Growing and active kids need healthy lunch to boost their energy and to keep them alert to concentrate on their studies in the afternoon. The kids need a lunchbox that looks attractive, is easy to eat healthy and is full of variety so that they do not get bored.
Tips for a healthy lunch box
- Fresh fruit and vegetables must be included in the kid’s lunchbox. Selection of fruits must be according to the kid’s interest.
- Different types of whole grain breads, rolls, pita bread and flat breads must form a daily part of the lunch box.
- It is better to use avocado as a spread in place of butter or margarine.
- There must be a portion of dairy foods like cheese or yogurt.
- Protein s must be packed in the form of eggs, peanut butter, chick peas or lean meat.
- Chilled water is better than juices.
- The lunch box must contain cold food to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
Helpful tips for adding fresh fruit and vegetables to lunch boxes
- Kid’s like to eat fruit salad because it is colourful, full of vitamins and easy to eat. It is an ideal choice for lunch boxes.
- Different seasonal fruit with different colour, texture and taste must be given everyday.
- Frozen fruits can be put in sealable plastic bags can be given in summer.
- If whole fruit is to be given, it must be small in size for the child to hold in the hand and easily eat.
- Seedless varieties of grapes, watermelon and mandarins must be put in the lunch box.
- Tomatoes must not be put directly on the bread. It makes the bread soggy. Keep the tomato slices between the fillings.
- A dash of lemon juice will help to keep the avocado from discolouring.
- Crunchy lettuce varieties like oak and iceberg leaves and cucumbers are ideal for young kids.
- Roasted vegetables like pumpkin and sweet potatoes can form a filling of the sandwiches, wraps or rolls.
- Salad sandwiches can be made with a large range of vegetables like grated carrot, pea sprouts, and baby spinach. Celery, tomato, cucumber and avocado.
- Colourful salad can also become a portion in the lunchbox for kids.
Some ideas for lunch boxes which can be changed and altered daily according to taste and to form a variety of dishes–
Starch foods are essential for growing kids to give them energy. The nutritious meals in the kid’s lunchbox must be packed with fibre, protein, vitamins and carbohydrates. This will help in the growth of the child’s bones and give a healthy dose to their brain. Here are some examples–
Sandwiches and wraps
Homemade bread can vary between wholemeal, granary, multi-grain and white.
The fillings and toppings of wraps made for lunchbox can vary from meat, chicken, ham, tomato and other vegetables. Different types of cheese can be mixed with different vegetables to form the fillings of wraps.
Sweet can form a part of sandwich fillings with the use of jam, honey, chocolate spread etc.
Puris and paranthas
A kid’s lunchbox in India includes plain or stuffed puris or paranthas with lightly cooked vegetables and salads. They are substantial and filled with all nutrients. Pancakes or chill as made from gram flour is another choice.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruit and/or vegetables along with sandwiches and wraps should form the main part of the child’s lunch.
Salads and other items
Carbohydrate based salads like pasta salad, rice salad are a good choice for lunchboxes.
Baked items like muffins, pizza slice, mini pastry, cheese and potato roll, samosa, croissant etc. can be included occasionally for change.
Sugary drinks must be avoided and some healthy options like water, soya milk, milkshake, pure fruit juice or smoothie can be made a part of the lunchbox for kids.
Snacks are kid’s all-time favorites. These can include fruit yogurt, cold rice pudding or custard, plain yogurt, cubes of cheese or cottage cheese.
A small bag of any combination of nuts like sultanas, pumpkin seeds, almonds, dates, apricots walnuts and raisins
Conclusion—Kids must be given homemade enjoyable and healthy lunches in a variety of colors and form. The products from the market are loaded with saturated fat, calories and sodium