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Food Explorers Club -Japanese Soba Noodle Soup

Today we enjoyed cooking Japanese Soba Noodle Soup. My family enjoys drinking hot soup on a cold winter day. Kids really enjoy noodle in the soup and this is one of the best ways to encourage them to eat the vegetables cooked in the soup. I am a big fan of Soba Noodles for its health benefits and taste. Once you know more about the nutrition of soba noodles, you’ll want to kick that hard ramen brick and its high-sodium packet to the curb.

Culinary Skills – Kids learned how to boil and cook noodles without it being overcooked and sticky. Cooking pasta/noodles to perfection is a skill. As part of this class, they learned to mince garlic and ginger using a small knife. They chopped cilantro and green onions with kitchen scissors and making lime juice with use of a lemon squeezer. Later, kids sautéed green onions with garlic and ginger, cooked all the vegetables in broth and water to make a delicious soup.

Nutrition Education – Our spotlight ingredient was Soba Noodle. Soba noodles are popular in Japanese cuisine. They look a lot like spaghetti. Authentic soba noodles are made from 100 percent buckwheat flour. Buckwheat is a pseudo cereal, not a true cereal grain. This makes it gluten-free and a great alternative to traditional pasta and noodles. One cup of soba noodles has 0.4 mg of manganese and 6 grams of protein. Soba noodles contain small amounts of other essential minerals, including Zinc, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and iron. It is also a good source of Thiamin- known as Vitamin B1 and it helps control blood sugar.

Working as a Team - Encouraging kids to eat vegetables can be a struggle but let’s forget about the result and just focus on making eating a healthy and fun activity. Here are some tips:

1) Shop together in farmer’s market to explore all the seasonal and fresh produce. Have your kids pick the vegetables they are willing to try. Discover their likes/dislikes. Give your child the opportunity to be the guide in the produce section.

2) Incorporate new vegetables into the food they already love (Try adding a fresh vegetable to pasta/noodle soup, pasta salad, quesadillas, fried rice or lasagnas).

3) Serve veggies in a novel way such as Wrapping it up in the form of tacos, burritos, rainbow veggie roll-ups along with their other favorite ingredients.

Involving your kids in the process so that they're learning about good nutrition and are empowered to make healthy choices.

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