MILWAUKEE -- The kids are back in school -- which means packing school lunches is once again a daily chore. And somethings, the same old peanut butter and jelly sandwich and apple get boring. Registered dietitian, Brooke Moersfelder with Aurora Health Care, joins Real Milwaukee to help you pack satisfying and safe school lunches.
What is the best way to keep foods at a safe temperature until lunch time?
Making sure to have enough ice packs to get thru the week. The same can be said for yogurt squeezers and water bottles. Freeze them so they'll thaw by lunch and keep the rest of the food cold.
If you're packing leftovers that need to be kept warm, an insulated thermos is the best way to do that. First, fill the thermos with very hot, or boiling, water and let it sit for a while before pouring out the hot water and then put in the hot food. Heating up the thermos helps it maintain the heat in the food until lunch time.
Should you always try to pack the lunches the night before?
Packing lunches the night before is a convenient way to avoid rushing around on a school morning, and it also gives the contents - and the lunch box - the opportunity to chill overnight, so everything is very cold when you grab it out of the fridge as you head out the door.
School is a pretty germy place and as much as you teach your children to wash hands before they eat, it likely is not going to happen. One thing you can do is send along hand gel or had wipes in your child's lunch box, especially during flu season. Anything helps and they will be more likely to use it if it comes in their lunch.