Just like adults, every child’s body is made up of the three doshas—vata, pitta, kapha. Vata-type kids are usually lean with an irregular appetite. Pitta children have a moderate physique and a sharp appetite. Kapha kids are solid, with mild appetites and slower digestion. No matter what constitution your child favors, it’s important to understand how to keep them balanced and healthy.
As parents, we’ve all been challenged to prepare meals that our kids will actually eat, let alone find something nutritious and satisfying to pack into a school lunchbox. As they’ll be eating at what Ayurveda deems the best time for the largest meal of the day, it needs to be filling.
Eating Ayurvedically doesn’t mean eating Indian/ethnic food; it means eating foods that nourish, satisfy, and help balance the dosha. In Ayurveda, fresh food is the best, so avoid leftovers when possible. That doesn’t mean you need to get up at 5:00 am every morning to prepare lunch. It simply means doing the best you can to come up with healthy and filling options that can be assembled quickly and easily.
There are so many ways to make your child’s lunch a feast for the eyes. Explore the billions of videos on YouTube about packing a bento box. You can pick color themes, make fun shapes, experiment with different textures. If you can get your kid to participate in the process, that’s even better. Once you get the hang of it, prepping a lunch they look forward to opening (and eating!) will be something you both love doing.
Here are some healthy lunch ideas that will make your kids the envy of the lunch room while being super simple for you and healthy and delicious for them.
- Breads. Choose flatbread, sourdough, or whole-grain breads.
- Sandwiches made of vegetables like cucumber, colorful peppers, cheeses.
- Cheese and crackers. Avoid hard cow cheeses which are highly indigestible, clog the channels in the body and encourage mucus formation. Goat’s cheese and cottage cheese are great options. Add a sprinkle of black pepper or turmeric to help with digestion.
- Pizzas made from tortillas topped with cheese, olives, zucchini and other vegetables.
- Pack a thermos with baked vegetables such as sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, corn, and carrots.
- Make a sandwich with almond or cashew butter (only if the school is not a nut-free zone). Nuts provide protein, calcium, and important oils. Pumpkin seed or sunflower seed butter are great alternatives to nut butters if the school doesn’t allow nuts. These seeds are great for getting essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and 6 into your child’s diet. Great for dipping vegetables and fruit as well!
- Hummus is a very tasty great source of plant-based protein. Here is a great recipe for pita with hummus and grilled vegetables—entirely from scratch! MMMMMMM.
- Of course, salads of fresh greens, chopped veggies, avocado,
And finally, what kid doesn’t want to find cookies in their lunch? You’ll feel good about packing these delicious gluten-free eggless chocolate chip cookies!
Pack it all in a special lunchbox, and be sure to include fun food picks, adorable napkins, and a note to fortify them with your love for the rest of the day!
The Ayurveda lunchbox doesn’t have to be complicated. Work with your child to find quick and easy variations of the foods you both love and present them in interesting ways. They’ll be pumped to eat lunch and energized well into the afternoon!