By JESSICA PAG-IWAYAN
In a report titled Food Additives and Child Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns about the negative effects of food additives. It says that there’s an “increasing scientific evidence that suggests potential adverse effects on children’s health from synthetic chemicals used as food additives.”
Food additives like Bisphenols such as BPA and artificial food colors have been part of our daily lives. BPA can be found in the lining of food and soda cans. Before it was banned, this used to be found in plastic baby bottles and cups. This “can act like the hormone estrogen and interfere with puberty and fertility. Bisphenols can also increase body fat, and cause problems with the immune system and nervous system,” Harvard Health Publishing says.
Meanwhile, artificial food coloring that is usually found in almost every food product, especially in kids’ snacks “have been found to increase symptoms in children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD,” the study continues.
Celebrity moms agree
This alarming fact is the reason why more and more mothers around the world are leaning towards having a lifestyle change of going organic, just like celebrity moms Pauleen Luna Sotto, Andi Eigenmann, and Nikki Gil Albert.
These three moms, who are all endorsers of HiPP Organic, an organic baby food and formula company, said that they were also shocked when they learned about the health hazards brought by food additives, especially for their little ones.
“I was informed that grown-ups are able to detox on our own, we have that function. But kids, babies, they don’t have that function yet,” Nikki tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. She also said that learning about it pushed her to do more research on how she can provide an organic upbringing for her son Finn.
In general, organic living is a form of lifestyle that is healthy both for the consumer and for the environment. This means that food doesn’t go through fertilization and pesticide. This also means choosing things that are sustainable from the way one consumes food up to the other lifestyle choices.
For Pauleen, she said she had a wakeup call that pushed her to make the necessary adjustments in her lifestyle. “I actually had a health scare last year. It was pretty bad,” she shares. “After that, I realized how important health and wellness is. I realized how important life is.” Pauleen is married to actor Vic Sotto and has a cute baby daughter named Tali. “I want to live long to take care of my family,” she continues.
Unlike Nikki and Pauleen who live in the metropolis, adventure seeker and nature lover Andi decided to move to Siargao. Andi said that living in the province has helped her family in living a healthier lifestyle, which she hopes to instill in her daughters Ellie and Lilo. “I live on an island. It’s easier to live organic there. But it doesn’t mean that it is impossible for other people or other moms who live in the city to aspire to give their children a healthy environment,” she says.
How to get started
These three moms also admitted that it is not easy to make a lifestyle change. They said that other moms shouldn’t jump in right away and apply drastic changes in their lives, but they should do this in baby steps.
Pauleen openly shared that she just started on their lifestyle transition last year, and she kicked it off by planting vegetables in their backyard. “I’m slowly getting to it,” she said. “In our backyard we started to grow things. And it’s nice to get your vegetable and harvest it, and knowing where your food comes from.”
For Nikki, she said that mommies shouldn’t be intimated by the idea of going organic. “I think, so far, this whole organic movement is very intimidating for some, because there’s like an all or nothing connotation,” she says. “But the important keyword is transition. Take one step. Start with your kids, little baby steps then eventually, read up on things, educate yourself, then you’ll realize the importance of and the benefits of switching.”
And with Andi, it’s all about choosing wisely.
“It starts from educating yourself. It’s making sure that as a consumer, you choose wisely with your products,” she says.
“And one way to do that is to buy organic products like HiPP Organic, because, sometimes, for example with Nikkii and Pauleen, they live in the city so they don’t have as much access to organic living as I do, being that I’m from the island, but it’s products like this that help us.”