Healthy Baon For Kids
Eating the right food in the right amount is crucial for any person’s overall health - especially for growing children. A correct diet - which includes vegetables, proteins, vitamins and minerals - aids children to grow and learn. It also reduces the risk of obesity and related illnesses, diabetes among them1.
It is up to the parents to prepare healthy baon for kids (packed food or snacks) particularly when they head for school, where you cannot be sure of the quality of food they serve. Even in homeschooling situations and distance or online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, children need the same nutritious meals you would give them under normal circumstances.
Healthy Baon Preparation
Most food preparations are done at home and children tend to eat what is available. Direct your kids to choose healthy snacks by offering ready-to-eat fruits, vegetables and other snacks such as low-fat yogurt, peanut butter, cheese and whole grain crackers.
When preparing healthy baon for kids, steer away from fried foods and low-nutrient foods like junk food. Limit sugary drinks too2.
Some good ideas for healthy snacks or food your kids will want to eat include: whole-grain bread with cream cheese and cucumber sticks; yogurt with orange slices or other citrus fruits; vegetables with hummus; homemade popcorn; toasted pita bread with a tuna mayo and yogurt dip; mashed avocado (squash can work too) with boiled egg; and boiled egg alone3. Don’t be afraid to mix and match and experiment.
Ready To Eat Baon
If your child is being particularly difficult when introduced with new or healthy foods, consider keeping vegetable or fruit snacks within reach. These should be ready to eat, preferably bite-sized and colorful to entice your kid4. Consider these factors when thinking about what to make as a healthy baon for kids.
To keep track of your child’s food intake, plan your child’s lunches and snacks for the whole week; this not only saves time but allows you to explore all the possible options you can offer that are within budget. To avoid your child getting sick of their packed food, introduce a variety for the same type of food, for instance, using a different filling for whole wheat sandwiches (tuna, cheese, chicken or egg)5.
Healthy baon for kids should include proteins and carbohydrates too. Prepare lunches that can provide your kid energy throughout the day, such as rice, chicken, buttered or boiled veggies and a side of fruits5.
As recently as last year, more and more Filipino kids are receiving inadequate nutrition. One in three children under the age of five are short for their age while about seven percent are too thin for their age. Inversely, over one-tenth of Filipino adolescents are overweight. All these factors make them more prone to diseases6 and healthy baon for kids may just help in making them healthier.
Other Healthy Options to Consider
In this pandemic, undernourished children are more susceptible to COVID-19 due to weakened immune systems. Even before the health crisis, child malnutrition in the country was among the highest in the world. Experts say that a nutritious diet is key for a strong immune response to the virus by preventing stunting and micronutrient deficiency7.
In addition to all the options for healthy baon for kids, fluids are also an important component for proper child nutrition5. Fruit juices (preferably with no added sugar or minimal sugar content) provide, among others, vitamin C that fights against infection and helps the body restore itself. You could also complement the meal with a glass of Enfagrow A+ Four which is the only children’s milk formula with MFGM Pro. Combined with DHA, MFGM Pro supports brain development. Especially for children, milk aids in growth and development as it is a rich source of calcium8.
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1 Child Nutrition. https://medlineplus.gov/childnutrition.html. Accessed 2 October 2020.
2 Healthy Eating. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/habits.html. Accessed 2 October 2020.
3 Quick & Easy Healthy Snacks for Kids. https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/food-facts/healthier-snacks-for-kids/100-.... Accessed 2 October 2020.
4 Fruit and veg snacks. https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/food-facts/healthier-snacks-for-kids/frui.... Accessed 2 October 2020.
5 Tips for Preparing Nutritious “BAON” for Your Kids. https://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph/index.php/publications/writers-pool-corner/.... Accessed 2 October 2020.
6 UNICEF: Many children and adolescents in the Philippines are not growing up healthily. https://www.unicef.org/philippines/press-releases/unicef-many-children-a.... Accessed 2 October 2020.
7 Undernourished children are more prone to COVID-19. https://www.savethechildren.org.ph/our-work/our-stories/story/Undernouri.... Accessed 2 October 2020.
8 Milk. https://healthy-kids.com.au/food-nutrition/drinks/milk/#:~:text=Due%20to.... Accessed 2 October 2020.