A question that stresses out every mother, every single day is : What to pack for tiffin tomorrow ? Planning a menu for the children’s lunch-box is a herculean task, due to the growing influence of junk food through media and peers. Children, today, are unaware of the importance of good nutrition, and indulge too much in junk food, which may be tastier but very harmful in the long run.
Keeping this in mind, prepare a 10-day cyclic menu for your child’s tiffin. This menu will serve you for a good two weeks. The key to planning a good lunch box is to focus well on the presentation (it does take some time, but you’ll notice it’s worth it) by making food look different and appealing, yet making sure it has all the essential nutrients hidden within. Here are a few examples :
(1) STUFFED PIZZA —– Grab pita bread pockets and stuff them with veggies (lightly blanched, semi-mashed style) On the top, spread the home-made pizza sauce (it is healthy as it is full of vegetables like tomato, onion, capsicum and pumpkin) and add some chicken or paneer as topping. Grate some cheese or even grated boiled egg whites and the pizza will seem like its loaded with cheese.
(2) SANDWICHES IN FANCY SHAPES & SIZES —– Make a brown bread vegetable sandwich out of usual ingredients, but cut it in fun shapes. Your child will not just take pleasure in flaunting the artistic sandwich, but also gobble it as quickly as possible, which serves both purposes ——– no leftover and a full nutritional tank.
(3) SABZI-STUFFED PARATHAS —– Knead dough with methi mutter, sai bhaji or cluster bean, some masala and knead the flour with buttermilk instead of water (this way roti/parathas will stay soft for longer) Also while making the paratha on the tawa, ad a little butter for flavour. Pack these parathas with some curd. This is a very convenient and non-messy food item to pack in a tiffin.
(4) PAV BHAJI —– is a super healthy, nutritious, tasty meal that children love to have in their tiffins. Make the bhaji a little drier, so that it is less messy, and if your child loves a little bit of spice, then pack masala pav instead of the usual ones to enhance the taste.
(5) COMBINING TWO DIFFERENT FLAVOURS —– is another great idea. For example, the dal and rice as the savoury dish and gajar ka halwa as a dessert. As long as it is home-made with moderate amounts of sugar and fat, it’s healthy. Similarly, you can pack a stuffed vegetable paratha with dal ka halwa. This way you are making sure the lunch box has vegetables, pulses, milk, etc, and children will love the sweet-savoury combo.