“Will my child eat the tiffin that I have packed, or pass it on to friends or simply junked it?” For many mums it’s an everyday concern.
The school lunch is important as it provides energy to stay active and concentrate in school. While the mother wants her child to eat all of it, the child may view it as something being forced upon him. That’s why the tiffin is often brought back uneaten, or had with great reluctance. Make the school lunch box healthsome and something your child looks forward to. It must also satisfy a growling stomach. We are offering our secrets to building a better lunch box meal and healthy food for kids.
To put together a snack that is healthier, one that your child will like, bear this in mind:
1. Consider your child’s preferences:
Just list the foods your child loves but choose the healthier versions. Pizza is a popular choice. You can replace the regular refined flour (maida) base in pizza with a whole wheat base. Add lots of finely chopped veggies for the topping and finish with a limited amount of cheese. You can also try similar healthy variations with burger, pasta or kathi rolls.
2. Consider variety:
Involve your child in deciding what he would like to have the next day. Have kids help pack their own lunches. Address your child’s taste buds and appetite by keeping the food simple, adding contrast and variety. Consider food and nutrients that are needed in your child’s diet.
3. Change the shape and be creative:
Appearance and shape are important. Using lots of colour, texture, and varieties of shapes makes lunches more tempting. You can make the tiffin interesting by including colourful veggies, slicing sandwiches in different ways or making star or heart shaped tikkies. For texture you can add something crunchy or crisp.
4. Things you must avoid:
Kids like to finish their tiffins in a hurry. Avoid frills – just send one wholesome dish, which can be eaten easily and quickly. You should also avoid foods that are messy, sticky or too dry.
5. Prepare fresh food in the morning for tiffin:
It’s best to avoid foods that spoil easily or were cooked the previous night. Foods such as cold nuts and sausages must be avoided as they have a lower shelf life.
6. Keep it simple:
Simple and easy to eat food interest children. Packings that kids can open and food they can eat easily help them develop self-confidence and independence when they are eating their meals on their own.
7. Include a whole fruit too:
Children can get very hungry after school, so if there is a fruit too sitting in their bag, they are likely to have it on their way home.
8. For added nutrition, slip a handful of almonds, pistas, walnuts, or peanuts in a bag and into the child’s pocket.
9. Look for the right tiffin box:
A tiffin box should be easy to open and handle. It should also keep food safe from getting spoiled for up to 4 to 5 hours. It’s best to use airtight lunch boxes as they do not open or leak in the school bag.
Children look forward to lunch boxes that have been planned especially for them. They enjoy an occasional surprise in their lunches. So surprise your kids with something special and share your healthy lunch ideas with us. We would love to know.