As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Foods can quickly go from safe to unsafe if they aren’t stored properly, and the last thing you want is for your kid to miss school due to food poisoning. There are ways that you can safely pack both hot and cold items in your children’s lunchboxes with no risk of illness.
1. Clean Prep
Before you begin packing your lunches, make sure that your food preparation space has been cleaned and sanitized and that your hands are washed. Most bacteria are transferred to our bodies from our hands.
2. Don’t Touch
Don’t touch your phone, hair, or face while you are doing your lunch prep because it can transfer bacteria to your food. If you have to stop and touch your phone, wash your hands before continuing your lunch prep.
3. Plan Ahead
Pack your cold lunch the night before. This gives it all night to get good and cold, so it has a good head start once you take it out of the refrigerator.
4. Use Ice Packs
Use at least two ice packs to keep things good and cold. You can purchase ice packs that are specifically designed to fit inside a lunch box.
5. Freeze Foods
If your lunch boxes include yogurt, juice boxes, or water, freeze them the night before. They will help to keep everything cold and still be thawed by lunchtime.
6. Proper Placement
If you are packing any dips or dressings into your child’s lunch, be sure to pack those in a separate small container and put them on top of a cold pack.
7. Wash Produce
Wash and dry all produce, even apples, thoroughly before you place them inside the lunch box. Moisture can breed germs, and you don’t want anyone getting sick.
8. Use A Thermos
Any hot foods that you are packing in your child’s lunch need to be packed into a thermos. You can find them in all different sizes, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one to fit in your child’s lunchbox.
Preheat your thermos before packing your food into it. Preheat the thermos with boiling water for a few minutes, then empty it and add the hot food. This allows your food to stay hot instead of cooling in temperature to warm the thermos up.
Pack both hot and cold lunches in an insulated lunch bag. An insulated bag will do a much better job of keeping your food warm or cold than a plain paper bag or a metal box.
10. Clean Up
After school, make sure to empty your child’s lunchbox and wash and dry everything thoroughly before packing lunch for the next day. Need more tips for safely packing hot and cold lunches, then check this out.
Prefer Sandwiches? Try One Of These!
If you prefer sandwiches to wraps, I’ve gotcha covered there too. Here’s a fabulous collection of sandwich recipes that taste amazing and might actually be good for you too.
Need Dinner Ideas Too?
Sick of the same ol’ chicken for dinner… again? Here are 101 new ways to level up your dinner game tonight.
Healthy Ground Turkey Dinner Ideas That Actually Taste Good
Lean ground turkey is a great replacement for ground beef if you are working on your health. Here, we give you 17 Meals with ground turkey that are surprisingly good for you.
This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.