Forget Instant Noodles.
If you are youngster I guess you can digest/enjoy instant noodles like Maggi or Top Ramen and survive. Don’t give it to your kids though. It’s a ‘treat’ not meant for growing children. These noodles are made from maida (white refined wheat flour) unless it is stated specifically that whole wheat flour has been used. Maida is wheat flour stripped of all nutrients. In fact, if any ingredient in any product, whether noodles or biscuits is described as ‘wheat flour’, read this as maida, and not whole wheat flour.
This applies to the so-called atta noodles as well. Though these noodles (some pasta’s too) do have some atta (whole wheat flour), this ‘atta’ is not the genuine atta that we use to make rotis with at home. What the manufacturers do is mix atta and maida, or add a small amount of wheat fibre to maida and lo behold, Indian laws allow them to call this an atta or whole wheat product! Unfortunately in India we do not have specifications as to how much atta need be present for the product to qualify as a whole wheat product.
And anyway, we all know that these atta noodles don’t taste like atta at all. The companies who sell this stuff do not realise that if consumers can make out the difference between a whole-wheat roti and a maida roti, they will be able to make out the difference between maida noodles and whole-wheat noodles as well. A little bit of brown colour fools no one. There was a health programme on television recently which said that many companies make a fool of consumers by telling them that the product is made from whole- wheat. Actually what the companies do is mix maida and atta, and the atta is a much smaller quantity. Don’t we do that for parties when we want to make soft light puris?
But companies don’t have the right to do it. Specially when they claim that they are selling an atta product. The bread companies do this all the time. The so-called whole-wheat bread is mostly made from maida with a bit of atta thrown in. The so-called ‘brown’ breads usually have the colour caramel added to it to make it appear as if it is made from whole-wheat. Real whole-wheat breads are extremely difficult to bake and taste coarse and grainy. It’s easy to tell the difference.
Besides, instant noodles also have chemicals, just like other processed foods do. Not the right thing for growing kids or their growing brains. Childrens’ stomachs are small and they take in much less food in a day than adults …if they eat a packet of Maggi it’s probably a quarter or half of their day’s intake of solid food. Imagine what you are giving them…chemicals, hydrogenated oils and wheat stripped of nutrients!
If you do have to serve Maggi to your kids, make sure it’s once in a blue moon and don’t forget to add a lot of vegetables to it.
Or why don’t you just serve our fresh Indian snacks? They are tastier and more nutritious.
(Photos are by me and copyrighted)
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