This academic year, keep children healthy with good food

Mothers are always concerned about the lunch boxes for their children during their schooldays. Indian Dietic Association’s Mumbai chapter’s member, Dr Rita S Patil shares how mothers can keep the health of the children good through very important meal of the day i.e., breakfast

A change in season and start of new academic year in school, every year the schedule of June remains unchanged. Children require good nutrition for their growth and development during schooldays. Moreover learning, level of concentration in studies and scholastic performance is always good when children are well fed.

Mothers are always concerned over tiffin’s to be made for children because breakfast is a very important meal of the day. But preparing tiffin is always difficult when schools are early in the morning. Energy and proteins have to be provided with milk, paneer, cheese, nuts and cereals etc. Always try to give a bowl of cereal with milk instead of a plain glass of milk. Making a milkshake (mango, banana, chickoo, and dry fruit) is also a better option to be given in the morning. Incorporate a variety of fruits which will be soon available in the rainy season.

Dr Rita Patil, IDA- Mumbai chapter

We need to balance with adequate and correct food in tiffin boxes. Colourful tiffin with tasty seasonal fruits, a sandwich, dosa, chilla etc and some nuts will give necessary nutrients, texture and variety of taste too.

Home-made dosa, pudla, vermicelli upma, parathas (carrot, potato, paneer, cheese, peas, spinach), theplas (methi, bottle gourd, cabbage), puri’s (pumpkin, peas, banana, ghee- sugar mix) are options to be explored in school lunch boxes. Cutlets (legume, mix vegetable and stuffed with paneer or dry fruits) make interesting snacks too. Adding tomato chutney or peanut chutney will help give good taste and some nutrients.

With the rains coming in, the heat disappears and thus reduce chilled beverages and start making them warm foods. Also, children may want to eat in canteens, try to reduce canteen food to once in two weeks.

As children need to study and remain active entire day so keep them refreshed with fresh home-made juices and fresh fruit smoothies which are easy to make. They are better options to ready to eat yoghurts and avoid junk foods too often to keep good health always.