Monday morning, at 6.00 am, my alarm clock wakes me up to start the day and the week too. Every Sunday I ensure that my next day is planned and I do not end up in a jinxed and a messed up food day. My fridge is always loaded with a varied spread of vegetables and other raw materials needed for a fully loaded breakfast and lunch box. It holds utmost importance that however busy you are, you should have a heavy breakfast before you head for the day.
I never knew to cook food until I got married. My mom tried enough to convince me to cook during my spinsterhood but I never felt the need to cook and eat. She ensured that I had our breakfast and I would carry a lunchbox to work. It was a well balanced diet with no oily stuff to load the tummy and make me feel lazy throughout the day but an appropriate mix of proteins, carbohydrates and all the essential nutrients. After marriage, I entered the kitchen clueless about how to cook and was totally unaware of the ratio of masalas that would go in the veggies. My husband would laugh it out and would suggest calling my hotline (my mom) and learn to prepare a lunch box. Every day I would get up and enter the kitchen with a mission to cook and carry home cooked food. I would ensure that my husband too gets spoilt with the same and he did!
Today the best part of our lunch box is the home cooked meal and the mix of a power packed nutrition. Though I struggled with my culinary skills after marriage, I am glad that I have mastered the basic ones and can cook the way my mom does (I meant the mix of essential nutrition). But as many of us struggle with the diet for our child, I also have days of war and protest on the breakfast I make and the dabbas packed for the school. Those freakish moments, when the food is not up to the mark or the dabba doesn’t have anything which my son would like, are accompanied with strong feedback from him when he is back from school.
The two dabbas – one for a short break and the other for the longer one are sometimes half-eaten with displeasure or come back cleanly licked. Over a period of time I have mastered the art of pleasing and satisfying my son’s finicky taste buds. I am thoroughly convinced that the Indian diet is very elaborate and healthy too. We all are aware that anything in excess poses a problem hence eating in proportion will always result in a perfect well balanced diet. Like other mommies, even I keep researching on my child’s diet.
Tiffins for both breaks are filled with creative inventions that according to my gut will cater to my son’s complex hidden hunger. When he gets tempted to eat junk food, I, rather than refusing thim, make the aloo tikki with a combination of grated beetroot and crushed oats and settle it between the two huge buns greased with mayo. The praise that I get when he comes home means a lot to me. We all try these various recipes and ensure that our children are healthy to face their busy day scheduled with back to back activities.
I see so many kids putting on weight as their resisting power is not so good, and look plump due to the fatty junk food, chocolates and sweet meats that they hog on. After an age it becomes difficult for parents to control these unwanted cravings in their children. It is best that we ensure they follow a balanced diet in their early childhood, keeping these junk items a part of their diet on special occasions. A homemade pizza topped with juicy cool cucumber, tangy tomatoes and grated carrot can be an excellent substitute to the fully loaded cheese pizza which may cost a bomb in the famous pizza outlet in your next lane. Super foods made creatively at home will surely be loved by our children.
It goes by my pure logic that if children are happy it surely means that we are feeding them well. I can rest assured that my food is keeping them happy and healthy, else we may have to put on a thinking cap and see how we feed their little mouths with the best creative recipes. That’s why I love to say that the lunch box is not just a lunch box but it’s a mother’s love, packed neatly to be cherished and fondly remembered even years later. Happy cooking!
Moushumi says- After 12 years of banking experience, I chose to take a sabbatical for my kids and be an enterprising mother. I am a Bachelor in Commerce, Masters in Finance Management and done diploma in creative writing .Writing is my passion and wish to develop it further. My husband is my inspiration to all my aspirations. I am a mother of two sons, my elder being 6 yrs old and younger about 1 month old . I love travelling and writing about places visited and every thought that fascinates me. All this can be read in my blog Life Bytes.