A recent warning issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics against using hard plastic containers for packing and reheating food in the microwave as it can cause serious health hazards from a very young age is indeed a matter of concern.

We all agree that plastic containers and reheating food in microwaves serve as a quick fix on a busy school day or at the dinner table, but we tend to ignore many potential health consequences. Doctors believe that the chemicals used in the making of hard plastic containers mimic estrogen in the body and can lead to decreased fertility, increase body fat and various negative changes at the onset of puberty.

The pediatricians also issued a stark warning against adding artificial colours in the children's food, as these detrimental chemicals can hamper the growth, general health and development, of babies and children interfering with a child’s hormones, thyroid system, metabolism, brain function and bone strength.

Stainless steel lunch box

Four Perilous Elements To Keep Away From

Bisphenols

BPA or Bisphenol A, has been in use in manufacturing plastics since the 1960s. In general, bisphenols are widely used in making plastic boxes and metal cans more durable.

However, this chemical has the potential to function in a manner similar to estrogen in the body. This will hence affect the onset of puberty, reduce the capability to conceive, cause the accumulation of body fat and even lead to defective immune and nervous system functioning. Go for BPA free feeding bottles, sippers and other products.

Phthalates

Phthalates are used in increasing flexibility and ductility of plastic and vinyl tubes in food production.

Studies reveal that it can cause childhood obesity, heart ailments at a young age as well as improper development of male reproductive organs.

Perfluoroalkyl Chemicals (PFCs)

PFCs are incorporated into the grease-proof paper. Examples of PFCs in day-to-day products comprise health powders for babies and expecting mothers and packaging techniques to store kids’ lunch meals.

This detrimental constituent could lead to decreased immunity, low birth weight and even hamper fertility in both men and women.

Perchlorate

When dry food items are packaged in plastic covers, they could stick on to the sides with longer storage periods. Hence, perchlorate is generally added to the food packaging, to prevent this static force between the food item and the sides of the case.

Some serious shortcomings of this potent chemical are thyroid disease and a hindrance to brain development in childhood.

Alternative Food Packaging and Storage Options That Are Safe And Reliable

  • Always purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of processed or frozen food packs. Always thaw it and reheat on the stove in a stainless-steel container.
  • Reheat leftover food on the stove instead of using a microwave.
  • Heating plastic containers invariably introduce cracks in them, and this could permit BPA and phthalates to leak and enter into foods. Strictly avoid microwaving food or drink in plastic boxes and mugs.
  • Viable replacement choices to plastics can consist of glass or stainless-steel lunch boxes and cups, for eating and drinking throughout the day.
  • Steer clear of plastic containers with recycling codes 3, 6 and 7 as this indicates the presence of phthalates, styrene and bisphenols respectively.
  • Avoid foods with artificial colouring completely.

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