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After a long lockdown, they finally leave for school this fall !! As much as we would love to rejoice that our children would finally leave for school, back to school brings back memories of the everyday morning hustle.

Being around them for close to 2 years and able to look after their eating habits 24/7. This worry might take some time to wear off. Similarly, children have now been used to enjoying three meals at home and not to forget those snacks you kept pulling out for them to relieve them of their boredom.

What are some healthy lunch box ideas? It is a constant haunting question for any mom in any part of the world. What can we pack for their lunch that could be nutritious, balanced, and even exciting for a child? This article brings to you ten ideas to make healthy halal food appealing and yummy for your child. But first, lets answer the most basic questions around healthy halal food.

Why is it necessary for children to eat healthy halal food?

Islam is not a religion of rituals, and it is a way of life. We are what we eat. And so, high emphasis has been laid on eating a proper meal that benefits the body more than the other way around.

Getting your child to eat a healthy meal has turned into an uphill task for many parents. Most kid’s diets are based on our convenience and not a child’s health. Here are a few advantages of eating right.

Image Credit : Katerina Holmes

1. A healthy diet has a profound impact on your child’s emotional and mental well-being.

2. It provides healthy growth and prevents obesity, which is slowly increasing in children.

Check this site to understand what intake of high amount of sugar does to a child. The nutrition source.

3. Conditions like calcium, iron deficiency, tooth decay can all be avoided if children take in a proper healthy diet from an early age. Try remembering these few advantages before giving in to the demand of your children for fries and chocolates.

How do you inculcate healthy eating habits in children?

Yes, trying to teach healthy eating habits in children means turning meals time into a vast battlefield. Well, it’s unnecessary.

As a parent, we must understand our children when born with cravings for French fries, pizza, and burger. Unhealthy food  became their choice when we presented more of this food to them.

Image Credit : Katerina Holmes

Our choices of food affect their food preferences as well. The greatest challenge is to encourage healthy eating habits in any age group of children is to make healthy food appealing. Some steps that we can take to make healthy food appealing to kids:

1. Practice what you preach: Children are excellent imitators. If you are disciplined in your choice of food, it will affect your children.

2.   Staying away from processed foods: homemade food should always be encouraged and available at all times.

3. Getting kids involved in cooking.

4.    We should make fruits and vegetables available as a snack. Please do not focus on the portion of food they are eating.

5. No bribing with food

6. Make mealtimes an opportunity to connect with the family.

What ingredients make up a healthy lunch box ideas for your children:

Parents have plenty of choices when the child is staying at home; as soon as the child goes to school, the anxiety of parents increases. Gone are the days when children carried soggy sandwiches, chips, for lunch. When packing your child’s lunch, ensure it has the following ingredients. This is under the guidelines laid down by the national health and medical research council.

1. ½ of the lunch box is filled with fruits and vegetables.

2. ¼ with whole grains

3. ¼ with healthy fats and a small amount of dairy

4. This proportion of food will provide the right amount of energy to stay active in school.

Ten ideas to change bland lunch box meals into healthy halal meals, which children would love.

When preparing food for lunch boxes for children, always keep two main points in mind: food choice and its presentation.

According to the NHS, an idle lunch box of a child should contain the following.

1.    Starchy foods like bread, rice, potatoes, or pasta

2.    Protein foods like meat, fish, eggs, or beans

3.   Diary like cheese or yogurt

4.    Vegetables or salads and a proportion of fruit.

Image Credit : Ferks Guare

1. Rolling out omelet in a bun:

You are combining two meal favorites of children to make one wholesome lunch. Fill the omelet with desired veggies like cherry tomato or greens like spinach and add a touch of cheese to mask the flavors of the veggies if your child is picky about the vegetables.

For older children, mixing up the omelet with some pickles and will make it mouth-watering.

Check out the complete recipe for this wholesome lunch that will make your child eat vegetables masked in cheese and omelet.

2. Using hummus as filling for sandwich:

Masking up a sandwich with hummus gives a punch to your sandwich. You can easily add up some crunchy vegetables to make it colorful. A bit of cheddar cheese will provide the much-needed texture, and which kid doesn’t love cheese in his sandwich.

If your kid loves meat, why not add tuna and chicken to get in that much-needed protein.

These sandwiches are easy to make, and you can get your child involved, thus getting some binding time over food.

Check out these high on energy lunch recipes that your children would love preparing and taking to school as well.

Green club sandwich, Chicken roll-up

3. Pasta love

If your child has had enough sandwiches, another fantastic way of introducing those vegetables in their food is through their much-loved pasta. Yes, pasta is one excellent alternative source of getting carbohydrates in children.

