One of the major crisis situation for a mother is ‘what to make for tomorrow’s tiffin?’ there must not be a single mother who has not faced this situation!
In India, almost every person going out say for a job/college/school carries tiffin. So giving healthy and sound nutritious food in the tiffin is very important. Food should be easy to eat, should not be messy, should have good amount of nutrients like calories, proteins, vitamins to boost up the energy for rest of the day.
It is very important for kids to have healthy and nutritious meals during their school hours.
They need food to maintain their energy, concentration power which can only be provided from tiffins.
Mothers face this thought ‘what new to make every day?’ every night. So giving leftover sabzi-rotis or a particular dish every now and then may not work. When kids are back home, mothers often end up opening the tiffins with poor food laying untouched as it was at the time of packing.
Time is the most important thing to manage and it is what getting lost by mothers. They want to give healthy tiffins to their child but due to other issues like job, work, or other duties they cannot allot lot of time for making tiffins for their little ones or others. So eventually they give food which cost least amount time to prepare or give ready to eat food which could possibly be junk.
Another issue is peer pressure. ‘Aman always brings stuff like sandwich or pawbhaji’ ‘Rita’s short tiffin is always loaded with chocolates and candies’ ‘why do I get this boring food everyday’? Because friends are getting such foods, kids want something likewise in their tiffins. Mothers should teach their child that they should always eat what is healthy for them.
Some tips to make your kids’ lunch break a fun and nutritious hour.
1. Keep it uncomplicated. In India, there’s a tendency to pack a heavy meal, gravy, daal. But you would do your kids a whole lot of good if you kept the tiffin wholesome, but dry. This way, your kid will not fear the lunch break getting a bit too messy. Paneer, cheese, or tofu sandwiches are always a safe bet.
2. Take kids along to the store and ask them what they would prefer to take to school. Take them to every counter – be it the fruit segment or vegetables or the ready-to-eat packet counter. Listen to what they have to say as that will give you an idea to fulfil the necessary criteria for healthy, but tasty tiffin.
5. Pack a tiffin of raw veggies like carrots, baby corn, beets with a spicy or cheesy dip. Variations in it will keep your kids happy, and also provide them with some health quotient.
6. Make a twist with the veggies kids don’t like to eat. Eg, making palak paratha or palak soup with generous amount of cream if kid doesn’t like spinach. Or make a bottle gourd paratha if its sabzi is not loved at all. P.S. – don’t tell your child that you are doing these tricks otherwise he won’t even open the tiffin.
7.Make a dish very nutritious yet delicious and name it something exotic so kids are attracted towards it.
8.Always prepare different types of chutneys at home and store it. Whenever you have to hurry for tiffin and don’t have time to make a subzi, layer a chutney on roti, grate some carrot, cabbage, cheese or Paneer, wrap it, grill it and voila…meal ready !!
SOME TIFFIN OPTIONS AND THEIR BENEFITS
|· Pohe, veg upma, stir fried rice with veggies, oats upma, sheera, daliya/ vermicelli upma, dadpe pohe, idli chutney,||High in carbohydrates, beneficial to sports and underweight children. And they are easy to make. It is a more suitable option for breakfast or snacks tiffin.|
|· Mix flour ghawan, thalipith, theplas, mix veg parathas, Franky, veg.cutlet, soya burger, soya nuggets Franky.||It gives good quality of proteins, fibers and energy. If veggies added to it, it’s an excellent option for tiffin plus it easy to pick and eat.|
|· Egg omlette-chapati, omlette bread, French toast, egg sandwich, bhurji-roti, paneer sandwich, paneer franky. Chicken sandwich for adults or kids if allowed in schools||It gives Best quality proteins and is an ideal food as it contains 2 major groups cereal and protein.|
|· Sprouts salad or sprouts chat, steamed corn, fruits, Dry fruits, chana-futane, roasted peanuts, laadu, Khandwi, dhokla, chutney sandwich,chiwdas, khakra with chutney.||Should be given for short break tiffins, they are light, easy to pick & eat and provide various nutrients.|
Kids/adults generally carry two tiffins, 1 for long lunch break and another for short one.
Lunch tiffin, ideally, should always be filled with 5 types of food groups i.e. carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, fruits, and energy givers (fats/sugar). The BMR of children is high during day time so to meet the energy needs tiffin should provide sound nutrition.
Short tiffin is to fill the stomach and to give energy. It should be light, and again, nutritious. Finger foods are mostly preferred in this tiffin as kids gulp down food as fast as they can and run for playing and adults can rush back to their meetings.
Here are some examples of what should be given in these tiffins-
LUNCH TIFFIN OPTIONS-
- Sprouts usal + chapati-
it provide complete proteins and fibres. Sprouts also has increased amount of vitamin C and B complex. They are also rich in calcium. Kids like them very much so can be given twice or thrice a week.
- Leafy vegetables adding gram flour + chapati–
Leafy vegetables are low calorie and very nutritious. They give calcium and iron along with fibers. Addition of besan, increases protein content as leafy veggies lack in proteins.
- Egg bhurji/paneer bhurji/soya curry/ soya granules bhurji + chapati,
This meal provides excellent quality proteins and enough calories. It should be teamed up with vegetable salad to provide fiber.
- Mix flour chapati (soybean + wheat+ Bengal gram) + any veg-
Addition of besan/soya flour can increase the quality of proteins. Or addition of nuts chutney also can be practiced.
- Chapati + bhaji+ chutney + salad-
This is an ideal tiffin, as it contains all 5 food groups.
- Or simply provide a square meal including big portion of salad, chapati/rice, a vegetable, a portion of dal or sprouts, and curd or buttermilk. This option is more suitable for adults who are looking for a healthy meal to keep their weight/health in check.
SHORT TIFFIN OPTIONS-
- Ghawan, mixed dal chilas, thalipith, dosa, small uttappas,
- khandwi, dhokla, veg.cutlet, idli chutney, khakra, thepla, muthiya, chutney roti
- cheese sandwich, Peanut butter sandwich, chutney sandwich, egg sandwich.
- Can give sandwiches with coleslaw for kids. For adults you can replace hung curd in place of mayonnaise.
- Home made laddus and wadis like coconut-beet wadi, coconut carrot burfi.
- Beet/pumpkin/carrot puris, ragi sheera, moong sheera, modak, desi ghee and multigrain cookies for kids or people who are seeking weight gain.
- Dry fruits, roasted chanas, makhanas, chiwdas.
Try and avoid giving these foods in tiffins-
- Biscuits, cake, cookies, naankatai, cream roll, pattice
- Farsan, noodles, wafers, bobby, packed chips and other fried snack.
- Bread-jam, pickle bread, ketchup-bread, bread-butter, bread-margarine, bread-ghee-sugar
- Laddus made with sugar syrup/vanaspati, shankarpali, chirote, sweets from market made with khoa, or sugar syrup.
- Frozen foods, ready to eat foods.
For more information you can check my video on my you tube channel –