Get your picky eater to actually eat the lunch you pack for him with so much care instead of giving it away to friends or bringing it back home untouched. Give your child a change from mundane everyday food with these healthy and tasty lunchbox ideas for everyday of the week here.
Does your child hate his lunchbox? Does he come home with his food untouched, only to barge into the kitchen ravenously searching for something to eat? Or perhaps, unbeknownst to you, he distributes his tiffin amongst his little gang at school. While your child's ideal lunch box would consist of pizzas or burgers, you as a parent know that his choice of food does not provide the required nutrition. So what do you do? Pack him a lunch box of daal-chaaval or chapatti and vegetables day after day after day.
Who says that food can not be tasty and healthy at the same time? All that your child really wants is a change from mundane everyday food. And with limitless food options available at our disposal, why do we insist on providing our child with the same food every day? Even vegetarian options can be limitless - all you have to do is cook the same vegetables in a different way, and the entire taste and appearance changes.
Food is not just a feast for the taste buds. While we may believe it targets just one sense, it in fact targets the sense of smell, of sight, of taste and yes, of touch as well. Think about it - mushrooms do not have much of a taste by themselves, but their texture is what makes them so delectable.
Like all parents, you mean well, but just run out of ideas every now and then as to what to pack into your child's lunch box. So here are a few healthy and tasty alternatives that your child is sure to love.
Skip the white bread. Opt for brown bread instead. Visit the neighbouring bakery for a variety of options. If your child does not like regular brown bread, pick up a foot-long (baguette, roll) or pita instead. Use the same ingredients you always use while making your child a regular sandwich, but put them in a foot-long instead. Add some mayonnaise, and your child will gobble it up.
If your child likes home-cooked soup, instead of sending your child daal, try sending him soup today with garlic bread or cheese toast. (Avoid making soup from packets as they are not as healthy as fresh soup). Once again, instead of sending him regular bread, pick up multi-grain or mushroom bread for him.
Watermelon and papaya cubes, kiwi and apple slices, strawberries and grapes make a tasty fruit salad. So if your child likes fruits, let his lunchbox contain some fruits today and at least one other day of the week. You could also take pineapples, cherries and cheese cubes and string them together on a toothpick. It looks exotic and contains a multitude of nutrients to benefit your child.
Instead of water, let your child take sweet lime water (nimbu pani), buttermilk or coconut water in his water bottle a couple of times a week. Send him his favourite vegetable (subji) wrapped up in a chappati, in the style of a frankie or roll. Better yet, substitute chapattis with lightly fried (in ghee) parothis.
Most children love peanut butter sandwiches. Peanut butter is not locally available in India, and you may have to buy imported peanut butter. Optionally, it is easy to make peanut butter at home. All you need is a grinder. Take two handfuls of peanuts, a couple of garlic cloves and a little salt. Combine ingredients in a grinder and grind them till you have a paste. You can even add a little butter or oil. If your child likes it spicy, add a little red chilli powder.
Give your child a baked treat! Vegetables baked in white sauce. Instead of using maida in the white sauce, use regular wheat. It will be just as tasty, and incredibly nutritious.
Use wheat flour instead of maida in any form, be it pasta or bread.
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- The Indiaparenting Team