Pleasant surprises always light up our lives. Tiffins for the little ones are no exceptions. Who likes to eat the same food every day?Tiffin meals for the children need to be a more planned out one, because firstly, the child should enjoy it; and secondly , because the tiffin does not keep warm till lunch break, we should give something that retains its attractiveness even when cold.Not only should the tiffin have different menu on different days, it should also be nutritious.From my own experience, I can provide a few tiffin ideas, which can be tried for the fussy little ones-
- Monday- Stuffed paratha with a different filling every week. It can be potato, caulifloer, radish, methi, spinach or paneer paratha.Roll the paratha with a little sauce inside, to make it easy for the child to handle. A few chips can be given with the paratha just to keep the child’s interest.
- Tuesday- Chowmein(boiled with a little oil, to avoid stickiness) with lots of vegetables( small pieces of capsicum, carrot,cabbage,cauliflower,potato, french bean),or Poha, decorated with coriander leaves, raisins and some namkeen like sev,or Murmura(also called parmal or mudi) mixed with namkeen sev,peanuts & raisins,or Macroni(boiled with a little oil) with small pieces of vegetables and boiled egg. One or two buiscuits with any of the above.
- Wednesday- Sandwitch with different fillings like jam, butter, butter with sugar, sauce, vegetables(cucumber, onion, tomato). A few kurkure or crax etc.
- Thursday- Buttered roti with sauce, salted cucumber, tomato and onion rolled into it, or Paneer roll, or Idlis. A little of any namkeen.
- Friday- Puri with potato sabzi, paneer sabzi,suji halwa, potato fingers or deep fried peas. One or two favorite buiscuits of the child.
Some seasonal fruit should be given daily.If the child takes fruits regularly at some other time of the day, then fruits in the tiffin is not required. (Avoid maggi,as it gets sticky when cold.Also avoid giving gravy items, curd etc. which may spill.Full packets of junk food is an absoulute No!)
Many parents complain about their children not finishing the tiffin in school. Many complain that the child has a poor appetite. Every person has different appetite. It depends on the body structure and activities of the person. Same is true with children. Every child feels hungry; the food given may not be appealing to him.He/she may not eat his own tiffin , but he/she may enjoy his friend’s tiffin. It therefore needs some planning and effort to make the meal attractive and healthy at the same time. The atmosphere, the mood of the child evrything counts.Too much scolding and forcing the child to eat at home may also make meals repulsive for the child.Praise the children if they finish the food. Try to fathom the reason if they don’t.
Wishing every child a happy tiffin time!