|My child is 13 months old and is mostly eating what we are
eating, but the ingredients in the food. I realised about
2 weeks ago all the flavourings and persertives in our food
nowadays (look at the custard / porridge / tin food ect.).
On the ingredient label on the back of packaging, they show
all the flavourings with an "E" .... it is really
scary to see what is in the food.
I want to give my child the best. Where can I get a list of
the "good and bad" in food for my child. Must I
go organic all the way?
It is wonderful that your baby is eating your family food
as it makes your life so much easier, and also means that
your baby will readily accept new tastes and textures, having
already been exposed to a wide range of foods. This is no
mean feat, so pat yourself on the back. It is equally good
that you are so interested in the quality of what your baby
eats. Of course there is a way of thinking that only organic
will do, but the reality of modern life is that most of
us do not have the time nor the finances to feed our children
this way. What you may like to consider as a start is to
cut down on the amount of things like ready made sauces
that you cook with. Consider going back to basics a little,
and making things like roast chicken, which are easy, nutritious
and wholesome. The trend back to this kind of cooking means
it is not hard to find cookery books that support this kind
of thing. Jamie Oliver’s books are a good example,
and it is interesting to see how much influence he has had
on the diets of British children!
The E additives is a really big subject, but you can educate
yourself into the simple basics. The categories are:
300-399 antioxidants and acidity regulators
400-499 thickeners, stabilisers, emulsifiers
500-599 acidity regulators, anticaking agents
600-699 flavour enhancers
1000-1999 additional chemicals
A full list of each individual E number can be found on
websites such as
Not all the additives are harmful, and what many people
don’t know is that some can even be beneficial! A
selection which are good for you are E101 (vitamin B2),
E160 (Carotene, vitamin A), E300-304 (VitaminC), E306-309
which includes Vitamin E, E322 (Lecithin) and E375 (niacin)
and E440 (pectin).
Another very good idea is to buy yourself a small reference
book to keep in your handbag to consult when you are shopping.
This is probably the most practical solution to this issue.
A good simple guide is E for Additives by Maurice Hanssen,
which can be order from Amazon.com. It is empowering and
easy to use a book like this in order to make informed purchases.
Food additives - To mash or not to mash