Healthy Menu Plan for Kids
Please note that it is very unhealthy to begin your day without breakfast. A child on an empty stomach will not be able to concentrate in class and think clearly. He may get moody and bad tempered with other children.
Even if you have to wake up your child 15 minutes earlier you must see that he does not leave the house without eating.
Here are some quick breakfast ideas:
A glass of milk with 2 slices of toast. A cup of cornflakes with milk. Oats or ragi porridge with milk. Bread (2slices) and egg, bread (2 slices) and cheese, idli (2) or dosa (2 small) and sambar, are all quick to eat foods. If the child has to leave the house before 7 am then at least a glass of milk and a small banana should be given before he leaves the house. The 10 am break Tiffin should carry his breakfast, which can be egg sandwich, cheese sandwich, dosa and potato pallya, chapatti rolled with egg or a pallya (vegetable), etc. If the child has eaten breakfast at home then, send fruit and biscuits for the 10 am snack time. once or twice a week a special snack like chocolate, pastry, chips, etc. may be sent if the child wants it.
However, do not send only snacks for lunch. Lunch must be a balanced meal. They must learn from a young age that breakfast and lunch are proper meals and not get into the habit of light eating or snacking in the earlier part of the day and heavy eating in the evenings, which is one of the major factors contributing to the great rise in incidents of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc.
Suggestions for lunch:
Rice, sambar and palya (cooked vegetables). Chapati, thick dal and sabji. Lime rice or pulav with chole. Chapati rolled with vegetable and shredded nonveg. Chapati with egg and vegetable scramble, noodles, vegetables and egg or paneer. Curd rice plus palya or sprouted moong. These combinations are important to give a carbohydrate plus protein balanced meal. This lunch meal must be eaten in the school between 12 noon to 1pm. ( not at 3 or 4pm when the child comes home from school.)
Do not serve lunch at 4 pm, it is teatime. A glass of milk or curd or lassi is a must and then biscuits or sandwiches may be eaten. After play at 6pm, a fruit is a must too.
Then dinner is a balanced meal again. Roti or rice with dal or pulses and a vegetable dish must be the base. Curds and non-veg can be added and a salad has to be served with dinner. If making a continental dinner, the balance must be right. Pasta must be served with some vegetables and white sauce, cheese or egg. The white sauce, cheese or egg are the protein foods and must be included always.
If serving non-veg at night, restrict the quantity and serve it only 2-3 times per week. It may be eaten more often at lunch time.
If you are having bread and soup, the soup must have milk, egg or non-veg or sprouts in it. Those sitting up late to study may have a fruit or a cup of milk later but do not indulge in chocolates, cookies, ice cream, etc. late at night.
Remember food should be distributed as breakfast + snack 40%, lunch + tea 40% and dinner 20%. If it is breakfast 0-10%, lunch 20% and dinner 70%, you are paving the way for obesity and other diseases.