You may have your own versions of “Maggi memories” like on those cycling trips with friends, or as your savior when friends drop in without warning or during those late night talks …
Maggi has been a true childhood buddy. It took care of our hunger pangs when we were away from our parents in a hostel or on a camp. Continuing the practice, now it is ‘the food’ kids eat without a fuss. It’s that food which our moms let us have as a substitute to other ‘outside’ food we would have otherwise eaten!
Maggi seems to be just that perfect quick-snack between meals and is so easy to make that kids sometime make it alone. What’s more it seems they now come enriched with calcium and proteins! Taste bhi! Health bhi! scream the smalls kids in the ad!
Wow, Maggi we love so much is also healthy! Or is it?? Health being a subject close to our heart we thought of doing a double check… and here’s what we found…
Maggi, for that matter Top Ramen, Chings, Cup-o-noodles are essentially made from refined flour or Maida. Yes, the same Maida you try to avoid in the restaurant rotis and those biscuits…
Maida is made by processing of the whole grain flour in which the husk, the bran and the germ which are also the most nutritious parts of the seed, are removed.
Convenience and taste is one thing but nutrition is different. According to Nutritionist Dr. Shweta Iyengar, “Children are addicted to Maggi due to the high salt content in the tastemaker. Excessive salt intake can lead to water retention in the body.” The other problem in Maggi is of course “the maida”.
Not giving them their favorite Maggi will only make them demand it more so she suggests, “parents can control the amount given to the child instead of the whole packet at once, you could give them half and only if they finish their fruit servings or a glass of milk.”
Another idea she suggests is that you could reduce the harms done by Maggi by adding lots of vegetables that the children would normally make a ruckus to eat.
In India, there are other variations like Atta noodles and Rice Maggi which are nutritionally richer than the regular noodles. So if they really insist on Maggi, then varieties seem to be the solution.
Also you have to take all the claims by the Companies of “fortified with calcium" or “with added vitamin C” with a pinch of salt because according to reports, these companies add just a handful of minerals like 4 nutrients compared to the 15 nutrients they rob the food of.
So, let your kid have Maggi but make sure he also appreciates the taste of traditional snacks like upma, poha, idlis which are nutritionally richer than Maggi and are easier to make too. Let Maggi treat be an occasional ritual than an everyday one! Don’t forget the other nutritional culprits like white bread, instant pasta which are eating away your child’s nutritional intake and make sure that you keep a tab on these too.