Spotlight on "dirty dozen" additives in school lunches

Six year old Travis Tomkins will be going into grade one and is looking forward to some healthy lunches.
Six year old Travis Tomkins will be going into grade one and is looking forward to some healthy lunches. Sarah Harvey

IPSWICH parents can learn how to avoid nasty food additives that are often found in school lunch foods at a special back-to-school seminar.

Click here for what additives to watch for

Queensland's Additive Alert community talks presenter Louise D'Allura will name unnecessary food additives, explain how to avoid them and suggest healthier lunchbox alternatives at the Tuesday, February 19, event.

"There are a lot of different food additives that have been reported to affect children's behaviour and health," Ms D'Allura said.

She will reveal the top "dirty dozen" additives at the seminar.

Ms D'Allura said parents should always read the ingredients list on school lunch products and research ingredients they don't recognise.

She said some of the most worrying additives were certain preservatives and colours.

"Some processed meats contain preservatives that give them that bright pink colour," she said.

"Added colours can also be found in dairy, including the natural colour 160B, which is actually plant-derived, but people have still reported negative reactions.

"The colour 151 in some flavoured milk is derived from coal tar."

The seminar will run from 7pm at Brothers Leagues Club in Raceview.

Tickets cost $15 or $33 for three at mealplanningyourway.com.

What to Watch For

  • Preservatives in bread, meats and other foods;
  • Artificial and added natural colours in foods including dairy;
  • If your child eats a lot of a particular fruit, try to buy organic to reduce the chemical load of pesticides;
  • General additives - read the label and check for unnecessary ingredients.


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