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Apr 10

5 ideas for tiffin/ lunch box for kids

I remember my school days, when the highlight of my day used to be the recess. This was the one time where there was no need to listen to someone trying to make us knowledgeable, but relax, and of course enjoy the lunchbox, or in our case, snack-box. I have heard a lot of mothers complaining about the fact that kids don’t eat what they are given, resulting in the fact that they do not get the required nutrition necessary. (I was one of those kids ;))

Interesting lunchboxes for healthy kids

I think the most important thing for kids is variety and presentation. When it comes to food, you cannot give them the same thing each day and expect them to be excited about it. Innovation and a little bit of creativity goes a long way in ensuring that kids love their snacks and keep asking for more.

Here are a couple of ideas for snacks-whether packed for school or for serving when the evening hunger pangs strike.

1. Veggie sandwich: Vegetable sandwiches are a great way of getting kids to eat some of the vegetables they would shy away from otherwise. The trick is to prepare the sandwich in a way that the child cannot tell what vegetables are in it, and add a little bit of dressing to ensure that the taste buds are catered to.

Use any vegetables you want-carrots, cucumber, cabbage, tomato and sweet bell peppers (these are great to add color and crunchiness).

Take about 2 tbsp. cheese spread, add salt and all the vegetables except tomatoes. Blend in blender. Cho tomatoes in small pieces and add to mix. Use whole wheat bread if possible to make it healthy, else if your child does not like the taste, use sandwich bread. Fill the sandwiches. Cut into quarters.

2. Veggie roll: Another option in case you want to avoid bread is a veggie roll.

Heat oil in a pan. Add 1 medium chopped onion and 2 cloves shredded garlic and sauté till onions turn translucent. Add vegetables-you can use beans, carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, or any other vegetables you like. Make sure they are chopped finely and use equal proportions. Add 2 tbsp. coriander powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp red chilly powder and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and sauté for 3-4 minutes on high. Don’t over cook them since the roll tastes best if the vegetables have a crispiness to them.

Once done, take a roti and fill with the vegetable mix prepared above. Roll tightly and secure with aluminum foil or sandwich paper. Roll it in a way that the bottom is secure and the vegetables will not fall out and the top can be found easily and peeled back.

3. Chinese fried rice– Use this recipe for fried rice. Its a great dish and children love the variety. Again add the vegetables you like. With rice, you can add veggies like broccoli, carrot, cabbage, peas, beans, corn, etc. The list is endless.

4. Paneer bhurji roll– A tasty and healthy variant of the vegetable roll is the paneer bhurji roll. Its great when you want to add something new to the menu. Make bhurji and roll the same way as the vegetable roll. Here is how to make bhurji.

Mash  cottage cheese or paneer into about about 1.5 cups of small crumbled pieces and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tsp cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle. Add 1 medium finely chopped onion and sauté till it is golden brown. Add 1 small finely chopped tomato and sauté till tomatoes become soft and pulpy. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tbsp. coriander powder, 1 tsp red chilly powder and salt to taste. Saute for another 2 minutes. Add the crumbled paneer and mix well. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or till dry.

5. Vegetable Upma-  Upma is a delicious south Indian snack, prepared with rava or sooji. It can be a clever way of making sure your kids eat the vegetables you want them to eat.

Dry roast about 1 cup of sooji or rava in a pan. You can skip this step if you buy roasted sooji. Chop the vegetables finely and set aside. Vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, peas, beans and potato go well with upma.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil and add about 1 tsp mustard seeds (rai) and a pinch of asafetida. Once the mustard seeds begin sizzling, break and add a dry red chilly and 4-5 curry leaves. Add 1 finely chopped medium-sized onion and sauté tll it becomes translucent. Add 1 tsp shredded ginger and sauté. Add all the vegetables and salt and cook for a few minutes. (Do not over cook). Add 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, add ½  tsp of  ghee or clarified butter. Add the sooji/rava gradually to the boiling water while stirring continuously to avoid it from making lumps.

When you have a smooth mixture, cover and cook for about 5-7 minutes.

Those were 5 ideas for sneaking in the nutrition with a tasty camouflage. Tell me if it works. Leave a comment below.

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  1. Weekly Update | Saumya's Kitchen

    […] that insecticide residue can do and where it makes sense to spend on organic food. I also presented 5 different ideas for lunch box for kids where I put in 5 options to sneak in nutrition to your kids diet without having to compromise on […]

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