The lady and I glanced at each other and broke into a knowing laugh. Our “Did you finish your tiffin?” enquiry to our respective kids had received a straight “NO!” for an answer, yet again. As I walked away from her I couldn’t help wondering to myself. Am I not doing enough or should I try something new? I’m a sensible cook after all!
Whether her child is a preschooler or an adolescent, a mother’s biggest challenge is packing the right food for them. A child’s school time is divided between various mental and physical activities. Proper nutrition is crucial for them to have an alert mind and an unending supply of energy for sports and games. The tiffin, hence, is for lot more than filling their tummies.
I’m sharing with you today few tiffin ideas that I turn to occasionally for my kids. Mind you, kids have their moods and temperaments but a mother must do all that she can!
Natural sugars are the best and what better way to help kids kick-start their day than a variety of fresh fruits! Cut fruits have a shorter shelf life so it would be wise to give unpeeled fruits if possible or grapes or pomegranate seeds that don’t go bad soon. Ofcourse, you can use airtight tiffin-boxes or zip-lock bags for cut fruits too. Consulting with your kids before packing is advisable though.
Rice is a favourite amongst most kids. It is also one of the most flexible and fun ingredient to work with. Fried rice, lemon rice, tomato rice, corn rice, veg pulao, coriander rice etc. are some of the easily doable options. Adding loads of veggies to it is easy and with a slight twist you’ll have a whole new recipe. Papad or baked chips can be given as an accompaniment. Variety and taste, rolled into one! 🙂
Multigrain flour has a high fiber and nutritive content than regular wheat flour and can be used daily. (I would suggest getting it made for better results.) Kids who run at the sight of vegetables can be given a helping of them by either stuffing them or adding their puree while kneading the flour. Colourful parathas will surely make them dig in for a bite and not stop at one. Adding sesame or flax seeds to the dough will make the parathas look even better. Pack them with yoghurt, homemade chutneys or pickles.
This is great option for older kids who can eat without supervision as it may get somewhat soggy. Frankies are comfort food and taste best when they’re tangy and spicy. Use your creativity with it and make your kids rave about it to their friends. Tawa fried potatoes, paneer, Chinese vegetable stir fry etc are good stuffing options. It would be a good idea to give sauces separately. Also, please take care to wrap them tightly and pack them close to avoid spilling or shifting.
Fun with Idlis
Idlis are loved by everyone and are easy to make and experiment with. They can be made from rice and rawa too. Their white texture makes them a blank canvas where we can paint out our vivid imagination. Cutting holes in them and making a face with carrots, placing a thin tomato slice on the top or making it look like a sun; sky is the limit! You can also cut idlis in halves or quarters and temper them with curry leaves and urad dal.
Involving your kids in it and taking inputs from them would be fun.
Dry fruit laddus/ Granola bars
Kids have to eat as well as play during the short recess time. It wouldn’t be surprising if they feel tempted to leave their lunch half-eaten to get their batting chance in cricket. For such occasions small power-packed tiffins having homemade dry-fruit laddus or granola bars are perfect. They’re an instant source of energy and will keep them full for long. Dates, walnuts, almonds are some of the nuts you can use. Not to mention, they’re too yummy!
Don’t forget to treat your kids with something indulgent once in a while for being good kids. 🙂 Even if you aren’t an enterprising baker I would suggest learning to bake a simple sponge cake. Kids love nothing more than a homemade cake treat in their tiffin. You can slowly work around with more ingredients and I’m sure you’ll love those smiles on your kids’ faces! 🙂
Hope you liked my tiffin ideas! I’d like to thank Surbhi for introducing me on her blog Surbhiprapanna.com
Check out her post on workout routines that have worked well for her.
I’ll now introduce you to Zainab of Slimexpectations.com who shares tips for a healthy and fit life.
I am participating in the ‘Get Fit, Stay Fit’ blog party with BonHappetee!