Tiffin Treasures: Cracking the Code of Lunchtime Barter at My Son’s School

Have you ever wondered about the magical world of lunchtime decisions in a kid’s life? Well, let me take you on a journey through my son’s adorable tiffin trade tales and explore how it dance on the edges of sharing, donation, charity, and business – all in a language that even a 7-year-old would nod along to!

The Tiffin Trade Unveiled:

So, here’s the scoop: my little one, in all his innocent wisdom, a few days back while we were having our dinner, as a ritual to share day experience he said. “Papa do you know today I have traded my tiffin with my friend”…. I was curious to know what trading meant to him (the doctor in me got activated). He said, “Papa, first I look at my friends’ lunch boxes. If I like someone’s lunch, I ask, ‘Can you share a few bites with me, and I’ll share a few bites of mine with you?'”

This made me think. It’s not just about gobbling down his goodies; it’s about the art of the trade he meant to be. He checks out a friend’s lunch, and if something tickles his taste buds, or something looks him interesting, negotiations start. It’s a friendly swap – a few bites of his lunch for a sneak peek into the treasure chest of someone else’s snacks.

Now, let’s embark on an epic journey to unveil the layers of human decision-making, like peeling an onion of mystery. Picture it as a suspenseful adventure, where every layer reveals a new twist in the tale.

Unpacking the Layers of Human Decision-Making:

  • Assessment of Preferences: At the core of every decision lies the assessment of preferences. In the case of the tiffin trade, my son’s decision is influenced by his personal taste and desires.
  • Negotiation and Exchange: The concept of trade inherently involves negotiation and exchange. Similarly, in our daily lives, we negotiate choices, be it in personal relationships, professional endeavors, or even during a simple lunch break.
  • Risk and Reward: Trading tiffins, even on a small scale, introduces the notion of risk and reward. Will the new tiffin be as satisfying as anticipated? Such considerations are omnipresent in decision-making across various contexts.
  • Social Dynamics: The tiffin trade is embedded in social dynamics, highlighting the influence of peers on decision-making. Human choices are often shaped by social norms, expectations, and the desire for social connection.
  • Sensory Experience: Decision-making is not solely a cognitive process; it involves sensory experiences. The appeal of the food in the tiffin goes beyond logical reasoning—it’s about the sensory pleasure derived from the taste, smell, and appearance.

So, after my son shared his lunchtime adventures, I found myself scratching my head, wondering how to explain to him that there are other words like sharing, charity, business, and donation. I wanted him to know that these are also ways of giving things, but with different intentions. It’s like having a little puzzle to solve in my mind, and I need to find a simple way to explain it to him.

This is how, i would like to put forward

1. Trading – The Snack Swap Adventure:

   – Think of the tiffin trade like a mini snack market where bites are like the coolest coins. Everyone gets a taste of what they like, making it a super awesome win-win game of tiny barter!

2. Donation – A Bite of Big-Heartedness

   – Now, imagine if you shared your entire lunch without asking for anything back. That’s like being a lunchtime superhero! It’s like saying, “Here, take a piece of my delicious world, no strings attached.”

3. Sharing – The Friendly Food Fiesta:

   – Sharing is a bit like trading but without all the serious stuff. It’s like throwing a fun food party where you spread happiness and flavors without expecting anything back. It’s your own little buffet of friendship!

4. Charity – Filling Hearts, Not Just Tummies:

   – If you decide to give your lunch to a friend who doesn’t have one, that’s a sprinkle of charity. It’s like being a kindness wizard, looking out for others and adding a sprinkle of goodness to their day.

5. Business – The Smart Exchange Game:

   – Imagine if your lunch swaps were like a clever game, not just about taste but also a bit of strategy. That’s a bit like business – making smart choices and maybe even becoming a negotiation master! It’s like a tasty adventure where everyone goes home happy.


In the giggly world of tiffin trades, there’s a subtle dance between playful exchanges and the profound concepts of sharing, donating charity, and even a sprinkle of business smarts. So, the next time your little one swaps snacks, remember, that it’s not just about the food; it’s a tiny lesson in the art of human connection and the joy of giving and receiving, one bite at a time.

Whether negotiating a lunch exchange or navigating the complexities of adult life, the fundamentals remain remarkably consistent. By delving into the intricacies of our daily decisions, we can uncover valuable insights that enhance our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

1 Comment

  • Surekha Machhindra Shinde

    nice article

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