Tuesday, July 20, 2010

There is sawdust in my granola bar!

Yep, fish oil in your juice. Anti-oxidants added to your tortillas. What is going on with all of those extras in your food! Many are often marketing tools, that may be healthful in small amounts but lead to discomfort in larger amounts.

Nutritional additives are being added to everything and it can often lead to unplanned results.
Especially in young kids. Inulin is a fiber also often referred to as a "pre-biotic" otherwise known as food for the good bacteria, the probiotics, living in your gut. Inulin is a good thing, a health promoting fiber that may help maintain blood sugar, help battle constipation and increase calcium absorption.
But inulin can also cause bloating, gas and stomach upset- and it just may take one fiber bar to cause that icky feeling.
These types of food additives can be especially troubling when your child starts to complain about their tummy hurting. You rack your brain trying to think what they could have eaten that they could be allergic to. Or wonder if they have food poisoning but it might just be that added fiber to their granola bar, bread, cookie, cracker or pasta.

What to look for? Remember to read labels. Ingredients such as inulin, chicory root extract, oligosaccharide or oligofructose. For kids, it is best to limit those products where inulin is the first ingredient. When you offer foods high in added fiber, start slow, give your child's body a chance to adapt. While these "nutriceuticals" can provide health promoting ingredients, take a moment and think if your child might be able to get these nutrients "naturally", like inulin from root vegetables (onion or garlic) or a nice plate of jicama slices with some guacamole dip!