A proper meal in the lunch box will provide your child the nutrition they require each day, but all the efforts to make lunchbox healthy will go in vain if it remains uneaten. Uninteresting lunches are a proven reason for skipping meals and so this should be kept in mind while packing their lunchboxes.
Include a variety of food: Only a sandwich or a vegetable should not be the choice of lunch. Lunchbox must have at least three components; a fruit, the main course and a drink. A salad or any dairy product like yogurt, cheese dip, boiled eggs or a smoothie could be added or exchanged with any of three components. Varying lunchbox menu makes it more likely to eat.
Observe your child’s diet: There is a difference in every child’s diet and eating routine. Some find it difficult to eat all at once and prefer to eat in parts, or they might find a problem eating a type of food in school. Observing this could help in making a more suitable lunch for your child.
Ask them to prepare their lunchbox: Give children some choices of food to choose from and ask them to ready up their lunch themselves. This will make sure that the food is of their choice and it would not be left over.
Include fruits: Fruits must be an essential ingredient of their lunchbox. Keep a separate airtight container for fruits. Fresh fruits are the best option; oranges, berries, plum, apples etc. are good choices for the lunchbox. Either cut in different shapes or as a whole, give them as your child likes to eat. Fruit and cream salad or a glass of fresh fruit juice can also be a good option sometimes.
Introduce creativity in food: Giving them food that is just healthy is not enough; there must be a dash of creativity in its presentation and packing too. Either cut the sandwiches and rolls in different shapes and sizes or garnish it nicely, or you can keep a small candy or a small toy as a surprise for your kid. A homemade bread pizza or a healthy banana walnut muffin can act as great add-ons to the usual lunchbox. This will make eating lunch more exciting and fun.
Add some nuts to munch: Give your kids a handful of nuts and dry fruits that they can munch during free time or recess. This will fulfill their daily protein and fiber requirements. Walnuts, almonds, cashews, or muesli with mixed nuts go really well.
Introduce rolls: Rolls that are made from whole wheat flour are a much healthier choice than biscuits and breads. Indian breads or chapattis could be easily turned into interesting rolls by adding a flavored filling. Make the filling with cheese or veggies tossed in a sauce or just crumbled eggs. These rolls will be as delicious as they would be healthy.
Give a comfortable lunchbox: Not only must the lunch but also the lunchbox should be easy to use. Too tight containers or boxes that cause spillage of food or ‘not so fancy as others’ lunchboxes might hamper your child’s eating habits. Make sure your kid is comfortable opening the lunchbox and it is easy to use.
Ask other moms too: Asking your child’s best friend’s mom or other mothers could help in getting new ideas and explore so as to make their lunch more interesting and healthy.
Some Easy Snack and Lunch RecipesHealthy Veggie and Cheese Club Sandwich
Preparation time: 20-25 min
- Brown/whole wheat bread
- Cheese slices
- Cooked vegetables (peas, potato, corn, carrots etc.)
- Cottage cheese – cubed
- Tomato ketchup
- Mayonnaise or cheese bread spread
- Cook the veggies and cottage cheese together in a small amount of oil with fewer spices or as your kid likes them to eat.
- Slightly toast the bread slices on a grill plate.
- Take a slice of bread and spread tomato ketchup on one side.
- Now place a slice of cheese and top it with lettuce.
- Add another layer of bread, spread some mayo on it and place a portion of cooked vegetables on it.
- Top it with another bread slice.
- Cut the bread in quarters so it is easy for your kid to hold.
- Use a toothpick or a stick to keep the sandwich in place.
- Add some finger chips or French fries and a tasty dip/sauce with it to make your kid’s lunchbox more interesting.
- You can use scrambled eggs or cooked chicken also as the filling.
Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 10-15 min
- Semolina – 1cup
- Curd – ˝ cup
- Chopped vegetables- tomatoes, onion, capsicum
- Chopped green chilly
- Grated ginger
- Red chili powder- ˝ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Mix well all the ingredients except oil.
- Add some water to bring the batter to dripping consistency.
- On a griddle or pan put some oil and pour the batter over it to form a pancake of about 3-4 mm thickness.
- Let it cook from one side till light brown. Spread some oil on the sides for better cooking.
- Turn it over and cook from another side as well.
- Serve with coconut chutney.
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