Eating Healthy Food At School: Lunch Box Recipes for Kids

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A wholesome, nutritious meal is the fuel to sustain a child through the day at school but most parents struggle with busy morning schedules. This leads to compromising on the nutritional aspect of their child’s lunch as they are sent off with either money to buy lunch, ready-made foods or a quick snack which might be nutritionally deficient. This translates to low energy levels and poor concentration in class.

Healthy Food for Kids Lunch-Box

Families can successfully provide healthy food for lunches with some planning and if need be with some external help. Shopping and stocking necessary healthy food items over the weekend can make the process less time consuming.

Nutritionists suggest that to keep children active through the day, a lunch should include foods from at least three of the five food groups:

  • Cereals and grains
  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Milk and milk products
  • Meat, poultry, fish, eggs and vegetarian alternatives (pulses/ legumes)
  • Fats and sugars

Some Healthy Meal Ideas:

  • Sandwiches + Fruits
  • Idli/ Plain Dosa/ Green Moong Dosa/Uttapam + Veg sambhar + fruits
  • Chappati + 1 protein (pulses/ legumes/ non-veg) + 1 Vegetable/ Mixed salad
  • Mixed vegetable noodles or Pasta + fruit yogurt
  • Stuffed paranthas/ Methi thepla/ rotis made with grated carrots or beetroot + veg raita
  • Riced based dishes +Raita+ salad – Veg biryani/ Chicken pulao/ Tomato rice/ Veg Khichdi
  • Scrambled Tofu/ Paneer bhurji + Chappatis + salad

Snacking Options:

  • Boiled vegetables + a curd based dip or Hummus
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Fruits pieces with curd/ fruit yogurt
  • Fruit salad/ jelly/custard
  • Boiled eggs
  • A light sandwich ( peanut butter + jam/ green chutney + cheese/butter)
  • Til Chikki
  • Occasionally a slice of cake or muffin/cup cake – preferably made with banana+ walnut / carrot/ nuts and raisins
  • Boiled sweet corn ( with only basic seasonings or as a corn salad with cucumber, carrots, tomato)
healthy food for kids

Few Lunch Box Recipes for Kids:

1. Hummus (A sandwich spread or dip)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup soaked and boiled chickpeas
  • Tahini paste (roasted sesame seeds/til made into a paste with olive oil)
  • Olive oil- Min 2 Tb spoons
  • Lemon Juice (1/4th cup)
  • Garlic 3-4 cloves
  • Pepper/chilli powder
  • Salt

Process:

  • Grind all ingredients to a paste in a mixer/blender
  • Can be stored for 3-4 days if refrigerated.

2. Peanut Butter (sandwich spread)

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups Peanuts
  • Cooking oil – 2 Tbsp
  • Sugar/honey- as per taste
  • Salt – as per taste
  • 1 Tsp Cocoa powder/ cinnamon powder (optional)

Process:

  • Roast and skin peanuts
  • Grind peanuts in mixer while gradually adding oil
  • Add rest of the ingredients and blend till smooth.

3. Moong Dosa

Ingredients:

  • Soaked Green moong
  • Ginger- 1 inch
  • 1-2 green chillies
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 Tbsp Rice flour
  • Oil
  • Salt

For tempering (optional)

  • Asafoetida/hing
  • Mustard seeds
  • 1 spoon urad dal

Process

  • Grind soaked green moong with ginger and green chillies.
  • Add some water and rice flour to this paste to get a Dosa batter consistency.
  • Finely chop the onions and add to the batter.
  • Heat oil and add the ingredients for tempering.
  • Add these along with salt to the batter and mix well.
  • Heat a non stick frying pan, smear some oil and pour a round ladle full of batter.
  • Spread it as thinly as possible.
  • Let it cook on one side.
  • Flip it over and cook on the other side till done.
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