Even though BPA plastics are already banned in the use of baby bottles and sippy cups, the American Academy of Pediatrics is warning parents and caregivers about their use, along with plenty of other additives and packaging products. These new AAP guidelines about microwaving plastic are just the tip of the iceberg.
The August 2018 edition of the journal Pediatrics cautions parents to pay close attention to what their children’s food is packaged and served in. The article authors also warn against the overuse of food additives that permeate our ready-made, pre-packaged culinary culture.
According to the AAP, there are over 10,000 food additives (used both directly in the food and indirectly in the packaging) currently in use in the United States. Oh, and these are all additives that manufacturers are allowed to use.
Lead author of the policy statement, “Food Additives and Child Health” and AAP Council on Environmental Health member, Dr. Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, FAAP, said, “There are critical weaknesses in the current food additives regulatory process, which doesn’t do enough to ensure all chemicals added to foods are safe enough to be part of a family’s diet.”
So why are food additives the big bad? Research into the effects that chemical additives have on children has found that some additives (not all) can interfere with the child’s hormonal balance. This can impact growth and development, causing potential problems down the road.
The current policy statement recommends that parents choose fresh or frozen fruits and veggies over processed meats, avoid heating any type of plastic container or packaging (especially those containing BPA), avoid plastics labeled with recycling codes 3, 6 or 7, and choose plastic alternatives such as stainless steel or glass bottles and containers.
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