6 Sturdy Lunchbox Foods

August 17, 2011

After the recent report about how dangerously bacteria laden homemade lunches are, parents may be left wondering just what to put in to a lunchbox. Despite the fact that most of us have eaten a sack lunch that was older than 5 minutes and probably not cold from the refrigerator, there are foods that are less likely to harbor harmful bacteria at classroom temperatures. 

Here is a list of foods that are kid friendly, tasty, and best of all, not teeming with danger.

Peanut or other nut butters - Used as a filling or dip, buy a large container and divide into individual portions. 

Bread/crackers/pita/tortilla - You get the point. Cut into cool shapes for dipping and making tiny sandwiches with. My kids love to assemble this sort of thing.

Whole fruit-  They have the perfect wrapper already. If you do slice, a quick dip in lemon water (1/4 cup per quart of water) will keep apples from turning brown. 

Raw vegetables - carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, sweet peppers..the list goes on. Don't assume your kids wont eat them. Something about a dip and a carrot stick, makes most kids happy. 

Rice or noodles - All the other things were pretty standard, but how about packing a snack cup packed with noodles or rice? These are both tasty at any temperature. Include a little bottle of tamari or soy sauce and some diced/blanched veggies.

Soup - Make a big pot of soup and use it by the thermos full for lunch. Buy a widemouth thermos for easy filling. Remember to fill your thermos with hot water for a minute, before filling with hot soup. 


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Heidi Weispfenning's picture

Considering how many schools have banned peanut products altogether, if not all nuts, the nut butter idea is better in theory than it is in practice.

(And yes I know, a peanut is not a nut, it's a legume - but I've yet to see a school ban all legumes rather than all nuts)