Kids Lunch is essentially a delightful mix of interesting foods brought together keeping in mind the dietary requirements of young children so as to form their lunch meal. Some of the factors to be taken into account while planning a kid’s lunch are-
• Daily requirements depending upon the age, height, weight
• Allergies to any particular foods
• Individual likes and dislikes
• Any underlying health condition that the child is suffering from. For instance if the child is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or is dealing with Autism, Cancer or other such disorders then the kids lunch and in fact entire diet would have to be worked out accordingly.
Kids Lunch Options
As long as children are healthy and free from any food allergies, parents must make it a point to expose them to a good variety of foods. Lunch being a major meal of the day, allows the opportunity to formulate an appealing, and nutritious mid-day meal, either packed in a box for school or enjoyed along with the entire family. Some options include-
1. Whether at home or at school a sandwich or burger lunch consisting of
• Healthy veggies – lettuce, tomato, beetroot, cucumber, carrot, onion;
• With cheese, boiled egg slices, slices of roasted chicken or fillet of fish served along with a dip or sauce.
• Peanut butter and jelly filled sandwiches – every child’s favourite.
• Grilled Cottage cheese and veggies with mint chutney in a sandwich.
2. Kid-friendly burritos with red kidney beans and tomato-onion salsa.
3. Californian veggie wraps with shredded carrot, sliced bell peppers, tomato, onion and cream cheese with lettuce.
4. Pasta with peas, chopped carrots, beans, corn kernels, topped with cheese.
5. Barbeque chicken pizza or cheesy veggie pizza
6. Chicken nuggets or finger fish
1. Sandwiches offer great flexibility in terms of the fillings; therefore a salad sandwich can be made even more nutritious using a whole wheat bread or multi-grain bread. Stuffing with mashed avocado instead of potato, toasted sesame seeds, along with regular healthy veggies can supply healthy unsaturated fats, minerals and vitamins like Vitamins A, C, B, E, K; minerals like phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium. Some banana and apple slices could be placed in the peanut butter sandwich to add fibre.
2. Burritos and wraps can be made even more healthful with spinach leaves and alfalfa sprouts along with other ingredients. This would enhance iron, Vitamin K, A and fibre content. A variety of different beans – red, black and white would add a variety of essential amino acids too.
3. Whole wheat pastas can be cooked using wheat flour as a thickener for the sauce and including veggies like broccoli and fresh asparagus. These can invite more Vitamin A, C and Vitamin K as well as folates some of which help tackle the problem of anemia. These provide plenty of antioxidants like glutathione and indophenolic compounds that protect body tissues from damage.
4. Fresh mushrooms as a pizza topping can supply B-vitamins important in metabolic body processes and Vitamins A, C and Ergothioneine, would help boost immunity. It also supplies selenium and calcium thus supporting healthy bones, teeth, nails.
5. Coating the nuggets/fingers with oatmeal or wheat flakes can add nutrient value to the item while providing a crispy texture which kids would enjoy.
A date, almond, fig and honey milkshake would heighten mid-day energy levels while supplying a lot of minerals and nutrients too.