweetener and everyone has heard of it, probably because it is contained in thousands of different products, including those often consumed by children, such as juice, cordials, snacks, vitamins etc. It has been said that Aspartame is one of the most dangerous ingredients in our food and drink, and health problems include asthma, cancer, hyperactivity, breathing difficulties and seizures.


This is a colourant that is added to many foods, such as sweets and jam, and should certainly be avoided. Consumption of Tartrazine has been linked to, yet again, hyperactivity, rashes, migraines, problems with behaviour, along with other long-term problems such as thyroid issues. Tartrazine is banned or restricted in many countries for a reason.


You’ve no doubt heard of MSG, it’s been in the news a lot over recent years, and it should certainly not appear in a child’s diet. MSG is used to enhance flavour in many different foods, commonly crisps, soup, snacks and sauces. Some of the linked health problems include hyperactivity (again), depression, restlessness, nausea, migraines and asthma. Avoid like the plague.

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