With school days beginning shortly it time to start thinking about lunchbox packing. So far I’ve covered my favorite lunchboxes, waterbottles, and creative sandwich ideas. Now I am talking about the actual packing of the favorite lunchbox and waterbottle you pick out. I don’t get overly complicated with my packing techniques – who has the time? But I have three simple guidelines I follow each and everyday to ensure my daughter’s lunch is kept cool and is ready to eat the second lunchtime arrives.
1) Ice Pack, Always: Last year I experimented with freezing juice boxes or smoothies and letting them thaw all morning to keep the food cold but it didn’t work smoothly. They were still pretty chilled when lunchtime arrived. Or, occasionally my daughter complained that her food was soggy because of the perspiration. I’ve come to believe that a standard small ice pack and a stainless steel water bottle with ice cubes is the best way to keep lunch food cool all morning long.
2) Reusable containers: It is a point of pride that I only went through ONE small box of sandwich bags last year. It is so much easier to use reusable packs and the bpa-free plastic containers that often come with lunchboxes. As long as they are cleaned properly after each use these containers should be able to keep food fresh all morning and be used all year long.
3) Easy to Open: Last year I made the mistake of packing some food in a container that was REALLY hard for my daughter to open. It had a child-safety top on it! After a few times my daughter asked me not to pack it anymore because she always has to ask the teacher for help with it. I felt terrible! It can be tough for kids to open things adults can so make sure you choose reusable containers that they can open themselves. (Don’t screw the lids too tight!!)
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