For older kids who can make nutritious choices and manage quantity as per their physical demands there is no challenge. In fact, this is a boon for the mothers as they don’t have to rack their brains everyday thinking about what to pack for school.
The challenge is with the younger kids who get meals in school. Let me highlight some possible situations which confront them:
- Quantity to take at one go.
- Speed of eating so as to manage within the available time.
- What to choose from the multiple offerings.
- Ease of eating – ie. With cutlery as opposed to using hands as is the practice with some cuisines in some part of the world.
All or some of the above will lead to a situation where the child is unknowingly consuming an unbalanced diet the results of which are likely to show up much later in life.
One solution the schools could implement is compulsory platted offerings with an emphasis on finishing the food on the plate, not forced but under supervision.
In the absence of the above the onus comes back on the parents to constantly probe the child on what has been consumed at school match it with the weekly food menu and do the mental checks and balances to ensure the right nutritional intake is being consumed.
The alternative is to fall back on the practice of sending tiffin every day, which may not be a practical choice and comes with its own challenges.