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How safe are instant noodles for kids?

Instant noodles may cause health problems in your child. Read to know why...

Written by Ranita Ganguly |Updated : August 28, 2015 9:34 PM IST

Stop kids from eating noodles

Have you seen a single kid who does not love noodles? Kids just love noodles and can gorge on a bowl of noodles at any time of the day. Instant noodles are soft and starchy, with a lovely salty taste that kids really like. As a mother may also feel glad to serve these foods just to see the joy and happiness on their faces, but are you aware of the contents within a pack of instant noodles? Does it provide the requisite nutrition to your child? Noodles do not contain much nourishment; instead they contain some harmful chemicals which can interfere with your child's physical and mental development. Here is a list of some ingredients that are present in instant noodles that will make you think twice before serving such unsafe foods to your children:

1. Highly processed food

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Instant noodles are a highly processed food which is mainly composed of refined flour (maida). Such foods do not contain any essential vitamins and minerals and thus lack nutritive value. These are also known as empty calorie foods.

2. Contains trans fats

During processing, steamed instant noodles are deep fried in oil which helps the noodles get a better shelf life. Unfortunately, these trans fats (from oil) may get into the body of your little ones, causing unnecessary weight gain.

3. Coated with wax

Instant noodles are coated with wax during manufacturing. Wax helps impart a smooth texture to the noodles, but it can be harmful to your kids, as the regular intake of wax coated noodles may cause liver damage.

4. Contains propylene glycol

Propylene glycol is added to instant noodles to retain their moisture. For consumers however, especially for kids, this is a deadly chemical because propylene glycol gets accumulated very rapidly in the heart, the liver and the kidneys and causes damage to these vital organs.

5. Contains high amount of MSG

MSG or monosodium glutamate acts as a flavour enhancer, but researchers have already stated that MSG is very harmful for kids (and adults too) as it leads to brain impairment.

6. Contains high levels of sodium

Salt is a good preservative and hence it is added to noodles to increase their shelf life, but the excessive intake of sodium (present in salt) may cause damage to crucial organs of your child's body like heart, liver and kidneys.

7. Other harmful chemicals

Dioxin and plasticisers are some of the dangerous chemicals that are present in the packaging material of instant cup noodles, and these chemicals may leach from the containers after adding hot water. Experts say that these chemicals are capable of causing cancer.

Image source: Getty images

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Juyeon Park, Jung-Sug Lee, Young Ai Jang, Hae Rang Chung, and Jeongseon Kim. A comparison of food and nutrient intake between instant noodle consumers and non-instant noodle consumers in Korean adults. Nutr Res Pract. Oct 2011; 5(5): 443 449.

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