Archive for September 21st, 2011

The Lunch Box

Note : This post is strictly for Mommys and mothers of kids-to-be-introduced-to-schooling. Anyone else reading it is welcome to do so on their peril πŸ˜€

Firstly, this post is long due. I wanted to do it much earlier but then I thought I’ll do some nice image captures of the lunch dabba and post them here. alas, I’m much too lazy with the camera to do the needful. Hence, this post will be mainly text, with a smattering of links to lip-smacking (your kid’s at least ) dishes. So here goes –

Since the twin’s class teacher praised me for their lunch boxI’ve been talking to people around me on what their children prefer. Mostly, I received comments like, “He doesn’t eat anything at school”, “She comes back home with her box untouched”, etc. I compared this with the attitude my kids have with their lunch box and I realized I must be doing something right, because the lunch box is the twin’s incentive for going to school.Β  Once there, the teacher has to restrain them from opening up the boxes and binging immediately πŸ˜€ . Needless to say, there are extremely rare instances of my kids coming back with their lunch boxes full. Of all the stuff I give them, more than 80% is consumed on a regular basis. The 20% left back is a rarity.

So what makes the lunch box click?

My idea is :Β  1) portionsΒ  2) variety.

The above two points work hand-in-hand. Seeing a box full of things they don’t like, turns off the child’s hunger. If you want them to have chapati for lunch, make sure it isn’t the only item in the box. Knowing that there is an option to not have the chapati allows the child to let go of resentment towards it and maybe even have some of it. I try this with veggies for the twins. I know they aren’t keen on eating cooked vegetables. So how do I sneak in the roughage in their diet? I add 2 small slices of sauteed carrots (pre-steamed) along with sauteed potatoes (a sure-fire winner ALL the time). The kids may not eat all the carrots, but they will definitely bite into a few. The key here is portions. When I say ‘2 small slices’, I mean exactly that. Because I know exceeding it will be a total waste.

A child’s enthusiasm about the lunch box is directly connected to the variety that lies in it. On an average, I have 4 items in the lunch box. Not all of them take time, but they all add to the colour and attraction of the lunch box. A regular day’s lunch box for the twins comprises of the following :-

1) 1 chapati with ghee/jam/butter with a slight sprinkling of sugar , rolled and cut and halved.

(Alternately, I sometimes give a chapati roll with an omelette, or with mild pudina chutney (no chillies)

2) 2 wedges of Apple

(alternately, a wedge or two of sweet-limes or half a banana)

3) half of a boiled egg

(alternately, a couple of chicken nuggets )

4) Dry fruits/nuts (1 kaju, a few raisins brown or black, 1 soft khajoor, 1 badam)

Again, the quantities are not much. Each child gets half a chapati, half an egg, a quarter of an apple and some dry fruits. I add the dry-fruits in the little side partition of the lunch box and cover it with a tissue (which they then use to wipe their hands/face).

The point is, the lunch box contains carbs (chapati), proteins (eggs/chicken), fibre (fruits) and minerals (nuts). The bigger point is that I never realized the completeness of this collection till I typed it out right now πŸ˜€ (pure awesomeness or what?! )

Once in a week, I give them Upma/ Poha/ rice with a cheese slice.

Once in a fortnight, I give them Maggi.

Once in a month, I give them bread.

Clearly, I avoid stuff that contains maida. Even at home, we get a loaf of bread maybe once a month! Maida and its products like bread, noodles, pasta, etc make for a quick lunch item,but they are not a healthy option in the long run. I know I wont be able to keep the kids away from the ‘junk-food’ as we call it, but I’d like to delay the process as much as possible! For now, bread and biscuits are not very popular with the twins and I’m thankful to Allah for it πŸ™‚

Once in a while, I make a specialty dish like Rosti (which is totally Yum, takes little time and looks scrumptious πŸ™‚ ). But this is mostly when the kids are behaving well. The Maggi is also given in their lunch-box as a reward for good behavior! But then, they rarely behave well, so I get to save them from the noodles πŸ˜€

Anyhow, I hope this post is of some use to the Mommies who wonder what to give their precious babies for their lunch boxes. If it is, do let me know. Better still, help me improvise….send me your entries πŸ™‚

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: