Reaching for a packet of two-minute noodles to “cook” for your child is easy for moms and caregivers because they are quick to make and most kids love them. It helps that they are cheap too.
But most parents might be cautious about feeding their kids two-minute noodles, after reports about two children in Mpumalanga dying after ingesting them. Reports by IOL say that a further three children allegedly died after consuming two-minute noodles in Gqerberha. The brand of noodle is yet to be announced.
Two-minute noodles are not nutrient dense, so while they are a quick and easy solution they are not very nutritious.
For parents who might be looking for an alternative for quick and easy South African paediatric dietician, Kath Megaw, has teamed up with UCOOK to launch their own brand of frozen kids meals and this might a solution for moms and dads who are time strapped as year-end fatigue takes over.
These meals are easy to prep, usually pop in the microwave or oven and “poof” dinner or lunch is ready.
Megaw says as the mother of an ex-fussy eater, she inherently understands the concerns that parents of picky or fussy eaters face.
“Making sure that your child eats a balanced diet and consumes the required amount of fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals can be difficult and lead to stressful mealtimes,” says Megaw.
“Now you can rest assured that your child is eating a healthy balanced meal, which means saving time on dinner-time battles and having to prepare a number of different options.”
Here’s what Kath had to say about good, nutritional food.
What is the biggest misconception about kids diets?
The first is that kids food needs to be full of sugar or refined carbs to get them to eat it. Another misconception is that kids food should be bland. The opposite is true – kids are often more adventurous than adults when given the chance. If healthy foods are available kids will definitely gravitate towards the foods when they get hungry.
What are staples for moms and dads in their fridge?
Fruits , yoghurt, cheese, butter, milk (or dairy alternatives), veggies especially crudités type foods like cucumber, carrots etc
What other options besides sandwiches can kids take for school lunches?
Kids can take health muffins, crudités with a dip, blocks of cheese, seed crackers, wraps with protein or vegan filling, dried fruit, or mini fruits like small apples or naartjies and yoghurt
What should you do if your kids just won’t eat their veggies?
A quick and easy tip is to hide healthy foods in clever ways so that children get used to eating these foods unknowingly. This serves to train their taste buds without them even knowing about it. Encourage your kids to assist with the preparation of food and make it fun.
Dinosaur pasta and fairy mash sounds much better than boring bolognaise and potatoes. Be adept at sneaking veg in, concealed in pasta tubes, grated, diced or pureed.
Is there any food kids should stay away from?
There are many few food additives that should be avoided, particularly in ready prepared foods . An easy way to spot these is to look for any E numbers as these are normally additives that are either used to preserve food, flavour the food or preserve it. In most cases, these ingredients are artificial can be harmful in big amounts and consistent intakes.
Examples of these include artificial sweeteners including sugar alcohols Azo dyes or colourants, Carageenan, high-fructose corn syrup, sulphur dioxides and benzoates
How often should kids get a treat?
I like the concept where you and your child decide on a few small treats for the week and then put it in a treat box and they have autonomy to choose when they want it, however, when done, they have to wait for a whole week before it is refilled. This takes the treat battle away.
What’s one thing a child should eat every day, that will help with their growth and development?
That’s a hard one as no one food will provide everything but I would say some form of nuts and seeds daily as they contain healthy brain fats as well as protein for growth and fats calories for energy as well as fibre.
How did you and the team at UCOOK come up with the recipes?
The idea was to focus on healthy and clever ways to make food tasty and super nutritious and easy for mom or dad to serve. The recipes went through rigorous testing and nutritional analysis to ensure it was well balanced and taste tested by little people to make sure we had hit the mark and we did.
For more info visit: www.ucook.co.za.