Meal Prep Tips From Jessica Woo
Jessica Woo, aka @sulheejessica, went viral on Tik Tok after posting videos of her assembling simple, yet beautiful bento box lunches with a mom’s unique, loving touch… a personal note to inspire her children’s day. After launching her TikTok in January 2020, Jessica surpassed over 5 million followers who eagerly watch her cooking, DIY, family, and lifestyle content, plus her adorable kids. Jessica was recently featured in Teen Vogue and People Magazine as one of the top TikTok food talent to follow.
This ZuSquad mom lives with her three daughters, Adeline (10), Maxine (6), and Olive (3), as well as her two chihuahua mix puppies. She is also the owner of two small businesses, and with an average 500,000 to 1 million video views, it’s clear that this mama is only just getting started.
In this interview, Jessica Woo shares her meal prep tips and bento box hacks with The Find.
What are your must haves for new and exciting school supplies for kids?
Of course, new lunchboxes 🙂 – easy to mix and match pieces, also I love getting special occasion pieces for picture day and other big events.
How do you simplify the morning routine to get out the door on time (parenting hacks, must-have products, etc.)?
To simplify our morning routines, I have the girls make a list of what they need to do for their school “work” week. They go through their schedules, and it makes for a smooth day! It keeps everyone organized.
How do you decide what to pack for lunch?
I try to give them a variety of items, so I challenge myself to cook different types of food for them. I also just pack leftovers from the day before and just make their favorites of course.
Where do you find inspiration for sending notes in lunch boxes?
The notes started from me wanting to tell them during school that I was thinking of them and miss them, cheering them up if they’ve been sad or having a bad day. Now its a mixture of quotes I find on the internet or song lyrics from songs I love. For my videos, sometimes I add a message that I want to send to my viewers about anything that’s happening in the world, whether its political or a holiday.
How do you use kitchen gadgets or tools for creative school lunches?
I try to find stuff around my kitchen – I use straws often for circle shapes, cookie cutters, and my favorite tool is my scissors.
How do you keep your kids’ bento boxes fresh and fun?
There is always something new happening that I can incorporate with the lunches to keep me creative and having fun. Themed ones are always a hit.
What kind of meal prep do you do for a week of school lunches?
I should do more but honestly; I don’t meal prep a lot of things because I don’t know what I’m making half the time until I am packing their lunches.
Jessica Woo’s top 6 bento box tips
- Add a little variety of everything so they can try new things. I add in a little treat when I know they might not want to eat their veggies that’s packed so I always just ask them to try it and eat a little bit even if they don’t want to since I gave them a little treat as well.
- Keep it simple, you can always make cute bentos without over doing it. Just remember that your kids love the little things.
- Find tools around your house. As mentioned above, you can use whatever you have on hand already. I started packing Adeline’s lunch in just regular food storage containers I had at home (no accessories), and just added in few loving touches.
- If you prepare and meal prep (unlike me) it will make your life a lot easier.
- Insulated lunchboxes and containers will keep food warm longer. Otherwise you have to see what kind of foods make sense for your kids and their lunchtimes.
- My girls’ favorite part of lunch are the notes. Write a little note to tell them you’re thinking of them.
What role does your child play in back to school shopping? Do they pick out the clothes and supplies or bring you a list?
They love picking out their own things to match their own styles.
What are you favorite styling tips for your kids?
Comfort is key, I love keeping them stylish but comfortable at school. They need to be able to sit in class all day and also be able to play during recess. I also like to choose pieces that are easy to wash and wear as well so it lasts.
What tricks do you have when it comes to making back-to-school shopping manageable or more organized?
I love to get my kids involved, my girls are at the fun age where they have their own opinions on what they like and don’t like. It becomes a fun experience to go back to school shopping together. When I was young, I remember loving back to school shopping for the new year to come. I think this school year will be even more exciting as my girls didn’t go back to school and stayed at home last school year.
How do you get your kids excited and feeling ready for the new school year?
Back to school shopping gets them super excited. Something about school supplies, new shoes, backpacks, and clothes gets them hyped.
How do you encourage creativity in your kids when it comes to fashion?
I let them choose how they want to style their clothes and how they want to wear her certain items. It’s fun to see their fashion style change.
What tips do you have for kids that are afraid to embrace their creativity and style?
I love doing little “challenges” where I give them a few choices of a top, choices of bottoms, and shoes. It helps them be creative without being overwhelmed.