The good thing about pasta is you can customize it according to the child’s preferences. Again, you can add eggs and chicken to increase its protein content and make it creamier to increase the dietary intake of your children.

Whatever might be your choice, pasta is one healthy halal lunch that looks appealing to children of any age.

BLT pasta salad

4. Using skewers for fruits and vegetables:

Suppose you are very keen on your children to have a certain amount of fruit or vegetables a day. Why not take a bit of extra time in dicing it and putting it up on a skewer.

 Well, it might undoubtedly look like a pain in the neck if you are going through a lot of hustle in the morning, but if you have a bit of time, this looks appealing to the kids. Adding a piece of two different fruits and gives a fantastic coloring effect to the lunch box.

Try out these few ways of packing up fruits in the lunch box that will make your kids love carrying fruits and vegetables for lunch.

Rainbow fruit skewers, cheese, and fruit sticks, Frozen fruits stick with passion fruit and lime drizzle.

5.  Combining veggies with dips:

If your child has a sweet tooth, try giving him veggies with a twist by dipping them in chocolate or hummus.

Many children love veggies dripped in their chocolate or just pure honey. It is just a way to savor this sweet tooth and still get in some crucial vegetables included in their diet.

Choco dripped tangerines; chocolate-drizzled popcorn

6. Making salads flavorsome:

Yes, you read it right. You can include salads in your child’s lunch box. Salads need not be the food for people who want to cut down on calories. The trick is to make them flavorsome with some cream, crunchy lettuce, and barbeque chicken. Salads combined with chunks of chicken, lettuce, and avocado can become one amazing lunch box recipe loaded with plenty of protein and fiber.

Here are some fantastic salad recipes that are quick to make and taste, and indeed this will change your kid’s perception of salads.

Coronation chicken salad, chicken taco salad.

7 . Packing up snacks with a twist:

First, let’s understand what role does snacks play in our diet? Snacks fill the gap between meals. So, this proportion matters a lot as we cannot make them into a whole meal. Keep in mind that a snack should be small in proportion, and protein-rich food should be paired with a carb-rich food.

Depending on the age and activity of the child, a child may need one or two snacks in a day. Here is the list of snacks that can be included in your child’s lunch box.

1. A string of cheese, 1 cup of grapes,

2. Carrot sticks or any veggies and a hummus dip

3. ¼ cup nuts, cherries, or raisins,¼ cup dried apricot

4. Plain Greek yogurt with berries.

While packing a snack, always make sure they are high on calories and low on fat and carbs.

8. Adding flavor to leftovers:

We all have days when we are running on a tight schedule—times when we can’t stop ourselves from ordering some fries or burger and packing it for lunch. Well, you don’t need to get all stressed up at such times. You can take the food left from last night’s dinner, put in some fresh veggies, and you are ready. One such example is spinach, sweet potato, and lentil dahl. Or this fantastic creamy lentil and veggie curry, which can easily be made from the leftover curry.

(It would be easy to carry for the child if these curries are packed in a wide neck thermos)

9. Swapping foods high on salt and sugar with healthy options:

When you have decided to provide a healthy lunch box to your child, you must swap crisps, sweet biscuits, chocolate bars with unsalted nuts, dried fruits, cheese, and yogurt.

These foods are not dull as they are usually perceived by children and can be made interesting by creativity. Check out a great list of recipes that you can swap with the high salt and sugar foods.

Cinnamon custard plums, apricot yogurt granola pots.

10. Healthy drinks:

And lastly, not to forget the most crucial component of every living organism’s life WATER!! Yep instead of packing up those tetra packs of juices loaded in preservatives and sugar, we must pack plain water to keep our kids hydrated throughout their time in school. According to the National academy of sciences, on average, a child beads 14 cups of water which is more for teenagers and might be a cup or two less for toddlers.

It is important to note that nothing can replace water as a dehydrating agent for the body only when children are involved in sports. An alternate energy drink should be considered for them. And yes, it is highly recommended that the glass be made at home, such as water-infused fruit drinks with less or no sugar at all.

Conclusion:

Thanks to many food websites and huge marketing by fast food outlets, junk food is portrayed as good in front of our children all the time. We are tempting them to give in to those vast cravings. As parents, we need to set a bar for our children on what is healthy and what can cause them harm in the long run. By making good choices ourselves and choosing healthy halal food over other options, can we only help our kids stay away from food that might harm them?

10 HEALTHY LUNCH BOX IDEAS FOR SCHOOL GOING CHILDREN

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