It’s 8.30 pm, you’re done with dinner and getting your kids ready for bed, when one of them remembers to show you a note her teacher left in the diary. “Please send a tri-coloured food item in your child’s tiffin box tomorrow on the occasion of India's Independence Day". If the thoughts crossing your mind are somewhat like “Whaaaa! Where am I going to find that!!” Worry no more. Here are some simple and tasty ideas that will be a hit in class. Food colours are a no-no. Research has shown that food colours are linked to health issues ranging from hyperactivity in children, allergies to even cancers. Instead, use natural food colours to get the shades you desire. For orange you can use saffron or turmeric, mix leafy greens (pulp or juice) for greens. Rustle up a salad made of carrots, cucumber sticks or spinach, and potatoes for a tricolour salad or make a tricolour rice. The world is your canvas!
Here are some colour-themed ideas you can turn around for the perfect Independence Day meal
Everyone loves them. Sweet, fragrant, dripping in ghee, motichoor laddoos are an anytime treat. Pack some motichoor laddos for the Independence Day meal and let all her friends enjoy it too.
Get creative with the citrus fruits that are available in the market and instead of simply packing some orange segments in her tiffin box, experiment with it for the Independence Day meal. Bake an orange cake with the pulp or zest, to give the cake an orange-tint. You can involve your kids to help you in baking, let them get their hands dirty and come up with ideas of their own. Here are some more ideas you can explore with your little chefs.
Give your plain-Jane steamed rice a Mexican twist with chicken broth, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers. If you're a vegetarian, you can replace chicken broth with vegetable stock for this Independence Day meal.
Gajar ka halwa
We no longer wait for winter to stir up this delicious homely halwa. Kids love this tasty and healthy treat and it's beautiful orange colour is just the right shade for the season! Here's a delicious addition to your young man's Independence Day meal. Sprinkle with a handful of nuts to amp up the nutrition. Green pistachios, anyone?
Easy to make and extremely delicious, coconut ladoos are a quick fix for the Independence Day meal if you have a busy schedule. Just mix into condensed milk and roll round white laddoos.
One of the most popular dishes made in every household during festivals. No one can go wrong with a pot of kheer. You can make it with rice, sevaiya, or the Kerala Adai. A chilled bowl of kheer is a true celebration of the glorious cuisine of our country and just the right dessert for Independence day. Garnish with nuts and dry fruits.
A staple breakfast item, every region has its own version of upma; add lots of peas and chopped carrots for a tricoloured dish. Garnish with cashews. Set in molds to make it more fun for the Independence Day meal.
For the Independence Day lunch box, first spread some chutney on the slices of bread, top it with cheese, and then grated carrots. Viola!
Pasta in white sauce
Let your kids relish the pasta loaded with fresh cream and cheese in the Independence Day meal. Add some green beans and chopped carrots and there’s your tricolour tiffin!
Here's a quick hack for the Independence Day meal because green is by far the easiest colour to get. Add some ground coriander, spinach juice or grated capsicum, whatever your kids fancy, to the batter. Steam the idlis and serve with coconut chutney or ketchup. Or make idli sandwiches with chutney an carrot stuffing.
Pesto sauce open sandwich
You need little else when you have pesto. Smear the creamy, luscious green pesto sauce on the bread and it is ready to be served for the Independence Day gathering.
Whip up an easy salad for the Independence Day special with seasonal green vegetables like broccoli, baby spinach, lettuce, zucchini and cucumber. Sprinkle some oregano for a punch of flavour.
Hara Bhara Kebab
If you have to run behind your kids to feed them green veggies, kebab is the best place to hide it. These kebabs are made from green peas and spinach and when added to the Independence Day platter, they will definitely make your kids ask for a second helping.
Sprouted moong cheela
A desi version of pancakes, a cheela can be made out of anything from besan to millet flour. Sprouts are high in proteins and fibre. For the Independence Day meal, jazz up the flavours by adding some green sprouts.
Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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