- Priti Shukla
Lunch Boxes Matter
In times when the concept of in-house canteens was not there in schools, students were compelled to carry tiffinbox with them. But, as we know that change is the law of nature, we gradually reached modern times and the affair of children’s tiffins also changed. Although the tiffins of different color, designs and shapes depicting fruits, vegetables and cute animals etc., are available in the market, but, unfortunately, none of these colors, shapes and designs of the tiffins can ensure that the child would eat whole of the food contained in it. Obviously this is because of the tempting and attractive alternates available in the in-house school canteens or near by shops.
Surveys reveal that most of the chidren do not eat the food of their lunchboxes and many of them do not even bring their tiffin . Surveys also reveal that no or less consumption of food from their lunchboxes is because of the options fast food easily available around them. These fast foods attract children because of their flavors, taste and most importantly, their presentation. The other significant feature of such fast food is that they are so handy that children can continue eating them even while they walk or move around.
In this era when in most of the cases both of the parents are employed in some or the other job, they always lack time. Hence, it becomes quite challenging for them to choose a good option of lunch for their kids which can be prepared quickly and be rich in all of the necessary nutrients.
For the growth of children sufficient amount of calcium, protein, energy and minerals are mandatory. So, children’s tiffin boxes should always be rich in each of the nutrients. But contrary to this fact, a study shows that in last ten years children have not or rarely been bringing any dairy based food in their tiffin boxes which are rich in calcium. Due to this reason children do not obtain adequate amount of calcium. Study also shows that children’s lunch boxes also lack foods rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Zinc, which affect their immunity to a great extent.
We must take it as our most important responsibility to give nutritious food to our children, i.e. our future, and ensure that our children eat food from their lunch boxes only and not the junk food from canteens and vendors around. To ensure this, following
are some quick tips:
· Give at least one dairy based product like stuffed Paneer Cheela, Curd Sandwich etc. in tiffin.
· Give one seasonal fruit.
· Give 4 to 5 nos. of almonds soaked overnight, a handful of fox nuts, raisins, cashews on one on one day basis.
· Give homemade Gur Chikki instead of chocolate.
· Give Wrapped Cheela like Frankies.
Also it can be a good idea to involve our children in preparation of their next day meal as this would bring the elements of attachment and excitement in them towards their food. We can also ensure to bring the diversity of colors in their food to make it a factor of attraction for them as Mother Nature has blessed us with fruits, vegetables and cereals etc. of end number of colors. We can ensure good health and growth of our kids only by giving them appropriate nutrition.