Laz’s school didn’t have their own lunch boxes available when the school year started last June. (The kids are free to use any lunch box; the “school” lunch box is the one the school makes and the one that bears their logo). I was able to finally get one last July when I picked up Laz from school and, with that, was at last able to complete everything he needed to pack his recess and lunch (i.e. his baon).
Part 1 – Laz’s Lunch Box and Accessories
The containers are from Lock&Lock, and I invested in them when Laz was still in kindergarten, only adding 1 or 2 pieces as needed. They have served us well! Naturally, I label everything – the waterproof labels are from Robee. We don’t buy Laz a new set of school stuff every year – as long as it’s still in good condition, we use it again the following year. (For instance, we’re still using the same school bag, pencil case, and polo shirts from last year, even though we had to have new pants made because the kid got taller). We do however buy new drinking flasks each year.
The 2 blue drinking flasks are from Lock&Lock also. (We’ve tried so many brands already!). The steel flask is for his juice, and the plastic one is for water. (I don’t kill myself about BPA-free bottles, sorry). The white utensils are from SM Department Store (same as the red utensils in the first photo that I keep as back-up). I got them for 1st grade and they are flimsy, so I was glad to be able to replace them with a stainless steel set this year. Oh, and the blue clear case is actually a pencil box from National Bookstore. I bought 2 of those because the utensil containers I found in the past were all made of cloth, or wouldn’t close properly.
Imagine my joy in finding that camo-print utensil set in Tickles, of all places (for only Php 100++). It comes with a fork, spoon, and even a chopstick – in a neat compact tin container. I got a 2nd set for back up, and now the driver can use the white and red utensils for when he packs his own baon.
Part 2 – Lunch Box Planner
I buy 2-weeks worth of Laz’s baon. This includes breakfast (he sometimes eats in the car), recess, and lunch. Recess is usually just cookies plus a sandwich (or cupcakes or cheese rolls or ensaymada). Lunch is always a rice meal. (Close up of our Lunch Box Planner here).
I write out Laz’s baon menu every week, taking into account half days or early dismissals when he has exams, or days when he’ll be going to his grandparents’. Yaya cooks his baon in the mornings and sometimes, though rarely, at night. Some nights I prepare his recess already, too.
Part 3 -School Lunch Drawer and Cupboard
I have a designated drawer that holds Laz’s lunch box, containers, and drinking flasks in our kitchen. The big container on the right holds all his cookies and snacks for recess.
I use a separate drinking flask for when he goes to the tutor or when we’re out in the mall, because we’ve lost a school flask once and I had to rush out and buy a replacement after a long day at work. Now in case Laz loses one of his drinking flasks for school (and I’ve seen this cage-like thing for lost and found Thermoses and Colemans in his school), we at least have the tutor flask and the going-out tumbler as back-ups.
I also have a designated cupboard in our pantry where I keep Laz’s breakfast food and drinks, delata, sandwich spreads, etc. I keep it separated from my bigger pantry closet for easy access to yaya (because I sometimes lock our pantry). The 3 little bins on the left hold take-out napkins, plastic utensils, and those condiment sachets from McDonalds (yaya empties them out regularly). We keep Laz’s bread in the fridge.
Every day, after school, Laz’s lunch box and accessories get returned neatly in their drawer after yaya washes them. I never have anything cluttering my kitchen counters, and the Lunch Box Planner helps to remind me to always check my stock for his baon. It also helps yaya because she doesn’t have to keep asking me every day what she should cook for Laz. This system has been working really well for us, and I’m so happy we’ve got baon preparation down to a T.
The next challenge is getting Laz to eat healthier and more nutritional food!!!