Four things to keep in mind when packing your child’s lunch

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

As you’re getting your kids ready for school in the morning, it’s just as important to think about how you’re packing their lunch as it is what you’re packing.

Children are some of the most vulnerable when it comes to food poisoning, so the USDA has four tips to keep them safe.

  • Use an insulated container – If you’re packing a hot lunch like soup, use an insulated container like a Thermos.  Fill it with boiling water first and let it stand for a few minutes, then empty it before putting in your hot food.  That helps keep temperatures high.
  • Use cold packs – If the lunch has perishable items like meat or yogurt, put two cold packs in your child’s lunch box.  A good tip is to freeze a water bottle or juice to use as a cold pack.  It should thaw by lunch.
  • Pack disposable wipes – To make sure your child clean’s his or her hands before eating, make it easy by packing disposable wipes.
  • Get rid of leftovers – When your child gets home from school, toss any leftovers and don’t reuse packaging.

For more information about food safety, visit the USDA’s website.