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    • cal20-August-2022 adminTarishi Shrivastava

      School Tiffin- A Thoughtful Selection!

    • The most intriguing part of the school day is recess, when kids excitedly await opening their lunchboxes and gorging on the food. But instead, they are more interested in sharing what they have in their tiffin. 

      Kids turn out to be very picky when it comes to food, and yes, we cannot fool them by giving them nutritional supplements stating it is a snack! But, as a mother, you cannot just skip that your little munchkin needs those nutrients. 

      Healthy food looks or tastes terrible; this is our kids' only myth and the exclusive excuse they make when asked to eat some nutritional food. 

      In the initial stages, when your child is growing physically and mentally, they need a good balance of vitamins and minerals to have strong growth. In addition, a child spends around 5-6 hours in school. Hence, the food in his tiffin should be fulfilling enough.

      Here in this blog, we will talk about nutritious and tasty food choices for your little one to make your life easier.

      You can start by giving them fruits and starchy food in the tiffin box. Keep the lunch box balanced with vitamins and fibre in good quantity.

      Maintain a healthy balance of vitamins and fibre in the lunch meal. Parents must consider nutritional needs and food preferences for their children's lunch boxes. 

      They sure wish for delicious and mouth-watering food to enjoy over lunchtime and share with their pals. 

      Since not all recipes fall under the category of "favourite food" or are easy to make, the mothers have to struggle every day to figure out healthy yet tasty food options for the tiffin.

      Let us end your search here because we have compiled a list of lunchbox recipes to help you make delicious and healthy food for at least a week.

      Table of contents

      1. Point To Be Noted Before Making School Tiffin

      2. Involve Your Children In Healthy Choices

      3. Things not to put in school lunches

      4. Healthy Recipes

      5. The Final Say

      6. FAQs

      The hard part deciding what to make. Well, you're mistaken.  The struggle is to convince your kid so that they can eat this dish. 

      Although they are demanding and picky eaters, convincing them of all the proper nutrients for healthy growth and development is still vital.

      Points To Remember When Making A School Lunch

      • Do not experiment with new dishes the kids have not tasted since there is a possibility that children would not want to consume them.
      • Ensure it is vegetarian- Egg has various benefits and can be perfect for kids. You can add egg as a part of their lunch but do not include meat or other non-vegetarian foods because the food may result in food sickness or a bad smell.
      • Taste everything before packing it- Ensure that the food is adequately seasoned and is of the right consistency.
      • The food should be tasty- Every mom does her best to make the best meal for her children. But occasionally, after reaching room temperature, some foods lose their deliciousness and change in texture. So, provide nutrition that tastes good even at room temperature.

      Note: Before placing the meal in the tiffin, make sure to get it to room temperature.

      • The food must be nourishing- We must ensure that all their meals, including their tiffins, contain sufficient nourishment. Good choices are paneer-stuffed or cutlets or parathas. Also, pick recipes with nutritious ingredients like Rava, gram flour, whole wheat flour, etc.
      • The child should choose the food- Adding some of the children’s favourite ingredients raise the quality of simple recipes to new heights. So add cheese or sweet corn for a better taste.

      Involve Your Children In Healthy Choices

      • Try to involve them in the packing or preparing process. It will make the kids feel connected, as they are putting some effort into making their tiffin and will be eager to finish it. By doing this, you not only make the food more appealing, but you also give the kids a sense of responsibility.
      • Discuss with your kids what they want to pack in their lunchbox. Then, together, decide on healthier options for food and drink and what will go in the lunchbox.
      • Together, make a shopping list. Then, let your kids pick items from the list when you take them to the store.

      Things To Avoid Adding In Lunch Box

      Certain food items should avoid added to your kids' lunch box, 

      • All Sugary Beverages- It is vital to avoid items like packaged fruit juices, fruit drinks, iced teas, and soft drinks in a lunch box. These are high in sugar and energy (kilojoules), which might cause weight gain and oral health issues in kids.
      • Dried fruit "straps" and bars-  These foods are heavy in sugar, low in fibre, and can stick to children's teeth, resulting in dental problems.
      • Desserts, chocolate and muesli bars, are usually high in sugar and fat. 
      • Savoury biscuits that are "oven-baked." These can appear to be a good choice, but some are equally salty and fatty as crisp.

