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Pinay Mom Still Makes Fun, Healthy Baon For Her Child's Online Class! See Her Recipes
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Joynee Sebastian
  • If your kids are having a hard time adjusting to online learning, one way to motivate them is by serving them hearty, healthy baon. It gives them fuel to be in tip-top shape and ready to focus, learn, and play.

    If your child is a picky eater, or have special diet requirements, prepping bento boxes is a way to make mealtimes more fun — it’s something they can look forward to during recess or lunch! If you’re looking for ideas, Joynee Sebastian, 38, an overseas Filipino worker based in Malaysia has a few suggestions.

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    Joynee with her husband, Pong, and 6-year-old son, Seth.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Joynee Sebastian

    In an email interview with SmartParenting.com.ph, Joynee shares that her food prepping journey started because her 6-year-old son, Seth, was born with a congenital heart defect. He had open heart surgery when he was 1 year and 6 months old to repair his heart problems. “Food plays a major role in improving the health of his heart, so I make sure to [serve healthy meals],” she shares.


    She adds, “When he started daycare, we had a hard time bringing him to school. He would always cry and say, ‘ayaw school’, so I thought of making bento baon with his favorite food so he has something to look forward to. It seemed to work! I would take pictures of his baon, wake him up to show him, and then he will get ready because he knows he has ‘masarap na baon.’”

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    How to prepare your child’s baon

    Most of Joynee's baon recipes are made with easy ingredients, like this cereal and baked french bread combo (top), pakwan balls, and fried 'Garfield' noodles with kalabasa and eggs.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Joynee Sebastian

    Since Joynee and her husband, Pong Sebastian, both work in the same company, she prepares and cooks school and work baon daily. “During weekends, it helps to have food prepped ahead, like frozen food such as lumpia, longganisa, turon, meatballs, etc. Or, I bake tinapay to help me on lazy days,” she shares.

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    The mom gets ideas from Pinterest and YouTube, then develops her own recipe. She also gets ideas and inspiration from foodie feeds on Instagram, bento Facebook groups, and hand-me-down recipes from relatives and friends.

    She readily admits that her recipes are not perfect — and her son is not afraid to call her out when “not so nice daw ang cook ko.”

    Because she's been preparing her son's baon for so long, she's already mastered some 'tricks' to get him to eat more healthily. “May love-hate relationship ang bulilit ko with gulay, sometimes I substitute or add ingredients from original recipes and turn it into something my son would eat. I add hidden veggies to his favorite food, making sure it’s finely chopped so he’ll eat it," she says.

    It also helps that the daycare Seth goes to has a strict policy on meals. They don’t allow sugary drinks and junkfood, and encourage and promote healthy eating for their students. “Pero dahil minsan I’m too sleepy to cook, I buy light snacks like biscuits, crackers, tinapay, or cakes from the bakery for a quick and easy baon.”

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    Baon recipes and ideas for school


    Seth enjoys every baon mom prepares for him!
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Joynee Sebastian


    Joynee explains that she continued with Seth’s daily baon when he attended online classes while Malaysia enforced quarantine in the country. When the daycare opened again, he would attend classes in the morning and stay in the office with Joynee and Pong for the rest of the day. “May baon siya for morning break time and afternoon snack,” she explains.

    Seth’s favorite food include noodles, rice, chicken, egg, bread, banana oats and cereal. “So I prepare them all in so many different ways,” Joynee shares. Here are some recipes to get you started:

    Egg Rolled Rice

    Substitute your white rice to brown or red to make it healthier!
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Joy Nee



    • Rice
    • Beaten eggs


    1. Place a scoop of rice on a cling wrap. Squeeze and mold it into an egg-like shape.
    2. Add oil on a hot pan and spread the oil.
    3. Place the rice into the pan. Scoop egg into the pan and spread using a spoon.
    4. Place the rice ball and roll it together with the egg. Make sure the egg is still a little wet before rolling so that it will stick to the rice.
    5. Repeat for the rest of the rice balls.


    Spaghetti with Kalabasa Shakshuka

    Joynee's healthy version of a Shakshouka, a dish made of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, olive oil, peppers, onion and garlic.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Joynee Sebastian



    • Oil
    • Kalabasa (squash) and carrot chunks
    • Diced bell pepper and tomatoes
    • Minced garlic and chopped onion
    • Salt, pepper, and paprika
    • Sugar (optional, if your child likes Pinoy-style spaghetti)
    • 1 can tomato sauce
    • Spaghetti noodles
    • Eggs
    • Grated cheese


     1. Cook the pasta (al dente) together with the carrot and kalabasa. Drain and set aside.
    2. Add oil in a hot pan and stir in the garlic, onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes.
    3. Add tomato sauce and mashed kalabasa and carrots. Ad sugar, salt, peper, and paprika.
    4. Taste and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
    5. Toss in the cooked pasta.
    6. Make a “well’ on the pan and add eggs. Sprinkle spring onion and grated cheese.
    7. Cover and cook on low heat until egg whites are done.


    Follow Joynee on Instagram @feeding_booosethseth to get more baon inspiration. For more baby and toddler recipes, click here.

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