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Back to school food safety

The kids are back at school, and that means it’s back to the school lunch routine for parents. We all want to ensure we’re feeding our kids scrumptious and healthy food, but do you know how to pack a safe school lunch?

Never fear! We’ve pulled together our top tips for packing a food safe lunch for your children in today’s post. These tips will also come in handy if you take a packed lunch to work.

Lunchbox food safety tips:

  • When shopping for school lunches, head towards lower-risk options such as well cooked meats and poultry, hard cheese, well-washed fruit and vegetables, and spreads like Vegemite or honey. 
  • Avoid high-risk foods like soft cheese, deli meats and home-made (raw egg) mayonnaise. 
  • Being prepared can help. It’s perfectly safe to make sandwiches, slices, muffins, etc the night before or earlier and pop them in the freezer. Transfer to the lunchbox right before leaving home. Freezing the food will help it stay colder for longer. 
  • Make sure your bench, cutting board and utensils are clean and dry before prepping food. Use separate boards for ready to eat or cooked foods and raw foods to avoid cross-contamination. 
  • Use frozen juice poppers, frosty water bottles and freezer packs in lunchboxes to keep things chilled.
  • Encourage your children to discard all leftover food after eating, including disposable food packagings like cling wrap or paper bags. Don’t reuse these items.
  • When choosing a lunchbox, look for one that is easy to clean and dry. An insulated lunchbox is also a great idea.
  • Before packing them, wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
  • Encourage good hand washing technique with your children. Teach them to wash their hands before handling and eating food.

Need some lunchbox inspiration?

You’re all over lunchbox food safety now, but maybe you’re tapped out of ideas for low-risk and kid-friendly recipes? We’ve collected some yummy recipes that can all be made in advance and frozen, ready to be popped into your kid’s lunchbox as the walk out the door. 

  • Get the kids’ help to bake these oaty apple muffins. Packed with good-for-them pumpkin seeds and chia seeds these are freezer ready once baked.
  • Try these kid-approved sweet potato and sweet corn fritters which can be frozen and eaten cold dipped in a little sweet chilli sauce.
  • Sneak in some goodness with these chocolate black bean brownies. The kids will never be able to tell these indulgent brownies are full of nutritious black beans!
  • Make these healthy egg muffin cups in advance and store them individually in the freezer.