“We first eat with our eyes!” A quote as apt it is for us, more so it is for our children. Children are those picky little eaters who judge the food by its appearance, texture, fragrance and packing. Therefore, when packing lunch for children or preparing their meals, we need to work on certain things that can help us provide our children with exciting yet healthy food items.
So, let’s take a look at a few simple tips that will help you give your little one a wholesome yet mouth-watering lunch for children which will be eaten by her fully and not thrown away or distributed amongst her gang of friends.
Add Colour to the Meal
By colour, we do not mean that you add food colours but pack or serve the food in such a way that it looks colourful. For instance, rather than cooking just one vegetable, cook it with one or two different coloured vegetables, for example, if you’re cooking cabbage, you can add peas and carrot to it to give it a colourful look. Likewise, while packing her lunch, instead of packing just cucumbers as salad, you can pack cucumbers & tomato.
Give different Shapes to the Food
Use different shapes for creating the same kind of food item for giving it an altogether different look. Buy a range of cookie cutters and use them to cut different shapes like squares, stars, circles, etc. You can use these cookie cutters on bread, sandwiches, cheese slices, fruits, etc.
Variety is Essential
Pack at least 3 different types of food every day in her lunchbox. Offer variety, like you could give a small section of her tiffin to dry fruits, another one for sandwich and a third of it for fruit or vegetable salad. This way, she will be able to see a variety of food items of different colours and tastes in her lunch box and will come home with it being empty.
Pack easy-to-eat Food Items
Our little ones can get very clumsy at eating their tiffin box if it includes stuff that is difficult to hold or large in size. When you pack her lunch, keep it in my mind that you do not pack stuff that she may spill on her desk or dress. For this, cut foods like sandwiches, etc., in smaller sizes so that it is easier to hold and she can hold one entire piece & eat it without any difficulty or without spilling it.
Create small Portions
Snack-sizeitems are always ideal, but this does not mean that you buy them in smaller quantities from the store. Always buy all the stuff in bulk or whatever quantity you prefer and store them & use them according to need. Creating small portions of 3 or 4 types of foods in your little ones tiffin box will give him a variety of foods to eat and ensure that he does not get bored with his lunch. Also, it will give him a combination of different nutrients, flavours and colours.
Get creative; go beyond the basics by using the leftover food from last night in a new way. Repurpose everything, use different sauces, add cheese, convert it into a sandwich filling or use it for turning a roti into a well-stuffed roll. Children may not like eating the leftover food again the next day. However, such food converted into something new, appealing and of a different taste can lure the kids to eat and in turn, finish their lunch box completely.
Presentation is the Key
When you pack your picky eater’s tiffin box, give a thought to the presentation part of it. If you’re packing fruits or vegetable salad for her, stack it up into toothpicks and give it an altogether different look. This will make a healthy item look appealing & tastier and urge your little one to eat it all up. You can experiment with other dishes like sandwiches, rotis in a similar way.
Include a Treat
There is nothing that can make your child happier than a chocolate bar added into her lunchbox. Therefore, you can add a chocolate or granola bar, in her tiffin box which will add delight to her lunch time. However, keep in mind that this practice should not be regular and the treat you add is healthy and nutritious.
Now, that you have these tips with you, you are ready to be a Creative-Lunch-Maker Mom. Get going with your creative and innovative ideas and see your child come back home with an empty tiffin box and a wide grin on her face.