A Healthy Lunchbox
Lunch box packing is the biggest headache for moms and most of the time children bring back the dabbas the way it was packed. But food is fuel. Food gives energy to perform better and concentrate in studies. A hungry stomach will make the child lose focus. Healthy food also helps the child grow better. Here are some ideas and tips to help your child not bring back the lunchbox without eating. Here is an article by Wanitha Ashok, fitness expert from Bangalore on lunchbox packing.
Fruit and vegetables make a very healthy snack option and fresh fruits are easy to pack. Banana, apple, fresh strawberries, pineapple. Raw veggies such as carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, cucumber are good choice. Use special knives and cutters to cut the vegetables as good presentation will make the child want to eat it and also show off in front of their friends. You can make it look like Mickey mouse, animals, trees etc . Use your imagination. Children are basically showoffs. They like to get attention from their friends. So make sure you pack food in interesting lunch boxes and bags. Serve food with creativity and do not send anything that will spill as it will embarrass the child.
1. Lean protein is important for growth. Pack boiled eggs; beans; or lean meat such as chicken or fish, dosa or idli (this has dal), low fat curds in different fruit flavors .
2. A bottle of water is a must as it keeps your child hydrated all day.
3. Look at food labels to help you choose the products that are lowest in saturated fat, total fat, sugar and salt. Unsalted and unsweetened popcorn, Nutrition bars, homemade cookies and cakes , nuts
4. Treats like chocolate or chips should only be included occasionally, not every day.
5. During hot weather, avoid milk, yogurt, fish or meat in lunches, unless they are packed in a good-quality cooler with an ice pack/frozen water bottle (to prevent food poisoning).
6. Growing kids need plenty of starchy foods to fill them up and give them energy. Nutritious meals packed with fibre, protein, carbohydrate and vitamins will also help your child’s growing bones and give them a healthy dose of brain power for the afternoon ahead. Pack aloo /cauliflower paratas, pongal, rotis made from carrot or beetroot juice, baby idli, baby dosa, veg cutlets not deep fried but pan cooked. Include variety or the child will soon get bored.
7. Avoid sending deep fried food and rich sweets
8. Involving children in preparing their snack box the previous day will make them finish their lunch box
9. There are plenty of kids recipe books available in the market which will give you plenty of healthy recipes and presentation .It’s a good idea to try it out.
10. Try to make sure that your child at least has a nutritious breakfast and dinner – and trust that they’ll eat when they are hungry.