Packing a lunch with leftovers, a sandwich,
or even purchased, single-serving foods, offers convenience and a cost-saving
that can add up and save you generous amount of money.
Health - reducing calories and fat - and
preventing foodborne illness are, however, as important to consumers as saving
money. Pack a safe and satisfying lunch with these tips:
a lunch box, bag or cooler that will work best for you. Children may prefer
cartoon-character lunch boxes with coordinated thermal containers. Teens may
opt for insulated coolers that hold more food, and adults may prefer
insulated bags that fit in their desks.
box storage and the availability of a microwave or oven for heating
leftovers or single-serving meals also are factors. If a lunch box will be
stored in a school locker, car, or other unrefrigerated area, an insulated
cooler may be the best choice. Consider convenience, durability, and price.
risks from foodborne illness by keeping lunch box, bag or cooler clean; wash
thermal and re-usable containers after each use.
kitchen and food preparation area and tools clean. Use a clean tool for each
hands in hot, soapy water before and after handling food or eating.
preparation: Make more than one lunch at a time. Prepare a main-dish and
freeze it in re-usable, single-serving containers. Or, make several
sandwiches at once; wrap individually and freeze for future use. When frozen
sandwiches are packed, they thaw gradually and should be ready to eat. Being
cold makes them less susceptible to foodborne microorganisms that may cause
on leftovers. Use them within a day or two, or wrap and freeze for future
hot foods, such as soups or casseroles, in insulated thermal containers.
Pack cold foods, such as meat sandwiches or salads, in insulated containers,
or freeze them before packing. Foods that do not freeze well include
hard-cooked egg whites; salad greens; sour cream; jellies; gelatin salads;
and some raw vegetables.
chilled or frozen foods from the refrigerator directly to lunch box, bag or
condiments separately. When sandwiches are frozen and then thawed,
mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and other spreads make bread soggy. Add
condiments or vegetables like lettuce and tomato before eating.
breads and/or sandwich fillings. Include fruits and vegetables. Students who
say they don’t like vegetables usually do like peanut butter and celery,
carrot bar cookies or pumpkin bread.
and other beverages can be purchased; juice in a box also packs well.
moist towelettes or hand-sanitizing solutions for use before and after
eating when soap and water will not be available.
an extra treat occasionally - a small box of raisins, bakery-style cookie,
personal note or newspaper cartoon - to make lunch special.