I’ve written about snacking and have listed some of my kids’ favourite after school snacks on my website (you can catch up here), so I thought I would share with you their absolute favourite snack – my healthy version of those awful, fake instant noodles (or noodle cups).
Instant noodles are a perfect example of not what to eat – heavily processed, nutritionally void, packaged… I can’t even call it ‘food’. Every time you feed your kids, it’s an opportunity to nourish them and improve their health and wellbeing, not promote illness and disease.
Just today my hairdresser told me that she educates her young children about good and not so good food choices by explaining that some food is ‘tricky’ – that is, it tastes good and tricks you into feeling like eating more (that your brain convinces you it’s ‘not so bad’). I thought this was just a brilliant analogy and a great way to explain and educate kids about widely available, well marketed processed foods.
Anyhow, now for my polar opposite version of instant noodles. I’ve shared the basic recipe, but as a well liked food, it’s a great opportunity to increase its nutritional value by adding a few nutrient and flavour ‘boosters’ (for which I’ve also made suggestions).
Healthy Instant Noodles
PREP TIME 5 minutes // COOK TIME 5 mins
These Healthy Instant Noodles are a delicious, easy to prepare snack and a great way to add extra vegetables into your kids diet. They are also fabulous in a thermos for a healthy school lunch.
- 1 cup bone broth / home-made chicken stock (click this link to learn just how nourishing this is)
- 100 g (approx.) noodles of your choice (I’ve used gluten-free brown rice noodles here, but you could use any type of good quality noodle or zoodles for grain-free)
- Good pinch sea salt
I make big pots of broth and freeze it in recycled jars to defrost and enjoy as needed.
- In a small pot bring about 4 cups of water to the boil. Add the noodles and cook until just cooked. How long you cook (or soak) for will depend on the type of noodle you choose (follow the directions on the pack).
- Drain and rinse well. Add to a bowl or thermos.
- Now heat your broth (recipe and more info about its goodness here) in the pot until hot, season and pour over the noodles.
- We love adding grated parmesan (or cheddar) to ours, so yum (for dairy-free use nutritional yeast).
- Spring onion is delicious (unless you are onion-free)!
- Herbs or leafy greens like baby spinach or kale can be added to the broth at the very end of cooking to wilt.
- If there’s a vegetable your kids like, add it. I often add sliced mushrooms, broccoli or carrot (into the broth to cook).
- Add an egg beaten and drizzled through the hot broth to form egg ribbons (to add protein).
- Add any leftover chicken meat, tofu, legumes etc (also to add protein).
- Add garlic and/or ginger for an immune boost (or just ginger if you are garlic-free).
Vegetarian and vegan
Replace the bone broth with a home made vegetable stock.
In the Thermos
If keeping in a thermos or setting aside to be eaten later, remember the noodles will continue cooking (and gluten free noodles will go very soggy). So if this is your plan, under cook the noodles or add them to the broth uncooked and by the time the thermos is opened they will be cooked.