peanut butter sandwich, milk, apple slices, and carrot sticks packed lunch

Safe Packed Lunches

Brushing up on food safety is important as kids go back to school. If you pack lunch for your kids, or if you pack your own lunch, you need to take steps to keep germs out. Without proper food safety, you can get very sick. And no one wants to start the school year with a foodborne illness. With just a few precautions, you can keep packed lunches safe and healthy.

  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use a thermos to pack hot items. Use at least two ice packs or frozen water or juice bottles to keep food cold. Use an insulated lunchbox instead of paper bags.
  • Make sure to pack food in clean containers with clean utensils. If you pack often, be sure to clean your lunchbox regularly, too.
  • Tell your kids to throw away any leftovers from lunch. By the time they get home from school, the food will be in the temperature danger zone and unsafe to eat.
  • Consider sending money to buy milk from school instead of sending it from home. It’s also a good way to support your school nutrition department and likely cheaper than buying single-serving containers.
  • If you pack lunch the night before, keep it in the fridge until the kids are headed out the door.

Now that you can pack lunches safely, check out these tasty, easy, and healthy meals ideas perfect for back to school.

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