By now, school-aged kids across the country are back in school for another year of learning. After the relaxed and easy days of summer, it’s time to settle back into routine, adding tweaks here and there to fit everyone’s schedule. A crucial part of back-to-school season is your child’s lunch box or baunan.
While there are students who are given a food allowance to spend for their meals in school, most children still bring their own baon. For parents who find that packing their child’s snack or lunch is yet another skill to master, here are a few suggestions to help you along:
To save time (and the lunch packing frenzy in the morning), prepare the next day’s baon the evening before the school day. Some families practice setting aside some of the evening’s dinner for the next day’s lunch. In this case, separate the serving needed for baon for easy reheating the next day.
Water bottles (hopefully the reusable ones instead of commercially bottled water!) can be placed in the freezer to freeze. That way, when they are taken out and brought to school, the ice would have melted enough for the students to enjoy very cold water. This practice can also be applied with yogurt and juices in tetra packs.
Fruits always make a nutritious snack. Some fruits, like bananas and atis, might not take too well to being cooped up in lunch boxes; on the other hand, fruits like santol, apples and other seasonal “stone” fruits can withstand the jostling in lunch bags. So, pack the right fruits to avoid the mess.
Those “Good Morning” white towels can finally be put to good use! Wrap them around the frozen water bottles, juices and yogurt cups/tubes to prevent too much dampening caused by condensation. These rather flimsy hand towels are good enough to provide extra insulation to wrap around hot food items, too! That way, that adobo and rice can stay warm enough to enjoy for lunch. Simply wrap the container with the towel and secure with an extra large rubber band before placing in lunch box.
For added convenience, precut food, especially meat, before packing them in the bao-nan. Not only does this save time for kids, but it also protects your baon-an from unnecessary wear and tear brought about by cutting food while in the container.
Eventually, of course, you will develop your own method of packing your child’s baon depending on both your preferences. The key is to keep it simple and just a part of your school year routine so that it becomes less of a chore.