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Bento breaks: School lunch packing hacks

Pack in a flavoursome and adventurous punch for your kids' lunch.

By Farhana Chowdhury

Published: Fri 15 Jan 2021, 4:38 PM

You've got to admit; ever since the kids started attending online classes, sorting out lunchtime was less of a hassle. You could serve up family meals straight on a plate, and not have to worry about tucking in bite-sized finger foods for eating convenience. But now that blended learning is in full swing, along with physical return to the classroom, parents are back in the kitchen, preparing meals late at night or early morning.

Now, this may feel overwhelming for a parent who has been out of touch prepping lunchboxes but rest assured, it's simple to get back into the groove.

Invest in an attractive lunchbox

Out with the boring zip lock bags and plain boxes. Take your child out shopping for their own lunchbox. Choose one with compartments to section out meals, and add carrying convenience with a dedicated bag. The bag also ensures that your child's books and stationery are safe in the unlikely event of a spill.

Keep portions small

Children have a fascination with things that either fit into their palm, or are much smaller in size than them. Use this tip to create tiny bite-sized meal portions. Make sure your child gets a balanced dose of carbs, protein and fats to create a healthy and filling lunchbox, and add in a treat like seedless grapes or apple slices for a sweet boost.

Appearance is everything

We're well aware that kids are attracted to bright colourful objects. So, the best way to appeal to their appetite is to pack vibrant snacks of different textures. Get creative and try carving little animals and structures using fruits, veggies, condiments, etc. using cookie cutters and a knife. There are incredible tips and tricks on available online as a guide. It's also a great way to introduce them to a plant-based diet.

Prep in advance

Much like how body-builders prepare boxes of meals that last them a week or two, recreate the same with your child's lunches. This is especially helpful if you have more than one kid and save you loads of time. It will also free up more time at home and reduce down unnecessary purchases at supermarkets.

Keep it simple

You don't have to roast a whole chicken or spend hours at the stove. Opt for super easy meals that are just enough to satiate their hunger at school, then meet their nutritional needs for dinnertime. Keep in mind that kids are not fond of complicated things, so items that can be easily picked up and bit into are best (flower-shaped carrots, celery sticks or square-cut sandwiches).


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