Keep your child’s lunch fresh and organized with these packing tips.
When the school lunch bell rings, out come the sandwiches, as taking a lunch to school is a fact of life for many kids. While a school cafeteria or hot lunch program might be available, sending your child a healthy lunch from home tends to be more practical and affordable. But how do you keep their food fresh and organized until lunchtime? Say goodbye to squished sandwiches and crumbly cookies with these suggestions.
A practical lunch bag
While the classic brown bag will do in a pinch, there are better solutions for toting lunch to school. Keep the answers to these questions in mind when choosing a lunch bag or box.
- The size. Does it have ample room for everything your child uses at lunch and snack time?
- Is it insulated? Certain foods should be kept cool not only to keep them tasting their best, but to inhibit bacteria growth.
- Does your child like it? Lunchtime can get tedious after a while, but a lunch bag in a favourite colour or decorated in a popular theme can brighten up school lunch just a bit.
- Are they comfortable using it? Make sure it’s kid-friendly in scale, that fasteners are easy to open and close and that it’s easy to carry.
The right storage solutions
Regardless of the style of lunch bag, food can still get squished or broken or can leak if not stored and packed properly. Here are some simple solutions for keeping the lunch just-packed fresh.
- Plastic wrap may have its place, but to keep sandwiches or wraps in perfect shape, use a plastic container like a Tupperware Sandwich Keeper.
- Keep snacks from breaking by packing them reusable containers such as Glad Small Snack instead of plastic bags.
- To prevent leaky or squished fruit cups or puddings, use a Tupperware Snack Cup or a Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Twist & Seal container, and fill them yourself.
- Make your child his or her own bento-style lunch with a divided container such as the Original Goodbyn Lunchbox or a Laptop Lunch Bento Set 2.0.
- Keep soups and pastas hot until lunchtime with a food thermos such as a Phineas and Ferb FUNtainer Food Jar.
More packing suggestions
- Freezing juice boxes and yogourt tubes will help keep your child’s lunch cold, and they will be thawed enough by lunchtime to enjoy.
- When using an ice pack in a lunch kit, be sure to pop it into a small plastic bag first; otherwise the condensation might make everything wet.
- Pack heavier items on the bottom of the lunch bag so they won’t squish or bruise fruits.
- Keep your child’s reusable water bottle outside the lunch bag, as it takes up valuable space and will be easier for them to access.
- Send a small bottle of hand sanitizer for your child to use before lunch and a napkin or two to use during and after.