For a lot of parents, lunchboxes not only can be a chore, but can also be a stressful task. The daily worry over what items to put in your child’s lunchbox is always at the back of your mind. Is it healthy and canteen approved, is the packaging environmentally friendly, will they like it or will it return home or even worse thrown in the bin?

Many parents just don’t have the time (or the inclination) to re-create something out of food that they have seen on social media and trying to check every item for the amount of fat, sodium and carbohydrates can be difficult to maintain. Many of us end up perusing the health food section carefully selecting items that state are healthy, only for them to return home in the lunchbox the next day.

And with some schools doing regular lunch box checks, parents also don’t want to be judged on the food choices they make for their child.

So with all this in mind, it’s no wonder the thought of packing lunch boxes can give you a headache.

For weeks, Miss 9 had been coming home from school asking for the monster noodles as it was a popular lunch box item amongst her school friends. Up to that point I wasn’t familiar with the product she was asking for so I jumped at chance when their was an opportunity to test out the MAMEE products.

MAMEE Australia  are committed to providing families with healthier alternative snack foods. Their snack food range includes; Monster Noodle Snacks, Monster Rice Sticks, Rice Chips, and Mister Potato Chips

To my daughter’s delight, we were given the opportunity to test the Monster Noodle snacks, which come in chicken or BBQ flavor and the Monster Rice sticks, which are Gluten free and come in cheese or vegetable flavour. Both products are available from Woolworths supermarkets and can be found in the chip aisle for the Noodle Snacks and the Gluten free section for the Rice Sticks.

About the products

Monster Noodle Snacks
The first thing you should know is that although it looks like something you need to add water to, you actually eat it dry. It comes as a dehydrated noodle with a flavour sachet to sprinkle on it before eating. It’s crunchy and contains no added MSG. It also contains corn oil, which has no trans fats and no cholesterol. It is low in saturated fats, an excellent source of vitamin E, and is also a source of linolenic acid.
The Monster Noodle Snacks have been given an amber category in the healthy canteen food strategy. This means it is recommended that these foods are eaten occasionally because in general they:

  • Have some nutritional value and have moderate levels of saturated fat and/or added sugar and/or salt

Like green products these foods can be sold in school canteens as they offer convenience and when eaten occasionally, in reasonable portions, they are a suitable snack. The individual packs weigh 25g each and come in packs of 8.

MAMEE Gluten Free Monster Rice Sticks

The Monster Rice Sticks are the gluten free snack food that is available in cheese or vegetable flavour. The rice sticks are FODMAP friendly, have no added MSG, flavour enhancers or artificial colours. Although the rice sticks contain palm oil, MAMEE ensures they use palm oil that comes from a RSPO certified supplier and that all their Mills and Plantations have been certified and confirmed, by an independent international auditor, to meet the RSPO sustainable guidelines. The rice sticks come in handy packs of 10 and the packs themselves are 20g each.

Kid Tested

Several children tested the MAMEE Snack range for the first time and all children confirmed that they like both the Monster Noodle Snacks and the MAMEE Gluten Free Rice Snacks. Many parents find it hard to find a nice tasting gluten free product and the rice snacks are very tasty, even if you aren’t gluten intolerant.
The Monster Noodle Snack seemed to be the most popular product amongst the children but also enjoyed the rice sticks. Both flavours of chicken and BBQ appealed to all the children and there wasn’t a definite favourite.

Mum Tested

I couldn’t serve a child something I wouldn’t eat myself so I made sure I mum tested both products from the MAMEE Snack Food range. Both products and flavours of each product were tasty. I actually enjoy the Gluten Free Rice Sticks over the Monster Noodles but I think in part it is due to the fact that I can’t get my head around the concept of eating a dried noodle that you don’t add water to. Must be a kid thing!

Upside

  • Guaranteed to be eaten if placed in lunch box or offered as an afternoon tea snack
  • In comparison to other snack food multipacks on the market, the Mamee snack range have less fat content per serve than other comparable snack foods.
  • They have no added MSG, no flavour enhancers and no artificial colours
  • Affordable- priced at $3.15 for 8 packs of Monster Noodle Snacks and $5.99 for 10 packs of MAMEE Gluten Free Rice Sticks.

Downside

  • The packaging for both products is quite hard to get open and if an adult struggles, children will not be able to open the packs with ease at school. To overcome this, opening the packet and placing the snacks into a reusable container or straight into a bento box style lunchbox.

In Conclusion

MAMEE Snack Food Range are definitely something that I would recommend to parents as a sometimes food. As we know, you can’t compete with whole food and fruit and vegetables, but as mentioned above when talking about lunch box headaches, it’s a great addition to healthy lunch boxes, time poor parents and fussy eaters as a sometimes snack alternative.