Thursday, November 30, 2006
Posted by Shah cooks
Recently I started paying more attention to my son's lunch box, not entirely out of passion, but out of neccessity. What began as a "OMG,what shall I give him today?" is slowly capturing his and my imagination and becoming simpler and more streamlined.
One of my biggest challenges is a strange one. My little one who eats all my spicy, rustic, traditional and non traditional food at home is shy when he goes to school. I have been gathering all the excuses he gives for bringing back an untouched tiffin. It was gooey, sticky, it didn't taste right, the others made fun of the smell (Indian spices),it was not spicy enough, it was too spicy,I forgot to pack the fork, it was cold (he likes it hot) and so on. My friend said these were similar to the main charater's experiences in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". The kids want to just blend in and not attract any attention. And if the kid is shy, then its peanut butter and jelly sandwich only. Blending in should not mean blanding in.
So now we made a list of possibilities and a list of no-nos. Rice with curry is out , but fried rice or pulav is ok. Sandwiches, two slices of bread with anything squished in between still rules the menu. Now you would think why doesn't he eat from the cafeteria. He doesn't want to and I didn't insist for now as the menu there was nothing great. Maybe later when I get busier, I will change my mind. Maybe as he grows older, he won't like mommy food anymore. So I am enjoying the attention for now.
This is what a typical lunch would look like now. Some store bought stuff, some home made. If I make cakes or snacks, that gets packed instead or else it back to his favourite junk(as he calls it). That’s a cream cheese and strawberry preserves(jam/jelly) untoasted sandwich, a pork free breakfast chicken links cut and spiced with pepper flakes, an orange(peeled), a yogurt box, couple of chocolate chip cookies, and water. Yep, he drinks water, doesn’t like juice and since is anyway loaded with sugar (36 gm-equals 7 tsps), its better. Milk is an ongoing battle which I shall tell you later.
Another popular lunch is Paratha..stuffed flatbread. Good for me as it takes care of veggies and carbs at one go and can be eaten cold. I remember paratha being my favourite lunch item too. This box has Potato-fenugreek leaves (Alu-Methi)paratha, cream cheese for dipping, A twisted cheese snack, chocolate milk, red globe grapes washed and dried and chocolate chip cookies. Believe me, the lunch box comes back clean.
Some essentials I now love:
Tiny ziplock snack bags, tiny containers, a divided lunch box, Foil, and good plastic wrap. All these fit neatly into an insulated lunch bag and prevents leakage.
I love the look of the laptop lunch box, with all its divided containers fitting in so well, but have yet to get one. One of these days.. Thats all for this week. Do leave a comment and let me know your suggestions and experiences.
This Post was written by Shaheen from Malabar Spices.