As the new school year starts, you’ll most likely find yourself juggling through a number of stuff like laundry, your child’s school projects, house chores, and packing your child’s lunch. Preparing your kid’s baon has never been an easy task. Aside from the budget, packing meals that have nutritional value is probably the most challenging part. The food that your child brings to school is important because it gives them the energy and nutrients to perform well in class. So how do you make sure that your child gets the right amount of nutrition even when they are not at home? Here are five practical tips on how you can turn their usual baon into healthier meals:
1. Plan the meal ahead
Set a weekly menu for your child’s baon. When you are in a rush, it’s easy to pick processed food that doesn’t require much preparation. However, processed foods contain salt and other preservatives that are not good for their health. Having a meal plan one week ahead helps you look for healthier alternatives because you literally have more time to research and improve the meals.
2. Get your kids involved
Meal preparation can also be a good time to bond with your kid. Let your child join you in grocery shopping and together you can exchange ideas on what to put on their plate. When you involve them in these processes, they will become more interested and have a sense of responsibility. You can also designate a space in your kitchen where you and your child can use for lunch preparation. This way, you can consider what your kid wants while including healthy ingredients, too. Time to turn your child into a sous chef!
3. Pack a well-balanced meal
As you pack their baon, make sure that it includes the three food groups that will keep them fueled throughout the whole school day. Adding vegetables to your child’s meal can be a bit challenging but there are plenty of ways on how you can add spice to simple meals. For example, when you have fried chicken and rice, make sure to add bite-sized veggies like sauteed spinach or stir-fried carrots, beans, and corn. And lastly, don’t forget to include fruits. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that growing kids need to eat every day. Try all the colors in the rainbow!
4. Switch to healthier alternatives
There are a number of healthier products that you can try in place of low-nutrient ones. When preparing sandwiches, use whole grains instead of white breads as they have more fiber content that helps increase heart and brain function. You can use a variety of fillings like tuna, chicken, egg, or cheese each day. When making a dressing, use low fat mayonnaise. Add veggies like cucumber, tomato, and lettuce for added fiber. Including milk or natural fruit juices in lunch meals can also keep your child from unhealthy carbonated drinks; most importantly, make sure your child drinks enough water by bringing them a bottle of water.
5. Prepare easy-to-eat and stress-free meals
Break time may not just only mean meal-time for your child. They can also use this time to socialize with their peers, review for a quiz, or accomplish extra-curricular activities so see to it that eating their meals won’t seem to be such a tedious task. Cut veggies into small pieces so it’s easier to consume. Tightly seal their baon in a clean container so it won’t spill on their bag. Bento boxes or layered stainless wares are best to separate fruits from other dish. When your child gets home, ask for what they liked and didn’t like from their baon that day so you can adjust accordingly.
Turning common baon into healthier meals doesn’t have to be a scary task, all it takes is your creativity. Interested to know more about how you can support your child in making the best out of their school life? Visit Edukasyon.ph’s Parent Portal now.