      Recipes For A Healthy Lunch

      1. Broccoli Paratha

      Broccoli paratha is a fantastic combination of health and a tasty lunch box meal. The paratha is stuffed with vegetables and herbs. These parathas will make your kids' lunch happy.

      Ingredients

      • Chopped and blanched broccoli- ½ cup 
      • Wheat flour- 1 cup 
      • Mixed herbs- 1 tsp 
      • Chilli flakes- 1 tsp 
      • Salt to taste
      • Chopped garlic- 1 tsp 
      • Oil for cooking

      Preparation Method

      1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and knead a soft dough. 

      2. Divide the dough into equal parts to make medium size parathas. 

      3. Heat the tava and cook the paratha using oil, same as usual paratha. Let it gets a bit crispy. 

      4. Pack it with green chutney.

      2. Savoury Bread Pancakes

      A yummy option for your kids’ lunch! These savoury bread pancakes will make not only your kids’ lunch tasty but also nutritious. You can make it in either sweet or can mix vegetables and species with it. 

      Ingredients

      • Bread slices- 10
      • Milk ½-1 cup or as required
      • Onions grated- 2 (chopped fine)
      • Capsicum-1 (diced)
      • Tomatoes- 2 (chopped and remove seeds)
      • Green chillies- 1 tbsp (chopped)
      • Ginger-1 tbsp (grated)
      • Coriander leaves for garnishing  
      • Potato- 1 (medium size, peeled and grated)
      • Salt to taste
      • Red chilli powder- ½ tsp 
      • Garam masala- ½ tsp 
      • Oil for shallow frying

      Preparation Method

      1. Remove the corners of the bread slices.

      2. Crush the bread slices roughly and soak them in 1/4-1/2 cup milk for 10 minutes.

      3. Combine all the other ingredients to the soaked bread except milk and oil. Mix well.

      4. Make a thick batter using milk. Add a little milk at a time and enough milk to make a thick batter.

      5. The batter will be sticky but do not dilute it; otherwise, it will be too soft to retain shape.

      6. Use a non-stick pan or griddle, heat it and grease it lightly with oil.

      7. Spread the batter on the pan and give it a round shape with the help of a spoon.

      8. Spread a little oil around the pancake to keep it from sticking to the pan.

      9. Cook it on slow flame till the base turns golden brown.

      10. Flip it and cook the other side. 

      11. Pack it with ketchup or green chutney.

      3. Hung Curd Sandwich

      Hung curd sandwich is the perfect lunch for kids. It is a mix of healthy gut ingredients to keep your kids healthy. In addition, it is quick and easy to make for the early morning school rush.

      Ingredients

      • Slices of bread (brown)- 4
      • Hung Curd ¾ cup from curd -1 1/2 cup
      • Onion chopped- 1
      • Tomato chopped-1 (remove seeds)
      • Half capsicum (chopped)
      • Grate half carrot 
      • Chopped 1 green chilly 
      • Finely chopped fresh coriander leaves 
      • Salt to taste
      • Red chilli powder as per taste
      • Chaat masala as per taste 
      • Oregano - optional 
      • To grease bread lightly, use butter/ghee 

      Preparation Method

      To make hung Curd

      1. To make hung curd, hang 1 1/2 cups of regular curd in a muslin/cotton cloth in a strainer. 

      2. Keep a bowl under a sieve to collect the liquid. 

      3. Keep this curd and the sieve in the fridge for 3-4 hours so that all liquid separates from the curd. You get a thick cheese-like curd called hung curd. 

      Note: Keeping it in the fridge ensures that the curd does not get sour.

      To make the sandwich

      1. Take all the chopped vegetables in a wide pan.

      2. Add hung curd to it.

      3. Mix all the spices and salt

      4. Grease bread slices lightly on one side. Apply a thick layer of hung curd mixture to the bread.

      5. Grill in a sandwich maker or tawa.

      6. Pack it with green chutney or tomato ketchup.

      4. Kale Chane Kebab

      These yummy savoury kebabs are perfect for your kids’ lunch. It keeps their tummy full with nutritious and healthy ingredients. They are also beneficial, gluten-free, fibre-rich, and even diabetic-friendly. 

