What’s for lunch? – Dabbe mein kya hai? This question haunts the parent category across the globe. What is that perfect meal that I can pack in my kids’ lunch box so that it doesn’t come back UNTOUCHED!? Does this kind of meal even exist? How can I turn this into a win-win situation over na-tera-na-mera, beechme mandavli.
To begin with, if the kids are addicted to eating outside food, there are two reasons:
1. Parent’s themselves pass cooking at home over zomato/justeat/skip-the-dishes.
2. Your child is disconnected with real food.
Few rules to follow:
Follow these 5 simple rules to make your and your child’s life easier.
- Cook at least two meals at home, every day, from scratch. No time? Ask your domestic help to cut, chop, and do some prep. Maybe you can prep and have them cook it for you. There is no excuse not to healthy. Like I say, ‘I don’t have time’ is the adult version of ‘My dog ate my homework’.
- PLAN PLAN PLAN! We plan everything in life, from wedding to kids to retirement. We plan our holidays, we plan our meetings, we even plan our work day! Then why not meals? Food is that ultimate source of energy that helps us plan all these other things in life. It will only and only benefit us by planning our meals. We will not fall for roadside food shacks, we will not bring home packaged food and we will be able to save money! 💲💲💲
- Kids usually love grandmother’s cooking. They like to eat anything she makes. So learn a few recipes from the grandmother, and recreate them with your touch. Show off your cooking flair and relaunch the Grandma Version 2.0.
- Plan a cooking night with your children. Whatever is their favorite junk food- pizza, pasta, chaat, Chinese, make it at home WITH THEM. Download and print recipes, play a short video, everyone wear an apron and a chef’s hat, delegate prep jobs, let the kids feel and touch the vegetables, let them smell the cooking, let them feel the real essence of cooking and eating fresh food. This will not only help them understand where and how the food is made, but they will have profound respect towards it.
- Go for family picnics to nearby villages, fruit gardens, or family-owned farms. Away from the neon signs, bright lights, and artificial greenery in a mall, a visit to a waterfall or a zoo or a trek will help the kids release their energy into the nature. The feeling of oneness with the nature triggers happy hormones that assist in their growth, make them less fussy, help increase concentration and become fast learners.
“Okay, so we do all this. But what do we ultimately pack in their lunch box????” Keep Calm and Read On!
Here are some recipes that are fun, colourful and easy to make for lunch box.
Crumble leftover dhokla (homemade), add sev, pomegranate seeds, cilantro, green chili, grated coconut, sesame seeds, curry leaves tadka.
Some sort of rice dish
Pulao, biryani, fried rice with veggies, masala bhat, lemon rice etc.
Raita (usually to go with pulao or biryani) – carrot raita, beetroot raita, boondi raita, pineapple raita, pomegranate raita
Homemade snack item
Chakli, potato chips, banana chips, chivda, khakra, murukku, shankarpali, laddu, sev etc can be an interesting add on for your kids’ lunch box.
Puris (cut into fun shapes) and bhaji
Fruit skewers, fruit salad, peeled, cut fruit (local and seasonal- avoid fancy fruits)
‘Cheat Day Special’
Homemade samosa, vada pav, pav bhaji, pasta, noodles- Remember everything homemade!!
Make your own roti using different kind of flours, maybe maida wraps once every 2 weeks for your kids’ lunch box. Cheese Sandwich wrap (all the ingredients for making a cheese sandwich like tomato, onion, cucumber, beetroot, capsicum, potato and cheese wrapped in a homemade roti), Chicken wrap (Leftover chicken curry pieces, veggies, chaat masala), Pav Bhaji wrap, Frankie wrap, Tandoori Chicken wrap, Malai Paneer wrap etc Create your own wraps.
A mix of dry fruits (unsalted)
Cashews, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, figs, kharik (dry dates) etc.
Avoid packaged foods, juices, crackers, cheese, breads and cereals. Also do not mix dairy and fruits together. Keep everything local and sustainable.
Another quick tip is to follow the hashtag #mittuslunchbox on Instagram. Sharmilee Prakash (@sharmispassions) has a great Insta page showcasing her talent and ideas for lunch box. If you have more such ideas and would like to share with our readers, send a message or comment below. Plus don’t forget to share, subscribe and follow for more such amazing posts! Till then, enjoy #metime.
Also read: Easy to pack lunches for the trip