Moms of school-age kids know this by heart – one of mommyhood’s greatest challenges is how to pack and get your kids to eat their baon. Imagine going through all the research, menu plans, and meal preps – all down the drain once you open your kid’s lunch box to see it barely eaten! It’s honestly enough to drive any mom insane.
So what does a resourceful and creative mom do about this? Well, get ideas from the Internet! We’ve made things easier for you by compiling the best baon tips:
1. Get a good lunchbox
A good lunchbox is one that your kid can easily open, can retain the food’s freshness, and hopefully one that comes in a character or color that your kid loves. Kids are more likely to pull out their lunchbox and eat their baon in school if its something they can show off to their classmates. You can also consider using one or two lunchboxes in rotation, to break the monotony.
2. Ask your child what he/she wants
Involve your child in baon planning, assembling, and packing. This is also a good tip for getting your kids to eat more during meal times at home. Getting them involved in every step of the meal process gives them more sense of control and thereby increases the chances of them eating what they have prepared. Giving a bit of control to your kiddo also boosts his/her confidence and sense of pride in having had a hand in preparing his/her meal. Just allot of time and patience when packing their baon with them around.
3. Offer a variety of food
During meal planning with your kid, be prepared to offer a number of dishes. Kids love variety, and doing so will eliminate the typical complaint of “I just had pizza yesterday that’s why I didn’t eat my baon today.” On the other hand, for kids who are going through a 1-viand phase (i.e. I want chicken today, tomorrow, and forever, please), you can look for creative recipes involving chicken and offer it to your kid. And hope to the high heavens that once he/she sees that it’s chicken every day, might be willing to try out other dishes.
4. Separate their food according to their preferences
Kids go through different weird phases when it comes to food, so talk to them and adjust according to their preferences. Don’t worry as this is normal and will eventually pass. So if your kid asked for a deconstructed pizza or sandwich, accommodate and put the ingredients in separate containers (another must for their lunchbox – separate containers). This is the same for older kids who might prefer having their sinigang soup separate from their rice, or their catsup separate from their fried chicken. Pack right to prevent soggy dishes (plus, it’s just eew). At the same time, doing so will prevent food spoilage especially during hot days.
5. Make their baon pretty
Aside from using a pretty lunchbox, make his/her baon visually appealing as well. Shape it into his/her favorite characters. Use silicone muffin cups to separate different food so that it does not end all mushed up. Use cookie cutters and molds to make it more interesting. While us adults might think twice about eating cute food, kids, on the other hand, are more likely to eat their meal if it’s Doraemon’s head they are chomping off. You can even get inspiration from bento meals other moms are sharing on Instagram.
6. Add a small surprise
If you have a bit more time and effort left in you, you can include a small surprise into their baon every once in a while. The surprise could be a sweet note or a funny joke included in their lunchbox (or even written on their banana), or even a small gummy treat that they can enjoy as dessert. Doing so could uplift your kiddo’s spirits and make him/her feel more inclined to eat the baon you have lovingly packed.
Remember mommies: do not stress yourself out if your kiddo comes home with leftover baon. As long as your child is thriving and happy, then chances are, he/she’s doing just fine.