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Baon Hacks? 5 Moms Show Us How They Keep It Real and PracticalThe moms share their tips how to prepare school snacks and meals that your little one will enjoyby Carol Amistad .
It’s back to school once again! That time of the year when we haunt bookstores for school supplies, brave through the overcrowded malls and tiangges just to score discounted bags and shoes, and of course, plan for our kids’ daily baon. Five moms share with us handy and practical tips how to prepare snacks and meals that your little ones will enjoy at school.
1. Do what works best for your family
It's what Denise Rayala of Royal Domesticity has learned in the past two years. Denise, a blogger and a military wife, is known for her #baonserye posts coupled with motherhood stories. She wants her daughter Sophia, an incoming fourth-grader, to have healthy meals.
Denise (with her family above) says, “What inspired me was basically my love for cooking. And seeing how my daughter likes it, too, mas lalo akong ginanahan. Bonus na lang that a lot of readers are waiting for it.”
Denise leaves her daughter with some words of love and encouragement. So sweet, right?
Well, who wouldn’t get excited to eat their baon if it’s as cute and creative as these?
Preparing baon became a challenge when Denise got pregnant last year. “It came to a point where all [Sophia] could bring was water and cash. I didn’t have the energy and will to prep a single meal for her. We did fast food delivery for dinner, too. We don’t have a helper. It was really tiring. Kaya hanga ako sa moms who have more than two kids, no yaya and yet, kinakaya na magpabaon.”
Denise is lucky that her daughter has learned to love everything she loves to eat (and, yes, she eats junk food). “When I tell her that this veggie dish tastes good, she’ll try it first. There are some that she has to wait a few years more to appreciate, but for her age, I’m proud of the foodie she has become.”
2. Involve the kids in meal-planning and decision-making.
Stay-at-home mom Joanna Martinez Rabara says she has no hacks to share. “Whatever we eat at home, yun lang din ang pinapabaon ko. No frills, no tricks.”
Joanna Martinez Rabara calls her kids "matatakaw."
Joanna asks her kids ages 8 and 10 what they want for the week so she can create a menu plan. “Para mabili na namin and at the same time may approval nila. And since na-plan na namin, we make sure na may veggies and fruits palagi.”
June del Rosario (above), who works from home, also lets her 6-year-old son decide his baon for the day. “Hindi ako ang nagde-decide kasi baka hindi niya kainin. ‘Pag wala siyang maisagot, I suggest tapos oo lang siya.”
believes it helps that her 4-year-old daughter, who’s in Senior Nursery, is very vocal about what she wants. It makes it easy to think of what to prepare on a daily basis.
Monique adds, “I would ask her a day before or in the morning what she would like to have for lunch, and from there, I’d know what to cook. That way, I’m sure that she’ll eat and enjoy what I’ve prepared.”
3. Enjoy the process of preparing your child's baon.
Aya Savet’s “bento baon” journey began when her 8-year-old daughter, Z, started going to the big school. “I got the idea from Royal Domesticity, then I coined my own #baonZerye, inspired by what bentomommas started.”
Aya also involves Z when planning for her baon. “I bring her with me to the grocery. For snacks, I let her pick out what she wants. If she grabs something that I don’t like for her (for example, too many sweets), we compromise."
To make it more enjoyable for both of them, they also spend time brainstorming for new (sometimes, even the silliest!) baon ideas. Talk about some mother-daughter bonding moments!
Aya continues, “My tip is not to consider baon creation as just another chore that you’re required to do. Do it from the heart, with joy, out of love! It may be a bit of a challenge but the hard work and time invested in every bento baon is no biggie compared to the fulfillment it brings.
"Being able to remind my daughter each day how much she is loved and valued, and seeing how her eyes light up with the widest smile on her face is priceless. These keep me motivated to do my best every day. All the more when she comes home with a happy tummy and empty yumbox!”
Though she works as a full-time HR advisor, Carol Amistad is a proud hands-on mom to a sweet girl named Zoey and the family's newest bundle of joy, Ethan. She makes sure that her weekends and holidays are well-spent with the hubby and the kids.
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