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  • Moms Share Their Emergency Healthy Baon Tricks for 'Wala na Akong Maisip!' Days

    Emergency baon usually bring to mind processed foods, but it doesn't have to follow.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
Moms Share Their Emergency Healthy Baon Tricks for 'Wala na Akong Maisip!' Days
PHOTO BY iStock
  • “Wala na akong maisip!” No mom with a preschooler or grade-schooler ever escapes this line. Believe it or not, as much as we love our kids, thinking of their school baon daily can take a toll. And because it can be stressful, we tend to push this thought at the back seat of our brains. Before we know it, we’ve managed to finish the entire series of Stranger Things only to find out the next day that the strangest thing will be the fact that you have nothing to put in your kid’s baunan.

    It is when we reach this point that we tend to learn our lesson and stock up on easy, convenient but nutritious emergency baon items. While giving money is the easiest solution, we are sometimes wary of what our child will most likely choose to buy in school.

    Joanne Dimalig-Beato, mom of three, says that she finds herself preparing emergency baon at least once a week. “This usually happens if I got up late or there is no stock in the house,” she says.

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    Jam Apao, on the other hand, says she usually prepares her sons’ baon the night before to avoid rushing in the morning.

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    Healthy emergency baon 

    While emergency baon usually bring to mind processed foods, it doesn’t necessarily have to be so. Sure it is tempting to put that tetra pack drink, chocolate cookies, and crispy or sugar-coated whatnots in the baunan, but we want these kinds of foods to be just a fun supplement to healthier options. And, indeed, there are healthy, quick-to-pack and delicious options out there. We just have to make sure they are available at all times in our pantry.

    Fruits

    Grapes, apples, and banana are all great and nutritious options for snacks. Apao says fried saba is one of her son’s favorites. Fried saba is easy to do and provides natural sweetness to satisfy your child’s sweet tooth.

    When it comes to fruits, however, Apao learned that one needs to go easy on the amount. “One day, I gave my son grapes for baon. He told me he finished it during recess but later had to ‘go’ a lot in school and almost lost it on the ride home. I didn’t give him grapes again for baon, ever,” she laughs at the memory.

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    • Quick baon tip: Other alternatives to grapes are dragon fruit, kiwi, and strawberries.

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    Bread

    Every mom knows never to forget stocking up on bread in the pantry at all times. It’s a versatile ally when it comes to making easy-to-prepare savory or sweet sandwiches. Cheese, ham, jam, and chocolate spreads can all turn into filling snacks to last your little one until he takes his lunch or goes home.

    • Quick baon tip: Soft tortillas with spreads also make for great emergency baon and can be interesting alternatives to bread. Spread melty cheese such as mozzarella or any sweet filling like peanut butter in a semi-circle, fold then toast. Slice into triangles and you have quesadillas in a jiffy.

    Egg

    Oh, the versatility and convenience of eggs deserve an entire book. The only limit to its preparation will be your imagination. Boiled and peeled is one of the easiest and tidiest ways to pack them as baon. Scrambled and sandwiched is another.

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    • Quick baon tip: For a change, go for boiled quail eggs which are easier pop in the mouth and to hold for tiny hands.

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    Crispy snacks

    We all know how kids love a crispy texture to their food, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be chips. Apao, goes for a popular bread brand’s toasts. Cereal flakes are also another alternative. Like toasties, they are fun, flavorful yet filling enough.

    • Quick baon tip: If there is still time to spare, you can go for carrot sticks and cucumber which are healthy and at the same time crunchy.  Money or meal card

    When all else fails, money or a meal card isn’t such a bad idea. It will not only save you a lot of time but will also teach your kid the reality that mom can’t prepare his baon 100% of the time. Sometimes, our kids will only be too glad to be given independence and liberty to choose their food for the day.

    However, it would be good to keep tabs on your child’s spending as Beato learned: “I found out at the end of the school year that my child has a ‘listahan’ in the cafeteria. She discovered the power of a meal card aside from her usual baon. She learned she can order from the cafeteria without cash. I was surprised that I have to settle a bill in the cafeteria at the end of the year.”

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    Did we say just be ready for some trade-offs?

    Know more about the correct food portion sizes when it comes to rice, veggies, meat and fruit for toddlers to tweens. Click here to read our food guide. 

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