Recognizing the Snacks Sold at Your Child’s School

Oleh: Morinaga Platinum

Nowadays there is a lot of news circulating that the snacks at school contain harmful substances. Therefore, Moms need to introduce and remind the children to be wary of unhealthy snacks at school.

Every child must always be interested in buying snacks offered by the sellers at school. The shape, color, and taste of the snacks are very tempting the children and it must be difficult to disallow them to buy those snacks.

Lately there is a lot of news that prove that the snacks sold at school contain substances that are harmful to health. This is because those substances are not feasible to be consumed by human, such as borax, formalin, or textile dyes (Rodhamin B and Methanil Yellow).

As you may already know, the formalin substance is not an additional substance that may be used for food. This formalin substance has a sharp odor, colorless, and usually used for preserving corpses, disinfecting hospitals’ equipment, and plywood adhesives. However, some bad food sellers often use formalin to preserve the foods they sell like meatballs, noodles, tofu, and fish. Foods containing formalin are seen to be shiny, shunned by the flies, chewy, and tasted bitter.

Formalin is very dangerous for our body, if inhaled it can irritate the respiratory tract. Then if exposed to the skin, it can cause burns, allergies, and irritation. And if it is swallowed it can develop nausea, burning, seizures, to a coma. Formalin can also cause cancer if consumed in a long term.

Besides formalin, borax which is usually used in the process of making detergents and antiseptics are also used as an additive to the food so that it becomes chewier, not easily broken, and not sticky. Borax can cause irritation of the respiratory tract, skin, and eyes if swallowed and inhaled, and can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and kidney damage. Snacks such as meatballs, cilok, otak-otak, and noodles are often contain borax.

Often the snacks sold at schools have an attractive color that can tempt the children to buy them. Moms need to be wary of foods that have a bright and striking color as instead of containing food dye, they usually contain textile or paper dye, such as Rodhamin B and Methanil Yellow. Adding Rodhamin B to the food will give a bright red color, while Methanil Yellow will give a brownish yellow color.

These 2 dyes are often used in syrups, crackers, terasi, tong-tong ice, and cotton candy. Consuming these dyes can cause digestive tract irritation, dry and cracked lips, liver and bladder disorder, and cancer.

Moms and Dads’ roles are becoming important in giving understanding to the children to choose which snacks that are safe and unsafe to be consumed. Here are some tips for Moms in guiding the children to choose healthy snacks:

  1. Always pay attention to the hygiene factor from the location, how the food is produced, and the packaging. Avoid buying food in a location that is near garbage, also avoid buying food that is exposed to dust.
  2. Do not buy snacks that have striking colors.
  3. Prefer snacks that are made of nuts, fruits, or vegetables such as pudding, fruit pie, risoles, or vegetable pastel. And avoid snacks with high sugar content, fat, and flour because it can make your children to be satiate and disrupt their main meal schedule.
  4. Teach the children to consume snacks in a small portion so it will not replace their main food.
  5. Always provide a healthy breakfast for the children before leaving for school so when they arrive at school, they have felt full and no longer eating snacks.
  6. Always spare some times to prepare a healthy, delicious, and attractive food for the children to be brought to school, so they won’t be interested in buying snacks anymore.
  7. Be a role model to your child to avoid unhealthy snacks.

So Moms, let’s teach your child to be more careful in choosing snacks at school!

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