Instant noodles have got a bad nutrition wrap and they’ve earned a ‘red alert’ in my "this=that" guide to food serves. But they’re here to stay. Kids love them after school. Some people eat them crunchy and dry. They’re a dream for hikers and campers. Find out how you can get the most out of them for your body’s health.
Think of a brick of instant noodles as equivalent to an unfilled sandwich when it comes to fuel and energy. An unfilled sandwich won’t keep you feeling full for long, so to make the noodles last longer in your stomach, aim to add vegetables plus egg or some shredded meat or mince.
1 brick of instant noodles with the flavour sachet contains
- more salt than your body needs in any one day (most of it is in the flavour sachet)
- zero fibre
- about as much protein and fuel (kJ/cals) as 2 –3 slices of bread
- some contain a large amount of saturated fat (up to a full tablespoon per ‘serve’)
How can you improve them and add a little goodness?
Who said you need to eat the whole brick of noodles and entire flavour sachet? Just because it looks like a single serve, doesn’t mean you need to eat it all.
- Use only part of the flavour sachet and see if the taste suits you. You’ll be cutting back on salt and it will probably taste just as good.
- Use only half the noodle brick and pad out the meal or snack with some healthier goodies This way you don’t have to labour over the nutrition panel. You can also dilute the fat out with other ingredients!
- Plan to create an instant vegetable and noodle combo. Pre-dice, shred or grate a cup of vegies. Take these (or a bag of frozen vegetable) to work to add at lunch. Tell you kids they are in the fridge ready to add to their after-school noodle snack. Suggest they add these to the half a brick of dry noodles (per child) and water when they cook.
- Crack a beaten raw egg into the cooked noodles. Stir it in and the egg will cook through.
- Lightly fry off some prawns and an egg with drained cooked noodles. Flavour the dish with curry paste or a stir-fry sauce.
- Add some shredded leftover chicken or a can of crabmeat, along with crushed garlic, ginger and chilli (if you like it hot) to the vegie-noodle combo – eat it soupy or drained.
- Toss reheated leftover cooked turkey or beef mince plus canned/frozen peas and corn through drained cooked noodles. Wilt through finely shredded wombok cabbage, Asian greens or spinach leaves. Season with a sauce to your liking.
What do you do to make your instant noodles a little more delicious and healthier?
Share your ideas with others. They’ll be added to the website list.
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