Back to School is Here! Pack your Child a Safe and Nutritious Lunch

by Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

A study made headlines earlier this week when it revealed that, of packed lunches it measured, 90% had perishable foods over the safe temperature of 40 degrees F. This can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria that, if eaten, can cause illness.


Perishable foods are generally moist and high in protein. Some examples are:
•Milk and milk products
•Poultry, pork, beef, lamb, fish and shellfish
•Eggs
•Soy-protein foods, like tofu
•Cooked rice and beans

So here are a few tips to pack that safe and nutritious lunch.
•Look for a good insulated lunch tote
•An ice pack is a must!
•Freeze juice boxes or bottled water. It melts by lunch time and helps keep foods cool.
•Avoid mayonnaise on sandwiches and avoid salads with mayonnaise like tuna salad.
•Include fruits and raw veggies. Dip veggies it salsa.
•Try nuts and nut butters for protein

•Purchase milk at school

Packing your child’s lunch is a great way for you to know they are getting the foods and nutrients they need. Take a few extra steps and their lunch will be safe too!

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