What is in a Banana?? … and Is Natural Better?

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My kids love bananas and so do I. The best thing about bananas with kids is that unlike most of the stuff in my pantry, they actually fill the kids up a little and stop them asking for more food every 5 minutes! I turn to them when packing for an outing too because they don’t need refrigeration and travel well if you can avoid them being squashed.

I also ate them all around India because as a rule, thick skinned fruit were safe, cheap and plentiful. When I was a poor student, I would drive to the coast with friends, spend the morning at the beach (oh the memories!) and for lunch we would buy 6 bananas and a loaf of bread … which fed 3 people for  under $2 back then. On desperate days we might use a coffee shop sugar satchel to sweeten the deal!

Bananas may just be the best invention ever haha

Do you know what is in a banana? I thought I did …. Some carbohydrate maybe? Some potassium? This awesome image below shows the chemical name of the ingredients in a banana … a totally natural product! That looks insane haha

banana

I am still definitely addicted to bananas, but it is interesting to see how different the ingredients of a product look when you write them out with their chemical names.

What does Natural mean?

As a part of running this site, I regularly travel to meet various community groups, government departments and companies and I was recently in Sydney speaking with some people from Johnson’s baby. We discussed lots of things but one of them was the big push toward using the word ‘Natural’ in promoting cosmetic and baby products.

In Australia, products can be labelled as ‘Natural’ or ‘Organic’ without any pre-approval. Assessments to standards are done internally rather than by an external body. So now I don’t assume anymore that something is safer simply because it uses the word ‘Natural’ or ‘Organic’ in marketing.

waterfall

We all like to think that natural and organic ingredients are safer or milder than synthetic ones but as Sharon Dowling from the Johnson’s technical team told me, that’s not necessarily the case. Some natural products can be harsh on your baby’s skin, because plant extracts can vary in quality & performance depending on where they are sourced. She said that sometimes including synthetic ingredients in the products can actually be better because they can be consistently high quality and reliable for parents.

Almost everything contains chemicals but what is important is knowing the dosage and how rigorously tested products are.

My advice to mums is:

  • take a good look at the ingredients on products and get familiar with the common ones
  • any ingredients that you are unsure about, do some research online to make sure that you are comfortable using them
  • don’t assume that something with a complicated name is artificial or dangerous (remember that water is a chemical and so is everything in bottles labelled ‘natural’ or ‘organic’)
  • always follow the directions on the packaging
  • keep all products out of reach of young children to avoid accidents

What Does It Mean?

It is important to know what ingredients are in the products that we use, but it can also be very difficult research everything yourself. Johnson’s have tried to help parents by publishing an ingredient list for their products online, to make it easier for us all to research and have confidence in the formulas. They also included the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) safety review. The CIR reviews & assesses the safety of the individual chemicals & ingredients used in cosmetic products. (click here to visit the page).

They always list ingredients on the bottles using the proper chemical names which can be confusing to look at but is actually awesome. It means that it’s a consistent way of writing the chemical names between different languages, to avoid confusion.

If you would like to know more about particular products or ingredients, head over to The Simple Truth

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Being a mum to 3 kids (one of them full time at home with me) and trying to juggle everything became pretty crazy.

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