      Ingredients

      • Soaked overnight 1/2 cup Kale Chane/brown chickpeas/Bengal gram
      • Onion 1/2 - 1 (roughly chopped)
      • Garlic- 2-3 cloves
      • Ginger- ½ inch
      • Green chilli- 1 (seed removed and roughly chopped)
      • Salt to taste
      • Red chilli powder- ¼ tsp
      • Chaat masala or lemon juice
      • Garam masala (a pinch)
      • Chopped fresh coriander leaves Oil

      Preparation Method

      Preparing Chane

      1. In 1½ cup of water, pressure cook or boil kale chane for 10 to 15 minutes or 4 to 5 whistles until they become soft. Add salt according to your taste. 

      2. Let it cool down, drain the chana, and do not throw the water.

      3. You can either make it as soup or add this to curries.

      To make kebab

      1. Combine the drained chane, onions, green chillies, ginger, and garlic in a blender.

      2. Blend it until it is smooth or coarse as per your wish.

      3. Take it out in a bowl. 

      4. Add chopped coriander leaves, red chilli powder, and chaat masala mix it well.

      5. Taste and check for seasoning. 

      6. Scoop out a spoonful of mixture in your hands and give them the shape of patties or any required shape. 

      7. Place the patties on a plate and keep them in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

      8. Heat the tava, add little oil, keep the kebab on it, and cook until it turns golden brown on both sides.

      5. Roti Noodles

      Roti noodles are a great combination of Chinese food with Indian ingredients. Cut and fry the roti into noodles strips, and mix it with all the vegetables and sauces for your kids’ tasty lunch box meal. 

      Ingredients

      • Roti or chapatti or parantha- 2-3
      • Onions sliced- 2
      • Carrot thinly sliced- 1
      • Capsicum sliced- 1
      • Garlic finely chopped- 3-4
      • Chilly sauce- 1 tsp 
      • Vinegar- ½ tsp 
      • Tomato ketchup- 1 tbsp 
      • Soy sauce ½ tsp 
      • Salt to taste
      • Red chilli powder- ¼ tsp 
      • Chaat masala- ¼ tsp 

      Preparation Method

      1. Slice all the vegetables.

      2. Cut the roti into thin strips of noodles.

      3. Pour oil into a pan, and heat it.

      4. Cook onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes.

      5. Add capsicum and carrot, and cook it on high flame for 2-3 minutes(stirring continuously).

      6. Add all the sauces, salt, chilli powder, and chaat masala.

      7. Add thin roti strips and mix them so that the sauces coat the roti strips properly.

      8. Roti noodles are ready.

      Dietician’s Recommendation

      Make a list of everything your child eats. After that, base your lunches on that list. Try to provide as many variations as possible. 

      What your child eats at school makes up for the whole energy for the rest of the school hours. So a nutritious lunch makes your child happy and healthy simultaneously, which results in a good day at school for your child. 

      The Final Say

      Try to make a variety, instead of a single food. It should be in the combo, which makes it healthy colourful & attractive. Do not panic if your child suddenly refuses to eat something they do not like; fussy eating is normal. A quick meal is ideal for a lunchbox.

      FAQs

      1. How can I make school lunch more nutritious?

      Follow these points:-

      1. Offer fruits and vegetables each day.

      2. Increase whole-grain food options.

      3. Offer only fat-free or low-fat milk options.

      4. Serve proper food portions that meet students' calorie needs.

      5. Reduce saturated fats, trans fats, and sodium.

      2. Why should school lunch be healthier?

      Research shows that free or reduced-price school lunches reduce food insecurity, obesity, and poor health.

      3. Why are school lunches still so unhealthy?

      Most meals are not prepared from scratch and do not use fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead, frozen and ready-to-make food is preferred and then heated before serving. Unfortunately, this food preparation creates meals that are far from fresh and appealing.

      4. What is a healthy lunch to eat every day?

      Surrounding the lunch with protein and deep green vegetables is the healthiest way. Fresh spinach, albacore tuna, chopped almonds, tomatoes and avocados with a low-calorie dressing are delicious options to add to the list. 

      5. How do you keep food warm for lunch?

      To keep food warm in a lunch box, prefer using:

      • Insulated containers
      • Boiled water
      • Foil
      • Hot water bottle
      • Insulated thermal bags
      • Insulated lunch box
      • Separate hot and cold items

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