How to Pack a Safe School Lunch?

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Are YOU Packing a Safe Lunch?

August 27, 2013 By Prerna Children, Family & School comments

pack a safe school lunch
Shelley’s post on stainless steel lunchboxes , followed by my own, forced me to think about healthy lunches and whether or not I was giving my little girl a safe lunch for school.

You see, as mums, none of us would want our precious little ones to fall ill from food poisoning or suffer from long-term consequences of strange sounding chemicals like, Bisphenol A.

So, I put together a checklist of tips on how to pack a safe lunch for school. Hope you find it useful:

  1. Always wash your hands with soap and water before handling foodstuff that needs to go into the lunchbox.Basic but you’d be surprised to know how often, I would forget to do this step.Sigh!
  2. Clean food prep counters with a clean cloth wipe or sponge and disinfectant spray. I have a handy spray bottle filled with equal parts of vinegar and water that I just spray on the counter before starting to pack lunches.
  3. Always, always wash fruits and vegetables that would be eaten raw. If you washed the fruits and veggies before you stored them in the refrigerator, wash them again when you take them out to cut them up for lunch. Don’t forget the melons. Cantaloupe or melon was linked to an E.Coli breakout in the U.S. in 2004, so yes, wash it with soapy water and then, store it or cut it.
  4. Keep perishable items, like sandwiches or fresh fruit, chilled until children need to leave for school and then, use insulated lunch totes to keep them safe till their lunchtime.
  5. If you’re using leftovers from last night’s dinner, for instance, the Department of Health, Victoria recommends you pack an ice block or pack into the lunch box. 
  6. Switch to BPA-free plastic, glass or stainless steel lunchboxes to prevent toxic chemicals from leaching into your child’s food.

Want to know more about packing a safe lunch for school?

Here are some additional reading material should you want to dig in deeper:

BACto School: Pack a Safe Lunch 101

SmartChoices to Ensure Safety at Lunch – New York Times

Back toSchool: Food Safety Tips for Homemade Lunches and Snacks – Department ofHealth, Victoria, Australia

What are YOUR go-to tips for packing healthy lunches that are safe as well for your kids? Share with me in the comments or in the LimeTree Kids parent community on Facebook.