Its 7 AM and the school bus will soon arrive. Your kids have just enough time to get dressed up, gulp down a glass of milk and then they will rush to the bus. Hence, they miss out on the nutritional benefits of having a good breakfast. For mothers, the next “window of opportunity” for giving balanced nutrition to their young ones is the next meal – that’s “tiffin time in school”.
Lot of mothers, after opening their kids’ bags, find their tiffin half eaten and on asking most common reply by the kids is “my friend’s tiffin was tastier and more attractive than mine”. The demand of kids to have varied tiffin is very challenging for mothers. During this age kids become choosy and develop strong likes and dislikes. Usually they have a short attention span for eating and mothers should try to utilize that duration to the maximum.
Few points which will help you in planning your kid’s tiffin in a better way –
1. Do involve your kids while planning and executing tiffin menu
2. Try and create colourful dishes. Use colorful ingredients like vegetable purees, fruit pulp, beetroot / carrot pulp , palak ( spinach), apple puree etc
3. Make sure you include maximum nutrients and food groups in their tiffin, like whole wheat pancakes with apple and carrot sauce.
4. Foods should be a combination of carbohydrate, fat, protein and fiber; for example vegetable paneer sandwich, sweet potato and peanut cutlets.
5. Avoid serving liquids or juices with tiffin.
6. In order to increase the energy content of the food, add nuts, eggs, cottage cheese (paneer) etc.
7. Make food attractive by creating different shapes like triangle, circle, square.
8. Always serve finger foods to kids which they find easier to pick and eat.
9. Do not serve foods which take too long to chew like big serving of salads and fruits. They get limited time to finish the tiffin in school.
10. Since children eat better in company of their peers, tiffin box is a good way to introduce new varieties in the meals.