Quick, easy, healthy baon ideas for your pre-schooler – straight from a Nutritionist!
Your child is about to start school, but how do you make sure he/she eats well? Bibili na lang ba sa canteen? Kung baon naman, where do you start? Nutritionist and Dietitian Ms. Nieves Serra shares some advice on where to source nutritious baon for kids that are locally available and can be easily sourced in local markets.
School children can either bring baon to school or eat in the school canteen.
Before the next school term begins, orient your child with pictures of fruits, veggies, lean meat, chicken, fish, milk, and seafoods and teach him the nutrients important for his growth and development.
For example, when he eats rice, bread, noodles and pasta, he will get carbohydrate which is good for energy.
When he eats meats, chicken, fish and milk, he gets protein for his growth and development. From the fruits and vegetables, he will get vitamins and minerals good for functioning of the body system.
For children without baon for school:
- Find out if the school canteen sells a set of hot meals for lunch. Have your child’s name included in their list so it will be easy for them to just go to the school dining room and avail of the set meal for lunch.
- Familiarize the child with the various viands sold in the canteen during the first week, and the nutritious food items they have to buy to make them strong and healthy if the school does not sell hot meals by set.
- It’s better if your child brings his own snacks to school, such as a sandwich, a granola bar, a pack of biscuits, fruits, and a small bottle of milk. He can also buy lunch in the canteen, so the food is served hot. He will also learn to enjoy their meals when he sees his classmates eating the same food.
- It’s ideal if the school canteen sells dishes with vegetables incorporated in the main dish and with a fruit as dessert.
For children with baon for lunch:
- Parents should plan the daily snack and lunch baon together with their children to ensure that they will enjoy their meals, and to avoid swapping of their baon with other kids at school.
- The children should be instructed not to swap their baon with their classmates for health and safety reasons.
- Their baon should be placed in a container and in an insulated bag to keep their meal warm.
- Plan viands with grated veggies like carrots incorporated in meals such as a home-made hamburger, siomai, meat balls, embotido, and meat loaf.
- Include a well-washed fruit in your child’s baon.
Of course, school children in general should be guided in avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and other unhealthy food.
Parents must keep in mind that they should be their child’s role model in the selection of proper food items to be eaten daily.
About The Expert
NIEVES C. SERRA, Nutritionist-Dietitian
Ms. Nieves Serra, a registered Dietitian, took up AB major in Nutrition and minor in Home Culture in St. Scholastica’s College (SSC) Manila in 1960. After her graduation in 1964, she took up the ten months Dietetic Internship program at FEU Hospital. She was the only one in her batch at SSC who took the Board Exam, passed it and practiced in the country. She took up M.S. Foods and Nutrition and MBA without thesis from Philippine Women’s University, Manila.
Her career has been devoted to hospital work in the Dietary department of private and government hospitals for a span of 46 years, and 41 years teaching nursing, HRM and nutrition students. She was also a cafeteria concessionaire for 6 years in various industrial companies, a lecturer/speaker in seminars and conventions and a member of various associations such as PASOO, and PHILSPEN.
In 1992, she was awarded the Outstanding Nutritionist-Dietitian of the year by Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC), and was a past president of Nutritionist-Dietitians’ Association of the Philippines or NDAP (1988), NDAP Life member (2007 to 2011), and held various positions from 1966 to the present. She is married to her profession, a devout Catholic, and follows the Benedictine motto of her school, St. Scholastica’s College, “Ora et Labora, which means work and pray being a loyal Scholastican and a loyal NDAP member.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.