With the summer vacations almost over and schools reopening, lunchboxes gain importance in every house with a school going child. All of us as parents want to see empty lunchboxes when our children come back from school. Planning and preparing them is a huge task every morning. Lunchboxes are very important in meeting a child’s nutritional needs as almost 30% of a child’s daily food intake, is in school.
Here are 6 things you should not do when it comes to packing a meal for your child’s school tiffin:
- Packing new or unfamiliar food:
The most important rule is to never pack something that your child has not eaten before. A child can feel hesitant and unsure when he/she encounters the food and can leave it untouched.
Anything new you want to try should be done at home in a comforting environment.
- Not putting fruits or vegetables:
This is especially true of parents of fussy eaters. In the hope that their child will eat, and not bring back food, you skip putting it in the lunchbox. But these are two reasons why adding fruits and vegetables is important:
- The lunchbox makes up a large chunk of your child’s nutritional needs of the day.
- Constant exposure to fruits and vegetables helps in encouraging them to eat these at some point.
- Keeping it the same:
You keep giving the same few foods to your child because you know that he/she likes it and will eat it. but, again just as previously mentioned, it is important to give a variety to encourage them to start eating a larger variety of foods.
- Not adding protein:
Proteins are an important component of a daily diet. They are after all called as the building blocks of the body for a reason. It may seem difficult to include this in a lunchbox, especially if you are a vegan. But its not really at all. Add some nut butter, tofu, seed butter in a preparation; and lo and behold, protein is now added.
- Giving too much carbohydrate:
The easiest thing to give in a lunchbox id a crbohydrate meal. Simply because these are the things that most children will eat happily. For e.g: white bread sandwich, pasta, chips, biscuits, etc. But remember that these do not provide enough nutrition, can contain too much sugar, and will leave your child feeling hungry very soon.
- Packing too much:
An important thing to remember when packing a lunchbox is the amount of time a child gets during recess to eat the food. If you pack too much food, there is a strong likelihood of it coming back uneaten or half eaten, simply because there was not enough time to finish. Sometimes seeing too much food can be scary to a young child and he/she can get overwhelmed.
I hope the above helps you in packing a good lunchbox for your child. If you need some recipe ideas for the lunchboxes, check out my website www.kanupriyakhanna.in under the blog section.
To know more or if you need further help with recipe suggestions, etc., get in touch with me, Kanupriya Khanna, one of the best Dietitians and Nutritionists in Delhi.