By Zoe Smith
Family Circle magazine has launched a campaign to ban non-essential additives in children’s food.
The three-month Kids Deserve Better campaign, which will run in the magazine and on its website, was inspired by the hundreds of readers who have contacted the magazine for advice on what to feed their families and how foods affect their children’s behaviour.
The magazine’s editor, Karen Livermore, is adamant there is still work to be done in the post-Jamie’s School Dinners era. "Our campaign is all about making kids’ food healthier," she said.
"This is what you’re buying in the shops, it’s what you put on the dinner table, so it’s inside school and outside school. It’s not just about having a hot meal in the middle of the day."
According to Livermore, although additives in food have been shown to be toxicologically safe, behaviour change in children is not one of the things toxicologists look for. After children pass the age of three, there are no restrictions on what can be put in their food. "Even sawdust and talcum powder are allowed," said Livermore.
The campaign has an interactive element that allows parents to share their experiences by contributing to a survey and there is an email petition that will be handed to the Department of Health.
Family Circle’s campaign has already attracted support from manufacturers and organisations such as the Soil Association, Birds Eye and Crosse & Blackwell. Livermore is optimistic that the campaign will make a difference, adding: "It has to make a difference because, let’s face it, who’s going to turn around and say ‘yes, let’s load all our kids’ food with additives that are going to make them climb the walls’?"