Healthy Packed Lunch Tips and Ideas for School and Work

Packing  lunch for the whole family money is most often a surefire way to provide your loved ones with a safe and healthy meal– since you will be having control of what as well as how much you put into their lunchboxes.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) emphasized the importance of food safety for “packed” lunches prepared at home with a recently released report. Some tips to follow while preparing baon for work or school are the following:

Ensure food safety by keeping hands, cookware and work area clean

Prevent bacteria from spreading by washing your hands using  soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Two repetitions of the Happy Birthday song is most often enough time for hand washing. Remember that cookware like cutting boards, knives, pans, and the cooking area should also be washed with soap and water to ensure that no germs contaminate the food you would be preparing.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those to be eaten raw (salads, for example) should be rinsed under running water before eating or packing to avoid bacterial growth and contamination.

Keep Food at their Ideal Temperature

Use insulated containers for soup, stews, and other hot food. Before using the containers, put some boiling water in and let it stand for a few minutes, and then empty and dry completely before using.

Temperatures between 40 and 140 °F are usually ideal for bacterial growth. Be sure to transport food with an ice source and refrigerate right after transporting. Insulated, soft-sided lunch boxes or bags are best for keeping food cold. Try these cold soba noodle recipes, which are ideal for packed lunch.

You could also try double bagging with paper lunch bags to help insulate food there are some good brown-bag lunches here that you might want to try.

Pack Light

Pack only enough of what you could consume to avoid the inconvenience of keeping leftovers.  Prepare the food the night before and store it in the fridge, and pack to help keep the food cold longer.

Here’s a quick light lunch ideal for the health conscious set, a simple shrimp cobb salad recipe that tastes as good as it looks.

Avoid Cross-Contamination

Do not reuse packaging materials like paper or plastic bags, food wraps and aluminum foil to avoid foodborne illness. Discard the mentioned food packaging to avoid cross-contamination.

Separate Beverages and Food Items When Packing

Whether you are preparing a big batch of packed lunch for a team of hungry officemates or a hoard of hungry kids, remember to pack drinks and food items in separate containers or coolers.

Store Food Properly

Use smaller containers for hot food, and a storage container at least two inches deep or less for chilling food. Label all your containers and indicate when you packed them. Ideally, food storage in the refrigerator must only last for approximately 3-4 days.


Proper Reheating in the Microwave

Cover food to hold in moisture and promote safe, even heating in the microwave. A temperature of at least 165 °F usually gets food hot enough for consuming.. Cook frozen convenience meals according to package instructions.

Following these simple steps will help you and your to family enjoy a “packed” lunch at school and work, while keeping the food that you eat safe. 


Why not throw in some homemade dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth at work or in school?


Make it light and healthy by sweetening your dessert with Leaflife Stevia zero-calorie sweetener. Try this orange spice cupcake recipe , a tasty sweet treat that the whole family will surely love!