Posted by Denise Murray on
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Top Tips for Packing Your Kid's School Lunch Bag Like a Boss
I'm more than a little obsessive about beginning with a clean slate. Handwashing is just what I naturally will do as soon as I enter the kitchen. Giving the lunch bag and preparation area a quick wipe down is the next step to keeping it clean. Packing wet wipes or hand sanitizer (if permitted at school) gives kids a reminder to wash their hands before they eat their lunch or snacks.
Top choice for maintaining safe food temperatures without refrigeration is selecting an insulated lunch bag for daily use. When temps are on the rise, frozen ice packs or frozen drinks which will thaw by time your child is ready for them. Opt for healthy, shelf-stable foods whenever possible and take a look at foodsafety.gov for additional food safety tips to avoid risking food borne illnesses.
Each school has their own policies on food permitted in classrooms and cafeterias taking into consideration children with food allergies or sensitivities. Know in advance the school's acceptable options for bringing food from home to avoid those "friendly" little notes sent home from the main office.
It's quite difficult for me to put into words why I believe that PB & J must be made fresh each day. Honestly, making sandwiches and packing them into their lunch bags the night before saves precious morning prep time. We've given in to peer pressure and made the switch to bento box lunches this year. Giving plenty of delicious and nutritious choices for kids to eat (or not), here's another tip, test all containers to be sure your child is able to open them easily.
In our kitchen drawer, we keep a box of plastic baggies for those times when we're unable to take along our reusable sandwich and snack bags. We save time, money and the planet by using sturdy, reusable sandwich bags and water bottles each day- quick and easy!
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