Since Casa 3 (Preparatory to Grade 1) our kids are in school the whole day.  It is part of the Abba’s Orchard School practical life curriculum to train the children on table manners and use of eating utensils. As the child constantly take lunch on his own, he advances to independence. Wow, I just realized that I have been preparing our kids’ lunchboxes for 4 years now. I didn’t notice it’s been that long, probably because I am enjoying and getting much satisfaction doing it. Having to wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning every school day to prepare healthy but enjoyable lunch and snack treats for our school kids, on top of a healthy breakfast for everybody, is a challenge I am taking with pleasure.

I have been consistently preparing their lunchboxes using the following criteria:

  • Variety and Nutrition- go, grow and glow foods should be well-represented and whatever is prepared today should not be repeated tomorrow. No artificial juice, only plain water and milk or choco-milk for their drinks.
  • Taste and Preference- finding out their food preferences through consultations and observations, and incorporating those foods in the menu if possible. My daughter’s favorite is cooked ham so I give it to her one day a week. Another favorite is bacon, which they get to enjoy once in four weeks only because of health and cost considerations.
  • Perfect Combination- combining food types and recipes that go perfectly together like fried chicken + steamed veggies, and grilled fish + buttered veggies.
  • Volume- finding the right balance between how much would satisfy them and how much they should consume to satisfy their nutritional requirement is important. Neither do I want them hungry because their food was not enough nor for them to bring home left-over food for the trash bin. (The school doesn’t tolerate this as well :D)
  • Presentation and Color- for most people, especially children, presentation counts. A nicely presented food gets them excited and would entice them to eat. While color contributes a lot to the presentation, it also speaks of the food’s nutritional value. A multi-colored food preparation will more likely supply the varied nutritional requirement of growing children better than a single color dish. So a fried pork chop which is colored brown will be better served with green and orange vegetables and a yellow fruit for dessert.
  • Convenience and Safety- making life easier for them by preparing for them simple, easy to eat foods. Boneless and fillet for fish and breast cut for the chicken are the best. Pork or beef are sliced into bite-sized pieces or small strips. Fruits are pre-washed and sliced for them.
  • Surprise Factor- often, whatever is packed is not known to them to keep them guessing and inject some excitement. From time to time, I surprise them by adding fruits they love but don’t get to eat often (like grapes) or a piece of chocolate, which they don’t get to eat often as well. With this trick, I earned my halo points
This was how my kids’ lunch looked like yesterday: Boiled Lady Fingers with Soy Sauce-Lemon Dip, Boneless Garlic Milkfish and Ripe Mango Cubes. For their snacks; Egg Sandwich, Banana and Fresh Milk.

Today, they will be having Fried Chicken, Tomato, Lettuce and Cucumber Salad in Vinaigrette, and Mandarin for their lunch. For snacks, it will be Peanut Butter Sandwich, Apple and Choco-Milk.

My kids now noticed (and their teachers, too) that among their classmates, they are the only ones consistently eating vegetables in school and they are proud of it. When they open their lunchboxes, theirs are the most varied and colorful, and yummy as well. During our daily gratitude ritual after dinner, they would usually say they are thankful to me and for the food. This signals success in my healthy lunchbox challenge, Yippee!

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  1. SafeHomeHappyMom March 2, 2010 at 8:04 AM  

    This is a very helpful information.

    I am your latest follower from MBC!!! I love your blog, it's so chic. You can also follow me at

  2. Mama Sez March 3, 2010 at 6:02 PM  

    Hi there Mommy friend, I'm glad you liked Parenting Journey. I am also your follower. Happy blogging :)

  3. Sonia February 27, 2011 at 10:36 PM  

    Really love your criteria to prepare kids lunch, next time I'll do it too.. :)
    I also have another tips, please check it out..

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About Us (circa 2009)

Our journey led us to this place. A little more than 10 years ago we began our journey as husband and wife. Three years later, we found ourselves with two bundles of joy- a daughter and then a son. They're the children we've dreamed of having.

About five years since the birth of our son, an unexpected gift came- a younger brother to our school-age kids. And soon enough, a baby girl arrived to round the family membership.

Brave was a term used by a friend to describe us. Challenging... and loving it -- yeah, this journey is not for the faint of heart.