School lunches must be easy to eat. You want your kids to pick up food items with a fork or spoon, or eat with their hands. So think about nutritious finger foods and repurpose leftovers in creative ways that make them easy to handle.
Consider, too, that even if schools have a facility to heat up food, it’s unlikely that kids are going to want to wait for too long, so avoid items such as gravies that may need to be heated up. Below, nutrition experts in the UAE offer some creative lunch box:
1. Cater to your child’s sweet tooth with healthy pancake bites, a side of cut strawberries and a boiled egg, suggests Dr Waffa Ayesh, the DHA’s director of clinical nutrition. A cucumber and mint lemonade makes a refreshing, thirst-quenching accompaniment.
2. Leftovers that can easily be repurposed are stir-fried assorted veggies with chicken and brown rice cooked in pure butter or a healthy oil. Dr Remy Shanker recommends two cupped palms’ worth.
3. For finger food on the go, consider a wrap filled with salad, and assorted vegetables and a protein such as egg, chicken or tuna, Dr Remy suggests. Use chickpea flour to make the crepes and you’ll up your child’s protein and fibre intake.
4. Similarly, fatayer filled with chicken, eggs or cheese, with carrot and cucumber sticks on the side and some fresh fruit juice or fruit-flavoured unsweetened milk. It’s a balanced meal that’s easy to eat, says Dr Waffa.
5. Healthy doesn’t have to mean boring. For an appealing lunch, Dr Remy says chicken and broccoli skewers with a tangy chimichurri sauce with some roasted sweet potato wedges make a nice variation.