Instant noodles have quickly become the staple food for both kids and adults.
Its really not surprising, in the world we are living in today, we are so short on time and in less than 5 minutes you can have a delicious bowl of instant noodles ready.
It apparently looks like a “life and time saver meal” so it’s easy to opt for instant noodles as a meal for our kids but have you ever stop to think if these noodles are really safe for our kids?
I know TV commercials and the radio jingles have sold to us how instant noodles can be a great meal choice for our kids but really!! are they?
I will state out the facts of why they are not the best choice, and while they are not the best options, I realize the fact that sometimes it may be the only option we have in some situations. So, I will also be sharing alternative and healthier recipes to make it more nutritionally valuable for your kids.
Why Instant Noodles are Harmful for Infants and Older Children?
Here are some reasons why instant noodles aren’t good for your little ones.
It is Highly Processed
As the word “instant” implies, instant noodles are highly processed. The focus is not on any vitamins or minerals, which leaves them void of any nutritional value. Such food items are usually termed as empty calorie consumables. Naaa, I don’t think this is what anyone would want to give their kids on a regular basis.
Trans Fats Carriers
Let me explain this in lay terms, so to achieve a longer shelf life, these noodles are steamed and then deep-fried in oil during their processing. This leads to trans fats from the oil to become a part of the noodles, this could lead to weight gain in your child (Ohh no no, not good weight gain) I could almost read your mind mums, who want their kids to add some weight.
In the bid to make the noodles to look attractive for you to buy it, they are coated with a layer of wax in the manufacturing process. Wax is quite harmful to children and is known to cause damage to the liver.
Propylene Glycol Content
Noodles cannot be dry and need to retain their internal moisture. This is attained by adding propylene glycol to them. Kids are at a higher risk with this chemical since it gets collected very quickly within the heart, liver, and kidneys, causing long-term damage to them.
High Monosodium Glutamate ( The famous MSG)
MSG, as it was famously abbreviated and reported in the news, is widely used in instant noodles for a very important reason. It highly enhances the flavor. However, this chemical is harmful to children as well as adults, since it is known to lead to brain damage.
Sodium as a Preservative
Noodles already contain salt in high amounts to preserve them for long durations. Sodium, the element present in salt, also directly affect the vital organs of the body and can cause damage when consumed excessively.
Presence of Harmful Chemicals
Apart from the aforementioned ones, various chemicals such as plasticizers and dioxin are present in the packing material of the noodles. While cooking the noodles, these chemicals might find their way into the water and are extremely harmful to consume.
Chose Healthier Alternatives
What you Should Do?
As tasty as various noodle recipes for kids might be, after knowledge of their harmful nature, one needs to be more careful before directly serving them to your children.
How to properly prepare instant noodles.
On cooking the noodles, you can make sure that the noodles are drained well so that all the excess fat and salts are removed from them.
Instead of resorting to the packaged flavouring and seasoning that accompanies the noodle packets, try your hand at using home-made seasoning alternatives that do not contain salts and other chemicals in such quantities.
Since the entire noodle preparation does not inherently hold any nutritional value, you may try to add some chopped vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, peas, beans, etc. to make it visually appealing and tasty to consume as well.
If your child is already hooked on them, you can incentivize the serving of instant noodles by limiting the number of times you purchase them and dishing them out only on certain occasions.
- Boiled Irish potatoes
- Diced beef/chicken/fish
- Chicken/beef stock
- Sea Salt
- Nutritional Yeast
- Boil water in a pot or sauce pan.
- Pour in noodle broken up into pieces in the boiling water. Allow to cook for 3-5 mins.
- Sieve our the water from the pot and discard the water.
- Pour a little oil in the pot, saute onions, carrots, cut potatoes and meat.
- Add the chicken or meat stick.
- Add the drained noodles and stir properly.
- Finally add your seasonings. If you are using scrambled eggs, add it at this point.
- Please DO NOT use the seasonings that come with the noodle packs and the water used to boil the noodles should also be discarded.
Other healthy noodle recipes
Be sure to check out my other noodle recipes.