Food

A healthy start

12:29 PM

Ishita’s school just issued a circular about the introduction of fixed monthly menus for parents to respect when it comes to stuffing their tiffin boxes (lunch boxes), even though her school is 2 hours a day and the tiffin time more a time to sit and adopt good table manners, they are now making sure the kids get to eat healthy as well, and this month set menu goes as such:


Monday: Idli
Tuesday: Brown Bread Sandwich
Wednesday: Fruits
Thursday: Paratha/puri bhaji (vegetable and fried bread)
Friday: Kid’s choice menu

 

I for one salute the move, I tried pretty much to keep Ishita’s tiffin healthy, putting a brown bread sandwich and fruits, or a small handful of plain salted popcorn on a daily basis, but it is a known fact in India that a lot of kids of elementary school age are getting a lot of junk in theirs, many schools have in fact pulled the alarm bell on what goes into the tummy of kiddos nowadays, and I know my nephew’s school in Delhi simply won’t allow white bread, maggi noodles and even a chocolate cookie added as a treat into a lunchbox. Some schools in Mumbai organized a contest a while back praising the kid who had the healthiest tiffins in a month, some other schools like Ishita’s one issue fixed menus and suggestion for a healthy snack. In a country that is the world’s diabetes and heart disease capital, and seeing a staggering number of overweight to obese children, I say FINALLY!

And with the fixed menu system it also make my task very easy, I don;t have to think too hard about what to put in Ishi’s lunchbox, it’s set for me, and the menu for this month is fuss free, idli can be made from a ready made batter, or even bought frozen (and yes the frozen ones taste excellent), since DH takes a tiffin for lunch, the maid has in all likehood cooked some lentils the night before to put in Ishita’s box along with the idli, a brown bread sandwich isn’t time consuming to make either, fruits which in a traditional Indian diet are disregarded should be part of a healthy one, DH and I spare no expenses on having the fridge and fruit basket loaded with as many as we can, paratha in my opinion is the least healthy of the lot, most traditional families cook them with ghee, and even in oil it is still fried bread, but it is a food stuff that is easy to stuff with veggies your kiddo might not eat otherwise, and is made with whole wheat flour, so I see where that is a healthier option than throwing potato chips or kurkure  (and yes some of Ishita’s classmates have these in their box, and some end up in her box when I open it back home). And giving freedom to kids to eat junk food or a food stuff no on the list on Friday is good too, because junk food while not the best for health is something people like, and as long as it is once in a while it can’t hurt.

The other thing I like with this menu, is that it is not only Indian, or only North/South Indian, it serves the purpose of educating a kid’s palate as well. I for myself can’t wait to see what they will be coming up in the following months. In the meantime I need to get Ishita another lunchbox, because the one she has is a Dora the Explorer Sandwich box that leaks should you attempt to even put melon cubes in it, and it needs to be one with more than just one compartment.
And to all those who think it is unfair to have a school dictate what should be in a kid’s lunchbox, remember that it is just ONE meal a day, you still have the freedom to give them whatever you want home, but a school’s duty is to take care of your kid, and teach them more than just academics, and what better age to start than right in toddlerhood?

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