The summer break is over; it’s time to go back to school. And as the new school year begins, every mother’s biggest nightmare is back: what to make for tiffin?
Now kids always peep into each other’s boxes while they sit together for lunch. The radiant smile when your child has the most delicious lunch is priceless – and every mother’s pride.
Managing your child’s nutrition and pleasing his taste buds during the vacation was easy. But once school starts, you can’t prepare wholesome and interesting meals in the maddening morning rush. And at the same time, you can’t give him the boring roti and sabzi every day.
That said you need not lose sleep over what to prepare for dabba. Bon happétee has some healthy and fun tiffin recipes you can whip up in a jiffy.
So here we go:
- Bread uttapam:
Prepare a batter of suji, curd, finely chopped veggies, salt, and spices. Heat a griddle, add some oil and place a bread slice. Spread a layer of the batter on the bread. Ensure that the batter side is on top. Flip the bread and cook from the other side.
This uttapam is a smart way to sneak the fiber and antioxidant-loaded veggies in your child’s diet.
- Baby corn and capsicum rice:
An international version of the Indian pulao, this rice preparation is a sure-shot hit. It entails freshly prepared/leftover rice, olive oil, diced bell peppers and baby corn, along with onion, garlic, tomato puree, ketchup, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. You can toss in a protein surprise by adding paneer cubes
- Hung curd sandwiches:
Mix finely chopped capsicum, onion along with grated carrot to the hung curd. Add chaat masala, salt, oregano, black pepper powder and mix well. Apply a thick layer of the mixture on the bread and grease it lightly with butter on one side. Grill it either in an oven, a sandwich maker or on a tava.
This easy-to-prepare snack will make your child’s tiffin box the most interesting one. As a mother, you can pat yourself for preparing a snack that’s rich in protein, calcium, antioxidants, and fibre.
A paneer bhurji sandwich is another interesting lunch box idea.
- Chapati or paratha wraps:
The regular chapati and sabzi are boring. Time to give it a makeover.
In a pan, heat butter. Throw in some finely chopped onion, tomato, and capsicum with boiled potatoes, green peas, pav bhaji masala, salt, coriander leaves, and cheese. Now spread this mixture in the middle of a roti and roll it up. With such a delicious wrap, your child will flash his broadest smile. And you’ll be happy since you’ve wrapped all the five pillars of nutrition in a one meal.
You can always showcase your culinary skills by trying new fillings..
Parathas have been the most popular and versatile tiffin recipe. You can try different parathas – from a sprouts paratha to mix vegetable, gobhi, spring onion and cheese, paneer and the all-time favourite aloo paratha. You could add ragi, soya, bajra, or jowar flour to the whole wheat atta to up the nutrition quotient.
And yes, the home-made mint/coriander chutney is a healthier accompaniment to parathas than the preservative-laced ketchup.
- Idli stir-fry:
A quick meal you can prepare with leftover idlis. In a wok, heat oil. Add sliced onion, carrots, capsicum and cabbage. Once the veggies get cooked, put in salt, noodle masala, and diced idlis.
This simple dish will win your child’s heart with its colourful appearance and scrumptious taste. Additionally, the fermented idlis and veggies will boost your child’s immunity.
This one’s special and coming straight from my mom’s kitchen. As a kid, I’d always be behind mom to make pasta for dabba. I still do 😉
She prepares home-made pasta sauce using dudhi, carrot, tomatoes, chilli flakes, oregano, basil leaves, salt, sugar and cinnamon the previous evening. In the morning, she heats olive oil/butter in a pan, adds the home-made sauce and durum wheat pasta. A grated cheese cube on top and my day are made.
Sometimes, she cooks white sauce pasta. She prepares the sauce using atta, not maida. She adds corn, capsicum, mushroom, and yeah, I can’t stop grinning.
Now you can heave a sigh of relief. You’ve taken care of your child’s nutrition and taste buds without running from pillar to post or worrying about what to cook.
Happy school day cooking from Team Bon Happétee 🙂
Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.