• Welcome the school season with healthy, yummy ‘baon’

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    SCHOOL year begins this June, but a lot of parents are facing new challenges from stretching their budget for school needs. The list is endless—the increasing prices of school supplies, day-to-day school expenses, monitoring kids’ homework and projects, preparing school baon, and other miscellaneous.

    Such concerns are forcing parents to be innovative to give their children the best of everything, without having to spend too much. This goes with the all-important task of making sure their little ones are getting good nutrition needed for effective schooling. It is but natural for mothers to want to give their children nutritious meals that enrich the mind and protect the body.

    According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), it is very important for a child to be well fed while in school. Short-term hunger can adversely affect his or her ability to learn.

    This can be prevented if they are properly nourished. At home, parents can easily track what their child is eating but the problem lies when they are in school.

    To ensure that your children consume the right food, here are some tips from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI).

    Plan the weekly menu. Plan the child’s packed lunch or baon weekly. This will allow parents to think of healthy options to choose from. Include the older children in the decision-making process. This will teach them to choose healthy food.

    Prepare different menu. Remember to include each food group. The FNRI Pinggang Pinoy recommendation can serve as a template for what kinds of food and how much should be given, tailored to what a child needs.

    Don’t make it complex. Baon should be easy to prepare and easy to carry like fried fish, chicken or pork, beef tapa, fish omelette, and vegetables.

    Avoid soda. Milk and fruit juices are healthy options for the child’s baon. Don’t forget to include drinking water to keep them hydrated.

    Be sure to keep baon safe. Food safety, aside from nutrition, should also be a priority. Observe proper hygiene while preparing the food, and make sure to use insulated lunch boxes to keep the food’s right temperature.

    With all these tips, add a dose of reminder to the children that eating healthy food should be a lifestyle to keep them strong and healthy.

    Lea Manto-BELTRAN

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