Source: 10 Ways to Keep Lunch Fresh and Safe at School
Picking an eco-friendly, BPA, and phthalate-free lunch box isn't all mom needs to do to keep her tot safe in the cafeteria this school year. According to a new study in Pediatrics, 9 out of 10 lunches packed by mom aren't safe to eat by the time kids get to their lunch period. Researchers tested the temperatures of 705 home-packed lunch bags at nine Texas child care centers and found that even those with an ice pack were too warm to be considered safe to eat.
Foods such as milk, meat, and sliced fruit need to be kept under 40 degrees to be considered safe. To create a safer lunch, freeze items like juice boxes, water, and milk, as well as soft cheeses, chicken salad, and other perishable items. Packing them in an insulated lunch box (or bag), including two ice packs, and ensuring that the bag is sealed tight will also help. When doing your back-to-school shopping, consider adding some of these 10 safer lunch box items to your list - your lil one's stomach will thank you!
- Beatrix New York Lucas ($34): A heavy-duty nylon exterior helps protect the insulation in Beatrix New York lunch boxes. With kid-friendly designs and machine washable fabric these lunch boxes are as cute as they are practical for keeping lunch as fresh as can be.
- REI Lunch Cooler ($17): If it is good enough for hikers, it'll be good enough for lil lunch room eaters. REI's Lunch Cooler uses closed-cell foam to insulate the box's contents and keep them cool for hours.
- Skip Hop Zoo Lunchies - Owl ($13): Skip Hop's insulated Zoo Lunchies are so cute kids might not want to wait until lunch to open them.
- Land's End ClassMate StudyHaul Lunch Box ($16): Long the standard in lunch storage, Land's End's ClassMate StudyHaul Lunch Box claims to keep lunch cool for a full five hours (when used with an ice pack).
- Built Gourmet Getaway Mini Lunch Tote ($18): Made from neoprene, Built's Gourmet Getaway Mini Lunch Tote is sized down for lil lunchers and designed to help keep their food fresh until lunchtime.
More from LilSugar: Brown Baggin' Goes Green: 10 Eco-Friendly Ways to Reduce Lunchtime Trash
- Fit Fresh Fresh Start Breakfast Chiller ($10): Whether used for cereal and yogurt, or for veggies and dips, Fit Fresh's Fresh Start Breakfast Chiller keeps food items separate with a removable ice ring to keep everything as fresh as possible.
- So Young Green Robot Cooler Bag ($27): The completely insulated lunch bags from So Young take a retro approach to storing food. With coated cotton exteriors, no cold should be escaping the bags.
- Thermos 6 Cube Ice Mat ($2): Something as simple as a reusable ice pack can help keep meals cool throughout the morning.
- Yubo Deluxe Lunchbox ($36): If your lil ones get bored easily, Yubo's deluxe lunchboxes may be just the thing they need to stay interested in lunch. With changeable faceplates, tots can express their creativity every day! For moms, there's a removable ice pack made expressly for the boxes to keep foods safe and fresh.
- White Lunch and Go Lunch Box With Pink Bird Design ($13): The hard case White Lunch and Go Lunch Box keeps foods protected from outside impact, while an included ice pack fits snugly between different foods.
Tips For Packing the Perfect Lunch
Think Outside the Box: Go Completely Waste Free With Lunch Box Extras
Healthy Toddler Snacks
Follow LilSugar on Twitter
Become a Fan of LilSugar on Facebook