The Indian lunchbox is evolving and keeping up with the times. A lunchbox no longer contains food that is simple, easy to cook and convenient. The “humble” lunchbox isn’t humble anymore; it has upped the ante.
In fact, lunchboxes are acting as catalysts for food fusion, and experimentation; after all, if you are hungry, you are going to eat whatever is in your lunchbox aren’t you, irrespective of its taste? Just kidding, of course.
Each one of us, wants to eat delicious food, irrespective of whether it is being served to us at a fine dining restaurant, a roadside eatery or we are eating it out of our lunchbox. Children are more excited than most about eating scrumptious food.
Children Have Become More Demanding
So why are lunchboxes across India changing and that too for the better? Why do they no longer contain quick fix meals made by harried parents who are hard-pressed to prepare food that appeals to the taste buds of their kids?
Well, the simple reason is kids have become more demanding these days. ‘Simple food’ no longer suits their palate and they want their parents to up their lunch box game. A simple bread and butter sandwich or roti (flat wheat bread) with a vegetable curry is passé.
Kids these days are exposed to plenty of content on the Net and TV centred on food, and want to eat this food. They don’t want a simple pasta in their lunchboxes, they want a pasta that marries Indian curry flavors with quintessential Arabiata sauce; they want to eat sandwiches that don’t just have veggies with salt and pepper, but some creamy cheese added to the mix and some eggs if possible.
The list goes on.
The expectations have gone up manifold and parents are scrambling to meet them.
Kids are Avoiding a Healthy Diet – Fusion Food is the Answer
Your child will easily be inspired to eat junk food, but even the best and the most sustained inspiration might not be enough to convince him/her to eat healthy food. Mothers find it difficult to persuade their children to finish their lunchboxes irrespective of the “threats’ and ‘cajoling” that comes into play.
Children don’t like ‘healthy’ food, but mothers are smart and have found a work around. The answer lies in fusion food. Take junk food as the frame of reference and create healthy food that tastes and/or looks similar to that food.
Take for example the case of pizza. You can make a healthier pizza with a whole wheat pizza base and add healthy toppings (think of all those veggies that your child refuses to eat), and give it a little twist. You could even think about making fritters of veggies they would avoid with a barge pole.
The whole idea is to get a child to finish that lunchbox; fusion food does the trick.
Help is at Hand
Alright! We get it. It is easy to think ‘fusion food’ but it is difficult to implement and create a dish that your child will actually like. No worries. T
There are plenty of start-ups that are willing to help you out. These start-ups aim to remove the word boring from lunchboxes and are a very important reason why food fusion has gone up in a big way in Indian lunch boxes.
Parents who hire the services of these businesses no longer have to worry what food to prepare and whether their kids will actually eat the food in their lunchboxes. These start-ups have one eye on taste and another on nutrition. They make sure that the food satiates the taste buds of even the most discerning children.
The Focus on Becoming a Global Citizen
Call it a fad or need of the hour, there are parents out there who want their kids to know more about the world around them. One of the ways they believe this can be done is by introducing them to food eaten around the world; however, there is a problem. Some dishes that are a part and parcel of a particular country’s cuisine might not be acceptable to Indian taste buds.
The answer lies in creating a fusion that mixes the taste of world and Indian cuisine.
Food fusion in Indian lunchboxes is here to stay. What we are witnessing is a food revolution of sorts wherein there are different reasons fuelling the need for fusion food. In most cases, parents are being forced to meet the evolving lunchbox expectations of their kids. If you think about it, this is not necessarily a bad thing. The kids aren’t complaining about their lunchbox anymore and the parents are happy. A win-win all round.
Author Bio – Siddhi Panchal is a food blogger at CookingwithSiddhi and food aficionado who loves to cook. Her cooking skills cover a range of Indian and international cuisines. Her aim is to enable other food enthusiasts explore their love for food by helping them cook delectable dishes from India and around the world. Follow her on YouTube.