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Seraphina’s Kitchen Warns Of The Dangers Of Fortified Processed Foods On Children’s Health

July 11, 2014 - London, England -- The idea of having too many nutrients might seem strange but, according to the Environmental Working Group, fortified breakfast cereals are the key to why millions of children are taking in potentially unhealthy amounts of vitamin A, zinc and niacin.

The EWG, a Washington DC-based health research and advocacy organisation, reports that vitamin A, zinc and niacin are added to cereals in amounts calculated for adults, not for children, and say that manufacturers use high fortification levels to make their products appear more nutritious.

"The results of this study will surprise a lot of parents who are trying very hard to provide a nutritious diet for their children," says Monica Kaiser, Founder of Seraphina's Kitchen, the baking mat specialists. "It prompts us to think even more about the impact of processed foods on our children's health."

In its report, the EWG identifies 141 cereals and snack bars which it says are over-fortified. They are asking consumers to be aware of what it describes as misleading marketing by manufacturers and outdated nutrition labeling. It adds that more needs to be done to ensure that cereal packets carry nutrition labels related to the age of users. 

While recognizing that all three nutrients have an important role to play in maintaining health and preventing disease, the EWG says that taking in too much vitamin A can lead to liver damage, hair loss and skeletal abnormalities. High zinc intake can have a negative effect on red and white blood cells and the immune function, and consuming too much niacin can result in symptoms such as a rash, nausea and vomiting.

As well as children, the EWG says that the elderly and pregnant women also need to be careful not to take in more nutrients than necessary. With the elderly, too much vitamin A can increase the risk of osteoporosis and be a factor in hip fractures.
The report states that more than 13 million children in the United States are ingesting too much zinc; more than 10 million too much vitamin A; and nearly 5 million too much niacin. To help reduce the amount of nutrients taken in by children, EWG's advice is that parents should limit the fortified cereals to those that contain no more than 20% to 25% of the adult daily value for each of the nutrients.

"Another alternative would be to prepare breakfasts made from unprocessed foods," says Kaiser. "Fruit, eggs and porridge are all examples of healthy and nutritious breakfast foods – and most breakfasts can be made quickly and easily. And if cooking anything in the oven be sure to use a silicone baking mat to save precious time on busy mornings."

About Seraphina's Kitchen

Seraphina's Kitchen designs and creates premium, FDA food-grade, baking mats for the home cook and professional chef. In 2014, following extensive collaboration with its customers, it launched its Premium Silicone Baking Mats on 

Monica Kaiser

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