After spending time away from their books and classrooms, kids—and parents—nowadays are gearing up for a new school year. But while returning to their classmates, teachers and lessons may excite most children, parents are left with the dilemma of preparing not only yummy but healthy baon to last kids the whole day.
As packed lunches are perhaps one of the biggest challenges of parents, The Manila Times has scored tricks and recipes that will make kids finish off their lunches.
Add nutrition and color to food
Food connoisseurs say one eats with their eyes first. This is most especially true for children who can be extra picky with their lunches. Take a cue from this easy to prepare, delicious and healthy recipe by Maya Kitchen, the “Easy Cucumber Spam Musubi.”
Easy Cucumber Spam Musubi
¼ cup vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon hondashi granules
3- 4 cups cooked, Japanese rice
½ cup finely chopped cucumber, seeded
nori sheets, as needed
2 pieces cooked beaten or scrambled egg
1 can Spam slices or any meat loaf slices
¼ cup crushed or grinded nori sheet
1-2 teaspoons togarashi
1-2 teaspoons black or white sesame seeds, roasted
1 small sachet of bonito flakes
2 tablespoons sesame oil or olive oil
4 tablespoons brewed soysauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
sesame seed, for sprinkling
Prepare Rice: Combine vinegar, sugar and hondashi granules in a small pan and bring to a boil and turn off heat. Pour and mix the vinegar mixture onto the hot rice, add cucumbers mix until well blended. Cool and set aside.
Prepare Seasoning: Combine and mix together. Set aside.
Prepare Sauce: In a small pot, blend together all ingredients the sesame oil, soy sauce, and sugar. Mix until well blended then lightly heat up until sugar is dissolved and sauce is hot. Set aside. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of sauce before serving.
To Assemble:Hand-pressthe prepared rice and make sure to get the shape of the cut Spam or meat loaf slices and egg slices or one may use a dessert mould or cutter to shape the rice. First, place a piece of nori sheet on a clean working surface then arrange on top the shaped/pressed rice. Sprinkle seasoning, put a slice of egg, season again before putting on top the Spam then wrap it with nori.
Pair lunches with a yummy drink
With a lot of artificial juices available in the market today, Australia’s Pop Tops breaks away in the nutrition department as it made from real fruit juice, with 30 percent less sugar and less sodium. It has no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.
Now available in the Philippines, Pop Tops is a kid beverage designed to entice the young ones with its taste and packaging. Each Pop Tops comes in a handy-lunch box sized of 250-ml serving. The bottle has a child-friendly grip designed for little hands, and a smaller drinking spout to avoid spillage and mess. Moreover, with a pop-up cap, the drink is re-sealable.
Finally, adding fun to the kids’ drinking experience are the colorful characters from the Pop Tops bunch, led by Alfi Apple and Oli Orange. The drink is now available in Rustans Supermarket, Robinsons Supermarket, and SM Hypermarket nationwide.
Put ‘character’ in lunch bags
Complement kids’ fun lunch and beverage with cute and stylish lunch bags for both boys and girls. SM Shoes and Bags at the SM Department Store offer durable lunch bags in kids’ favorite characters. Moreover, a selection of matching back packs, small bags and trolley bags are also available.