With so much information at our fingertips, trying to figure out what the healthiest options are for our tinniest humans can seem very overwhelming. Lately, the word preservative keeps popping up in all my mom circles, so I thought I could shed some light on this topic for all the busy parents out there who needed a quick 101.
What Are Preservatives?
By definition, a preservative is “a substance used to preserve foodstuffs, wood or material against decay”. Yikes…not sure that I like where this is going! The reason that some companies use preservative in foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, and paints is to prevent decomposition by microbial growth. In other words, adding preservatives means a longer shelf life for products. It might also mean that your product won’t need to be refrigerated. So, what’s wrong with a few modern conveniences? Well, the jury is still out on the hard and fast answer, but as we like to say, why be part of the experiment? I mean after all, nature didn’t intend for these products to last forever.
Are Preservatives Safe for Babies?
Since babies and children are smaller, their dose of any given chemical ends up being higher because of concentration. This is something I think about before giving anything to my children. Like I mentioned before, there is no clear answer at the moment on the effect preservatives have when it comes to our health but there are definitely some things you should keep in mind before using a product that doesn’t expire until 2025. Some people believe they are harmless while others believe that may cause the following side effects:
As a parent of two, when in doubt, I always try to take the road of moderation. Driving yourself crazy about every little thing isn’t good for your family’s wellbeing or for your own health. I try to find companies like Wellements that understand the impact of preservatives in the products we consume and find ways to exclude preservatives from formulation. Sometimes that may mean a shorter expiration date or the need to refrigerate the product, but to me, it’s so worth the peace of mind that I am not adding unnecessary chemicals to my child’s diet. I always try and choose the best product available for my kids. I know I’m not perfect, nor am I trying to be, just doing whatever I can to make decisions that are best for my family.
“You do the hard work of parenting — we’ll do the work to ensure providing clean products for your little one is the easiest part.” – Wellements