Packed lunches have become a necessity for school going children as schools are either away or the lunch period is too short for the children to go home and have food. The packed lunch is a lunch that is packed in a tiffin box to be eaten by the child while away from home. The packed lunches carried by them are usually not adequate both in quantity and quality.Carrying food from home is less expensive, more convenient, more hygienic and meets the individual requirements.
Points to be considered in planning a packed lunch.
- Some amount of good quality protein like milk or milk product like curd or panner would improve vegetable protein . It can also be a combination of vegetables protein like cereals and pulses can be given for better utilisation.addition of egg also improve the quality of protein besides meting many protective nutrient needs.
- Inclusion of one serving of green leafy vegetables would take care of one third requirements of mainly vitamins and minerals
- Preferably the packed lunch should consist of all five food groups, through the number of dishes may be less
- The school lunch should meet one third daily requirement in calories, protein and other nutrients of the child, to boost concentration and energy for the rest of the school day
- To make the food appetizing, foods like whole fruit or butter milk in a bottle or chips in a polythene bag can be taken
- Monotony should be avoided in packed lunch.There should be variety
- It is sensible to have a different food in packed lunch than what one had for breakfast
- The food should have a different food in packed lunch than what one had for breakfast
- Containers should be clean and dried before packing the food.
Packing lunch for the child does not guarantee that he consume it.Suggetions that encourages the child to eat
- Involve the child in planning ,preparing or packing the lunch box
- Make the lunch simple .most children eat lunch quickly so that they can spend more time socializing or playing with friends
- Send easy to open package ,cut up fruits and vegetables ,rolled chapattis with stuffing or sandwiches
- Send small portions which he can complete during lunch period
Suggested packed lunches
- Vegetable pulao,boiled egg ,tomato raita and orange fruit
- Methi paratha,pyaj paratha ,missi roti,carrot paratha,mix veg paratha with tomato chutney
- Cheese sandwich or paneer sandwiches,guava
- Stuffed idli with potato with coconut chutney
- Namkeen vernicelli and cocnut barfi
- Bread butter with jam/cheese/egg and groung nut chikki
- Veg poha and besan laddo
- Sabudana khidri or sabudana wada and banana
- Besan chila with tomato chutney and rassogullah or khoya bharfi