Guideline 7 – Healthy, tasty and easy lunch ideas
It seems simple but often becomes a daunting task to actually figure what to pack for lunch. Kids get bored easily of eating the same food and sometimes we are just plain short on time to cook fresh meals. So here are some quick ideas that are healthy, tasty and easy –
1. Roti, jaggery and ghee – excellent for both the long and the short breaks. You can give a roti with jaggery and ghee on the side or have the child spread it and make a roll of it and you have a nutrient dense dabba ready. Can even use last night’s roti. Especially good in winters or when the kid is down with cough, congestion or has low immunity. If your kid has frequent allergies, pick the liquid jaggery, it’s in season right now. In summers you have the choice of roti with ghee and sugar or its totally ok to continue with jaggery too.
2. Dahi-rice/ rice with tadka/ Fodnicha bhat/ Vagahrelu bhat/ lemon rice – Easy to cook and tastes great even when cold. Rice typically doesn’t taste great when its not piping hot but thanks to its versatile nature, give it a vaghar or tadka or mix dahi and it turns into a great snack. You can send the tadka rice with dahi or chaas that has hing or curry leaves along with a pinch of rock salt and you have a complete meal which is also a perfect mix of pre and pro-biotics. No yogurt in the market can match that. Good in all seasons, makes for a great big break snack or an after school snack.
3. Fresh fruit – Banana is my favourite, especially for growing kids, athletic kids and girls who get cramps during periods or if you have a kid whose knees hurt in the evening. Rich in minerals, packed with Vit B and rich in taste, this one is not to be missed on. Also don’t turn a blind eye to the ber, guava and amla that are in season right now or the mango, jamun, seetaphal, karvand when they come. Diversify your kid’s fruit portfolio and don’t buy into the marketing of kiwis, berries and the likes. Crucial at all ages, local fruits should be introduced as early as 2 years of age. Surely put them on your teenager’s plate. From constipation to acne and everything in between, the local, native fruits are a perfect cure for all. Good for the small break, post sports and as school bus snack.
Essentially, sit down with your child and draw up a 5 day menu. Help them pick options based on what is – Local, seasonal, traditional. And teach them to factor in for cooking time too.
Let’s teach our children to choose food based on climate resilience and not convenience.
And what should never be a part of the dabba –
1. Chocolate 2. Chips 3. Ready to eat snacks 4. Juices 5. Colas. I can go on but I think you get my point already.
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