What is in your lunch box?

At a family gathering in a park, we all were preparing for a tea when I had one of those embarrassing moments as a mother. My son was looking at the little cups of evaporated milk packed in nice golden wraps like he has seen no other, and I was asked by my relatives if he was really that hungry. I just had to tell them the truth- my son is so deprived of chocolates and candy bars to such an extent that anything he sees packaged he assumes them to be chocolate. They were all quite surprised at my answer, but I must admit that I did look like an idiot trying to explain that I avoid processed food to the extent possible, especially when it comes to my son's food.

I was told that it is not possible to go on like that and life becomes very difficult without those pre-packed lunch boxes. One of my friends who worked as a teacher told me that most of the children in this part of the world bring just packets of buns, bottled juice, a bar of candy or biscuits as 'lunch' and one will hardly ever find anything real in their lunch boxes. Even if they bring something 'cooked', it would mostly be fried nuggets or some pasta immersed in unhealthy, ready made sauces and store bought mayonnaise. Children with this kind of an eating habit will naturally put on weight and a chubby looking kid is considered healthier than the one that doesn't in many cultures. 

It is very easy for parents to get their children eat nuggets and noodles, and we are happy as far as their tummy is full. But it must be remembered that they like the taste because those foods are programmed to be tasty with all the nasty ingredients like MSG and bad fats and it takes a little bit of an effort from our side to get them to eat what is healthy. In my opinion, I don't mind if my son takes just two bites of a home cooked meal and go to bed hungry than replacing it with a junk that he eats till the last bit. Because if I give into his junk food habit now, I know that it would go on forever. Eating a lot of processed food not only makes your child obese, but also hyperactive and lower IQ. 

Let us accept the fact- it is indeed very difficult to bring about a change when we are bombarded with processed, junk everywhere. The most outrageous thing, according to me, is the way supermarket chains are promoting the sale of processed food targeting school children in their 'back to school' promotional campaigns. Almost every single product listed on the flyer can be easily categorized as junk, and the worst part is that they are sold in large quantities so that the kids can take them almost everyday. 

The only good thing that I can see is the butter
Salt, Sugar and Fat!!!

 There are plenty of options available as snack options for your children- you can pack soaked/blanched nuts, whole fruits, vegetables like cucumber, plain yogurt mixed with the fruit of your choice, laban (make sure to read the label- as I found milk powder in the list in a very famous laban drink brand in UAE), etc. The best way to start off is to talk to your children about healthy eating habits and try to make an activity about the food chain. Tell them that KFC, McDonalds and such chains are "junk" and let that get registered in their minds forever.


  1. /but I must admit that I did look like an idiot//

    Me too!! Same blood!!

    I dont give packed food to school, I dont allow them to buy food from outside whenever they have a "stay-back" for extra classes, I dont buy chocolates (but they get plenty from visitors to our home :-( )

    We dont have tv channels at home, I've never bought any kind of playstation stuff for my kids, We dont have hi-fi mobiles, latest gadgets, no separate mobiles for kids......

    A lot of reasons to make me "look like an idiot" amidst my relatives and friends!! Welcome to the club!! :-)

    1. I guess I have a role model in front of me :)

  2. Replies
    1. I don't know how to remove that option. Will look into it

  3. 'Eating a lot of processed food not only makes your child obese, but also hyperactive and lower IQ'
    It's high time we realize, think and act on ths...
    keep goin Faiza... Its an eye opener for many mothers...


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