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Diet and Nutrition

Packing Safe and Appealing School Lunches

Need some ideas on packing school lunches? Packed lunches should have three "ingredients": nutrition, taste, and safety.

When considering nutrition:

Kids also insist that lunches be tasty:

For safety's sake, make sure perishable items stay cold until the time your child eats lunch. If the lunch is packed at 7:30 a.m. and lunchtime is at noon, the lunch could sit at room temperature far longer than the two hours food safety specialists recommend. To reduce risk:

Also, rinse fruits and vegetables before packing the lunch so they don't cross-contaminate other items. And, don't re-use paper bags. Food particles -- and any germs with them -- can't be wiped out. See other safe-lunch tips in "Healthy Back to School Basics with Quick Lunch Lessons."

This article originally appeared in Chow Line (7/29/01) a service of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and was adapted for use on NetWellness with permission.

For more information:

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Last Reviewed: Jul 16, 2010

Former Lecturer
Food & Nutrition
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University