Here's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth... What you're carrying could be more than your lunch. Did you know germs that grow on food can make lots more germs in a little over two hours? Without smart packing, some of your sandwiches and snacks could end up making you sick. You can make sure your lunch gives you the energy you need — not a bellyache you don't need — with these simple BAM! tips.
Those puffy, insulated lunch boxes or bags keep cold food cold and hot food hot, so germs can't multiply like crazy. Regular lunch boxes and paper bags are okay too, but you have to help them keep stuff the right temperature. So, if you've got one of those, follow these...
Double bag your lunch — the layers of paper and air help keep the cold in. Or, put an ice pack or frozen juice box in a plastic baggie (a zip-up one so your sandwich doesn't get soggy) to make your lunch bag a mini cooler. If you go for the juice box, get the real stuff — 100% juice. Don't worry, your drink will thaw by lunchtime. And depending on how cold your locker or classroom is, you might even get a slushy!
If you make sandwiches the night before, keep them in the refrigerator or freezer until you pack up to go in the morning.
On cold days, nothing can warm you up like hot soup, pasta, or chili. The key is to keep the hot lunch hot until it's time to eat — that makes it hard for germs to grow in it. Try using a thermos. Here's some info on how a thermos works.
Pack It Light and Tight
Keep your food wrapped up and make sure to wrap each part separately so that they don't leak onto each other...YUCK! Use zipper plastic bags, plastic containers made for carrying food, or get one-serving packs (like yogurt, pudding, or fruit cups). You can skip wrapping up fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas — Mother Nature already did it for you! Just be sure to wash your fruits and veggies before you take a bite. (Once you peel them, you've gotta wrap them up and chill them.)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention content is free and public domain.
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