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The Snack Box Conundrum
Last year my daughter went to at a preschool. But this year, we decided to move her to a school that is right up to the 12th grade. She loves her new school. They have a lot more in terms of activities. She has also been enjoying the physical activities, the school has them participate in. They are very inventive in their ways to get the little ones to exercise, sweat and have fun.
My daughter is on the shy side and I was worried about how she would adjust to making new friends in a new place. But socially also it has been easier for my daughter this time around. Having been to a school already, she was better prepared and has made friends quickly. She likes playing with them and talks about her school day a lot more enthusiastically than she did before.
So the transition has been quite smooth, except for one tiny hiccup. Both at her old school and new one, they have snack plans. So she has to carry her tiffin according to the snack plan. The snack plan requires her to carry a different healthy snack on each day and gives a couple of options for each day. So Mondays are for sandwiches, Tuesdays for either poha or salad, Wednesday for either fruit or idlis, and so on.
At her previous school, I would follow the snack plan and find that the tiffin returned barely nibbled on most days. There were only one or two items she liked on it. I asked the school if it would be okay to send those everyday. They agreed and my daughter started coming home with an empty tiffin and I was relieved. She is the type who takes a liking to a food on wants to eat it everyday till she is tired of it and then moves on to the next and repeat. Fortunately she makes healthy choices and I thought this was fine since we would balance her diet with other meals at home.
But the new school was quite adamant about the snack timetable being followed. I was in a pickle. To me it was more important that she eat something, over eating a variety of foods, especially since this school started very early in the morning making it difficult to get her to eat much breakfast. But the school would not compromise and they would not make sure she ate enough of her tiffin. It was frustrating putting all the time and energy in to making a variety of snacks that I knew my daughter would not even eat.
Then I had an idea. Over the summer, my daughter and I cooked together for a while. She loves cooking, and ate what she helped cook with pride. So I decided to have her make her own tiffin. It worked like a charm.
Now every evening she cuts herself a salad or fruits and neatly arranges it into her tiffin box and closes it and keeps it in the fridge ready to be packed in to her bag early next morning. She helps me make the poha or halwa or sandwiches. For each of these dishes she chops up fruit, dry fruits or cucumbers and tomatoes. She even stirs the halwa on the stove under my supervision. On Friday they are allowed junk food, so we make a healthy chocolate oats mug cake together, where I measure out the various ingredients and she adds all them in to a cup, mixes them vigorously with a fork and puts it in the microwave and sets the time for it to cook.
For the last week, everyday her tiffin has come back empty. Since she makes it herself, she makes it a point to finish it. Making tiffin is a fun activity for us, while we bond, instead of the chore it used to be for me. She finishes her tiffin and we adhere to all the school rules. Win win win, if you ask me.
So this new school year, #KhulJayeBachpan to finding inventive solutions by thinking outside the (tiffin) box and trusting our children with new responsibilities that will bring out the best in them.